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Drunk Driving Dangers – How Alcohol Affects Motor Skills

No matter the amount, alcohol significantly affects the processes in your body that are necessary to safely operate a motor vehicle. Even a blood alcohol level of .02 decreases your ability to think clearly and puts you at risk of a deadly crash.

Drunk Driving Statistics

Driving after drinking kills 30 people in crashes every day and over 10,000 people every year in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Further statistics, taken from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, show how drunk driving affected people in the United States in 2016. According to their reports,

  • 10,497 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes, accounting for 28% of all traffic-related deaths in the United States.
  • 214 (17%) of the 1,233 traffic deaths among children ages 0 to 14 years in 2016 involved an alcohol-impaired driver.
  • Over 1 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics.

Drunk Driving Impairment

Alcohol increases your risk of a motor vehicle accident by negatively affecting all or some of the following skills:

  • Judgement — A loss of judgement is the first effect caused by alcohol consumption. Even blood alcohol levels as low as .02 percent affects your ability to think clearly, reason, and make responsible decisions.
  • Concentration — Your ability to multitask is greatly decreased with alcohol in your system. Driving tasks such as accelerating, breaking, positioning the vehicle, or tuning the radio become extremely difficult for intoxicated drivers because they can focus on only one action at a time.
  • Comprehension — Alcohol impairs your ability to understand and react to situations and signals on the road. Road signs and emergency situations leave drunk drivers confused and unable to respond.
  • Coordination — Alcohol inhibits your ability to properly use hand/eye/foot coordination which is necessary to safely complete such tasks as keeping your vehicle in the center of its lane, turning accurately, and maintaining appropriate speed.
  • Vision and Hearing Acuity — Alcohol reduces your ability to see and hear clearly as well as judge depth and distance. According to the University of Texas at San Antonio, the use of alcohol:
    • Reduces visual acuity up to 32%.
    • Reduces peripheral vision resulting in tunnel vision.
    • Impairs ability to judge distance and depth perception (position of car).
    • Dilates pupil, slows down reactions of pupil resulting in problems with on-coming headlights (glare) and “blind” driving.
    • Reduces the ear’s ability to hear, muffling sounds, and interfering with the ability to determine the direction of sounds.
  • Reaction time — Alcohol slows your reflexes and reduces reaction time by 15 to 25 percent. Drivers under the influence of alcohol cannot respond as quickly to changing circumstances as when they are sober.

Drunk Driving Prevention

Driving drunk is a choice that puts you, your passengers, pedestrians, and other cars on the road at risk of a deadly accident. Don’t make that choice.

Contact an Experienced Drunk Driving Attorney

While your insurance company may be more than willing to help you after your automobile accident, you should remember that although insurance companies will provide some type of financial support, they may not always give you what you deserve. There are many times when a drunk driver has no insurance and you, the victim, are left without a way to pay for your injuries. Even if the negligent driver does have insurance, you may not get enough money to pay for your medical treatment and other expenses.

Our experienced team of injury attorneys will make sure you get the compensation you deserve for the injuries you incurred. We are available 24/7, nights and weekends to provide you with a free case review. Contact Thomas J. Henry today if you were injured by a drunk driver. Our firm has offices in Corpus ChristiSan Antonio, and Houston, serving clients across Texas and nationwide.

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