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The Effects of Drunk Driving

Far too many people have already died or gotten hurt because of drunk driving accidents over the decades. About 28 people die in the United States every day due to mishaps involving drunk drivers. Every year, Americans spend billions of dollars in the aftermath of these drunk driving accidents.

The financial cost of drunk driving is quite high. The drunk driver who caused the accident, for example, will need the best DUI defense and will face severe penalties, fines, and other monetary consequences once convicted. However, the physical, psychological, and emotional effects of drunk driving accidents take a much higher toll on everyone involved—the drunk driver included.

The psychological effects of alcohol-related car crashes

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, a mental health condition that affects five million American adults every year, is a common consequence of surviving something as harrowing as a drunk driving crash.

PTSD sufferers tend to experience flashbacks of the accident, especially when they ride or drive a car again. They might also be triggered by things like seeing pictures or videos of car crashes or reading a new report about one. Just about anything—places, people, and activities that remind them of that terrible day—is enough to bring about such flashbacks.

Aside from flashbacks, PTSD sufferers also manifest symptoms such as jumpiness, sleeping difficulties, emotional numbness, nightmares, concentration problems, and irritability.

The emotional toll on drunk driving accident survivors

More often than not, drunk drivers who caused a car accident will struggle with feelings of guilt. These guilt feelings also tend to get worse if someone died because of their drunkenness. Some may even be overcome by so much guilt they will possibly contemplate ending it all.

The other survivors of a drunk driving accident are the real victims, and they’re not spared from any emotional impact even when they did nothing wrong. These victims tend to feel survivor’s guilt, especially when someone close to them died while they lived.

Anger is also a common emotion among car crash survivors, especially once they learn that it was a drunk person behind the wheel that caused it all. Violent thoughts can swirl inside their head, and may even be tempted to act on those violent impulses.

Surviving victims of drunk driving accidents also suffer an enormous amount of grief. The grieving could lead to feelings of isolation. They avoid the company of friends, and don’t eat well.

The toll that drunk driving takes on people is enormous. Survivors need all the support and help they can get to get through the whole thing. There are many professional treatments and therapies designed to help them recover. The recovery process might take a long time, but it provides survivors of drunk driving crashes the hope they need to move forward from that fateful day that changed their lives.


This post was authored by AZ DUI Team at
Four Rivers Behavioral Health does not endorse this or any organization and the information is provided with no such endorsement.

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