Despite all the public service campaigns to educate drivers not to drink and drive, drunk drivers continue this unsafe practice, with victims of these crashes experiencing catastrophic injuries or even wrongful death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 9,967 people were killed in drunk driving wrecks in 2014—that's nearly one-third of all fatalities in vehicle crashes. Even if the driver who caused your collision was not legally drunk, consuming any alcohol could have impaired their driving skills, and you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Six Ways Alcohol Consumption Impacts Safe Driving
Although it is legal to drive in Texas with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or less, a driver’s abilities to drive safely can be impaired at a much lower level. According to the CDC, having a BAC as low as 0.02 percent can impair a driver’s ability to drive safely. Here are ways that alcohol consumption can cause a car crash:
- Judgment. Drinking alcohol reduces a person’s ability to think clearly, reason, make smart decisions, and exercise caution—all necessary to drive safely.
- Concentration. Alcohol limits a driver’s ability to concentrate on multiple tasks such as speed, weather conditions, and the actions of motorists around him—all critical to safe driving
- Comprehension. A drunk driver is less able to comprehend traffic signs, traffic signals, or a dangerous driving situation. This can limit his ability to respond appropriately and slow down, stop suddenly, or swerve out of the way of a crash.
- Coordination. Alcohol consumption can affect a driver’s fine and gross motor skills. This can limit hand, eye, and foot coordination, which also makes it more difficult to respond quickly in an emergency.
- Vision and hearing. When a person is drunk, his abilities to hear and see are impaired. This includes a reduction in peripheral vision and the ability to judge distances—necessary to avoid a rear-end collision.
- Reaction time. Alcohol can slow down a person’s reflexes, comprehension, and ability to act quickly in response to changing driving conditions.
At the Hart Law Firm, we sue drunk drivers who caused our clients injury, and we help our clients obtain the compensation they deserve. If you suffered injuries in a car wreck caused by a driver who was drinking, start an online chat, contact us or call our office directly at 817.380.488 to schedule your free consultation to learn about your legal options.