Drinking And Driving: A Deadly Combination
Someone is injured or killed by a drunk driver every 20 minutes in the state of Texas. If you have been struck by an intoxicated motorist, you know the resulting injuries can be devastating. Even more tragic, if you’re mourning the loss of a loved one killed by a drunk driver, you understand that the trauma is unlike any other in life.
Victims who are impacted by a drunk driver typically struggle to deal with an accident, often wondering how such a thing could have happened. After all, public awareness campaigns to stop intoxicated driving have been in place for decades. Everyone is clearly aware that drunk driving causes car accidents, yet too many people — rather than utilize a designated driver or call a cab — choose to get behind the wheel impaired.
How Alcohol Impairs Driving
Under state law, a person whose blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08 or higher is considered to be legally intoxicated. This level of alcohol consumption can impair drivers in many ways, all of which can be dangerous on the road.
Alcohol seriously impairs a driver’s ability, creating:
- Loss of judgment. Mental functioning is impacted by alcohol, potentially leading individuals to experience a loss of reasoning abilities or a failure to recognize the need for caution.
- Loss of concentration. Consuming alcohol impairs concentration, especially when it comes to performing multiple tasks at the same time. As a result, a driver may struggle to simultaneously keep a proper speed while maintaining appropriate road position. Car accidents involving texting or passenger distractions are also common.
- Reduced reaction times. Alcohol affects small-muscle control, including functioning of the eyes. Such impairments can hurt depth perception and lead a driver to misjudge distances or demonstrate slower reaction times when traffic hazards occur.
- Poor motor coordination. Drivers may have difficulty steering or staying in control of a car due to impairments in their large-muscle functioning.
- Comprehension failure. A person under the influence of alcohol can have difficulty interpreting traffic signals or signs, potentially leading motorists to make unsafe decisions on the road.
While it is commonly understood that legally drunk drivers are often held responsible for auto accidents, many people don’t realize that a motorist can experience driving impairments with a blood alcohol level as low as .02. This means victims of accidents may be able to show that another person is responsible for the accident even if they had only a single drink.
Struck By A Drunk Driver? Get Help.
An accident with an intoxicated driver can result in catastrophic, life-long injuries. You may face the prospect of an extended rehabilitation process, which may or may not allow you to make a full recovery. Mounting medical bills, car repair costs and lost wages might all be hurting your household finances.
While it cannot undo the consequences that result from being hit by an intoxicated driver, filing a civil lawsuit represents one route that can allow you to be compensated for damages. If you decide to pursue justice for you and your family in this way, an experienced attorney can serve as an informed advocate throughout the personal injury process.