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What Happens When You Drive Impaired In Canada?

In order to understand the real magnitude of the alcohol and/or drug related motor vehicle accidents in Canada, you need to get a comprehensive picture of the full range of losses caused by impaired-related driving. The statistics are dramatic and the numbers prove how complex the problem of alcohol and/or drug-related crashes truly is. We will try to present the situation using three different criteria: the number of fatalities, the number of injuries, and property damage.


Over 1,000 people lost their lives as a result of impairment-related driving in 2010. The number represents 42.58% of the total number of vehicle-related fatalities for that year. However, this number may not include certain unreported situations, such as those caused by the inability to conduct alcohol tests on suspected impaired drivers. A seriously underestimated number is related to the fatalities caused by driving after drug use, which was not included in this figure. Over the recent years, the number of accidents caused by driving after drug use has increased dramatically.


Although death is tragic, injuries can have similarly devastating effects on the victims of impaired driving. The numbers for 2010 show almost 300,000 people injured in motor vehicles, out of which 63,821 were injured in impairment-related accidents. If you do the math, it results an average of 175 injured people every single day of the year! This means that the lives of many families have changed, and Individuals who will go on living their lives temporarily or permanently impaired. This number reflects the magnitude of the alcohol and/or drug related crash problem in Canada.

Property Damage

While lives cannot be replaced, assets can – but at what costs? The data for 2010 reveals an astonishing 1,651,650 motor vehicles involved in accidents that resulted in property-damage only. Incredibly, 210,932 vehicles were destroyed partially or totally due to impaired-related driving. Again, that leads us to an average of 578 cars per day!

At the end of the day, statistics estimate a total cost of over $20 billion in personal or property injuries for 2010 alone. This amount encompasses the total cost of impaired-related driving injuries, fatalities, and property damage-only crashes across Canada. Just looking at the figures should be enough to deter those who attempt to get behind the wheels after they’ve consumed alcohol or have used drugs.

These numbers are a harsh reminder of just how irresponsible and unconscious impaired driving is. The consequences are devastating, and almost entirely preventable.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, contact the personal injury lawyers at Preszler Injury Lawyers.

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