Drinking and driving is obviously a serious societal and public safety problem, and it’s one that hits Nevada hard every year just like it does everywhere else. Most of us can likely recall at least one time – perhaps recently – when we were sharing the road with another motorist who was obviously impaired. We tend to feel lucky when we arrive at our destination unharmed after that type of an unnerving experience. Tragically, some of us are not so lucky, as dozens of people are killed in Nevada every year in car accidents where alcohol is listed as a factor.
However, just how many people are killed in alcohol-related car accidents may depend on where we look for that information, according to the results of a recent study. That study compared the number of fatalities reported by searching death certificates to the number reported in FARS, which is the federal database that contains this type of information. Several discrepancies were found in different states when broken down to that level, and Nevada appears to be one of two states with the highest discrepancy level in the United States. A link to the full study can be found here.
Researchers recently published a study that appeared in the latest edition of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. The study reviewed all of the data regarding fatalities resulting from alcohol-related traffic accidents over a 10-year period across the United States. It then took that data and broke it down by state to find out if the reporting systems provided by state death certificates were similar to the information provided by FARS, which stands for the Fatality Analysis Reporting System that is managed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or the NHTSA.
The study found that the gap between the number of deaths recorded on death certificates as alcohol crash-related and those found in the FARS database was the highest in Nevada and New Jersey in the United States. The state with the smallest gap was Delaware. What this could mean is that not enough information is being shared with those who formulate death certificates due to some problem in the internal reporting system.
While this may seem like a relatively minor issue, the fact of the matter is that this can present an enormous problem for families who lose loved ones in drunk driving accidents and who attempt to recover claims from relevant insurance companies. If death certificates are not completed accurately, it could lead to delays or even to the denial of claims. There could also be other issues that arise if the information surrounding a fatal alcohol-related crash is not accurate.
This is just one of many reasons that anyone who loses a loved one in this type of an accident needs to obtain legal help as quickly as possible. If you have suffered through this tragedy, contact the Las Vegas wrongful death lawyers at the Sam Harding Law Firm today to schedule a free initial consultation.