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Fatal Barrow County DUI Accident Dispels Myth That Being Drunk May Prevent Car Crash Injuries

March 14, 2012

It seems tragic that we must constantly relive fatal drunk driving accidents because they are so avoidable. A fatal head-on collision in Barrow County several months ago serves as another grim reminder that drivers impaired by alcohol continue to kill innocent victims despite attempts to keep drunk drivers off Georgia roadways.

The Georgia State Patrol indicated that the fatal head-on collision was caused when David Michael Barnum crossed the center divider of GA 62 and collided head-on with a Ford Taurus resulting in the death of Barnum, as well as John and Wanda Collins who were in the Taurus. Although when reported this fatal head-on collision was believed to be alcohol-related, the accident was still under investigation.

Head-on collisions are the most deadly form of Georgia car crash because the vehicle occupants absorb the entire force of the impact. Unlike many drunken driving accidents, all vehicle occupants in the Barrow County car crash were tragically killed. Many times in a Georgia car crash involving a DUI driver, the impaired driver will suffer only minor injuries or no injuries while the innocent victims in the other vehicle will be tragically killed. This tragic outcome has led to the growth of the myth that being drunk behind the wheel can actually reduce injuries that a drunken driver suffers in a collision.

This notion is a complete fiction according to officials at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). According to data compiled by the agency, drivers who are DUI are more likely to suffer serious injury or fatalities in car crashes. A study of car crash data during a 12-month period involving almost 14,000 fatal car crashes where at least one driver was intoxicated revealed that almost 7,300 drivers who were killed were intoxicated while only 865 drivers who were sober were killed.

This data from the NHTSA is consistent with a study conducted at the University of North Carolina's Highway Safety Research Center that also found that DUI drivers were much more likely to cause catastrophic injury or wrongful death to themselves than to sober drivers. The study concluded there was no basis for the widespread belief that alcohol may protect a vehicle occupant during a collision, but rather increased the risk that a driver would suffer a serious injury or fatality.

The reason for the vitality of this myth is that car crashes where innocent victims are killed and drunken drivers survive with nominal or no injury tend to receive lots of coverage in the media. People are understandably outraged by such an outcome so people are more aware of fatal DUI accidents with this tragic type of result.

Deadly Georgia DUI head-on collisions are tragic regardless of who is injured. Many times the victims in a DUI accident may be passengers in a drunk driver’s vehicle or occupants of another car. Ultimately, these accidents are particularly upsetting because they are so preventable. While changes in the law and increased enforcement have helped prevent many DUI-related accidents in Georgia, drunken driving accidents still account for far too many catastrophic injuries and wrongful deaths.

If you or a loved one was injured by a drunken driver in a Georgia car crash or you lost a loved one to wrongful death, our Georgia DUI accident personal injury lawyers are prepared to seek the justice our clients deserve and expect. Our Georgia DUI accident personal injury lawyers are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Auto Accidents

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