There is a lot for Rhode Islanders to be proud of, but the number of drunk drivers in the Ocean State is nothing to brag about. According to a recent study, Rhode Island has the second-worst rate of deaths caused by drunk drivers in the country.
Forbes Advisor conducted the study. As Newsweek reports, researchers examined car accident data nationwide and ranked each state in five indicators of traffic safety. Overall, Rhode Island ranks as the 32nd most dangerous state for accidents, putting us above average. The study called Montana and South Carolina the two most dangerous states in which to drive.
Half of traffic deaths caused by this
But in one subcategory, Rhode Island fared very poorly. The study found that 49 percent of fatal car accidents in the state were caused by drunk driving. Only Montana (51 percent), which allowed open containers of alcohol in vehicles until 2005, had a worse percentage. In theory, this means that traffic deaths on Rhode Island’s highways would drop in half if drunk driving were eliminated.
Driving under the influence is against the law for a reason. Alcohol impairs judgment, slows the reflexes and dulls the senses. Drunk drivers are more likely to cause car wrecks than sober motorists. And, as we already saw, the consequences of a DUI car accident can be horrific and tragic.
Dangerous driving is unacceptable
Of course, any negligent behavior that leads to an auto accident is unacceptable. If you get hurt in a wreck that was not your fault, there is a good chance that the other driver was to blame. Rhode Island law lets car accident victims seek compensation from the responsible driver and other liable parties.