How Drunk Driving Leads to Car Accidents

How Drunk Driving Leads to Car Accidents

Jul 23

On the road, all drivers face the possibility of accidents and injuries due to a variety of factors. The odds of such incidents occurring can easily be curbed by following traffic rules and safety measures. In an ideal world, drivers can help make roads safe for everybody by taking extra care and precaution behind the wheel. Unfortunately, reality tends to paint a different scenario. There are moments when carelessness and negligence rule the open road. This is particularly true for cases of alcohol-impaired driving.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are about 30 people who die in car accidents involving drunk drivers every day. Following this trend, the CDC concludes that about 1 person dies in an alcohol-related accident every 51 minutes. In the year 2012, they also found that there were about 10,322 reported fatalities caused by alcohol-impaired driving. These alarming numbers only show that the road can remain unsafe as long as there are individuals who remain negligent of their responsibility as drivers.

In all states across the U.S., the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for driving is at 0.08 percent. Driving with a BAC level above this prescribed limit is against the law. While penalties vary from state to state, punishment for driving while under the influence (DUI) and driving while intoxicated (DWI) can be severe across the board. Anyone caught driving over the 0.08 limit can face imprisonment and suspension of their driver’s license.

However, it’s important to know having any amount of alcohol in one’s system can seriously impair the ability to drive. According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependent (NCADD), drivers can begin to lose the awareness they need for driving starting at a BAC level of 0.02 percent. The following are just some of the effects that alcohol can have on a driver’s system:

  • .02 percent BAC: Relaxation, altered mood, and some loss of judgment lead to a decline in the driver’s visual functions and ability to multitask
  • .05 percent BAC: Impaired psychomotor performance, slower eye movements, and reduced coordination lead to difficulty in stirring and processing new visual information. These effects also reduce the driver’s impulse response in emergency situations.
  • .08 percent BAC: Poor muscle coordination leads to difficulty with vision, hearing, speech, and balance. Impairment in reasoning and judgment also significantly reduces the driver’s ability to process new information and react to it accordingly.

One way to curb alcohol-related car accidents is through raising awareness. Learning the effects of alcohol can allow people to see how much the substance can impair their ability to drive. When drivers learn the devastating consequences of driving while drunk, they can be implored to be more careful while operating their vehicles.

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