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The physical, psychological and emotional toll of drunk driving accidents

On Behalf of | Apr 18, 2023 | Drunk Driving

In Mississippi, driving while drunk can have devastating outcomes for drivers and other people on the road. In 2020, drunk driving caused 30% of all traffic fatalities, killing over 11,000 people, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA). This statistic does not include the survivors, who may feel the physical, emotional and psychological effects of a drunk driving accident for the rest of their lives.

Physical effects

Survivors of drunk driving accidents often sustain serious physical injuries ranging from broken bones and lacerations to traumatic brain injuries (TBI). While any part of the body is vulnerable in an accident, victims most commonly sustain injuries to their legs, knees and neck.

Chest, spinal cord and brain injuries represent other common traumatic injuries due to drunk driving accidents, and victims can require extensive medical care and rehabilitation. Some people must live the rest of their lives with debilitating pain, amputated limbs or disfigurement from burns. Survivors with TBI may never be able to feed themselves, talk or walk again.

Emotional toll

The emotional trauma from being involved in a drunk driving accident can lead victims to experience emotions such as anger and violent thoughts or grief for others who died in the accident. Survivors may also develop symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), such as anxiety and depression in the aftermath of the accident.

Psychological effects

After their involvement in a drunk-driving accident, people may suffer flashbacks and emotional triggers whenever they find themselves around people or places that remind them of the accident. Victims may have recurring nightmares, which cause them to relive the traumatic experience repeatedly.

These reactions can cause individuals to avoid certain activities and become isolated and irritable. They may also experience PTSD symptoms, including anger, difficulty sleeping, jumpiness or difficulty concentrating. Drunk driving accidents account for a third of all traffic fatalities and take an enormous toll on the survivors.

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