Driving is a privilege and a responsibility. Unfortunately, some drivers on the road disregard the safety of others by driving while impaired. There are three main forms of impairment - alcohol, drugs, and distracted driving.
Alcohol is one of the most commonly abused substances, and it can significantly impair a driver’s ability to operate a car safely. Alcohol affects judgment and reaction time, making it difficult for drivers to make sound decisions or respond quickly in an emergency, like another driver swerving into their lane or an animal running onto the road. Furthermore, alcohol consumption impairs vision and coordination, leading to careless mistakes that would otherwise be easily prevented.
Alcohol impairment is illegal in all states, and it is important for drivers to remember that even one drink can still impair their judgment and decision-making skills behind the wheel.
Alcohol Impairment Statistics
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), every day, 32 people across the nation die in drunk-driving crashes.
The effects of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) on driving are as follows:
- 0.02% BAC - decline in visual functions and ability to multitask.
- 0.05% BAC - reduced coordination, ability to track moving objects, difficulty steering, reduced response to emergency driving situations.
- 0.08% BAC (the legal limit for drivers over 21) - poor coordination, short-term memory loss, reduced speed control, information processing capability, and perception.
- 0.10% BAC - reduced ability to maintain lane position and brake appropriately.
- 0.15% BAC - substantial impairment in vehicle control, attention to driving, and necessary visual and auditory information processing.
Driving under the influence of drugs impairs your ability to operate a vehicle safely. Depending on the drug, users can experience decreased reaction times, blurred vision, impaired judgment, dizziness or lightheadedness, and an inability to focus on the task. These effects can significantly increase your chances of getting into an accident while behind the wheel. It's also important to remember that different drugs have drastically different effects—and some of them can be more dangerous than others when mixed with driving behind the wheel.
Marijuana has been linked to reduced reaction time, impaired motor coordination and judgment, and drowsiness in drivers who have used it prior to getting behind the wheel.
Stimulants like cocaine or methamphetamines can make drivers feel more alert and energized than normal, leading them to drive recklessly or make bad decisions while driving due to their altered state of mind.
Certain prescription drugs and over-the-counter medication can cause drowsiness or confusion and should not be mixed with driving activities. Be sure to read all labels carefully before taking any medication, and check with your doctor about any potential side effects that could impair your driving skills.
Distracted driving is defined as any activity that takes attention away from the primary task of driving safely. Distracted driving includes texting while driving, eating behind the wheel, adjusting the radio dials, etc..
While these activities may seem innocuous compared to drinking or taking drugs, they can often be just as dangerous because they require drivers’ attention away from the task at hand – driving safely from point A to point B. Distracted driving has been linked with a variety of accidents, most commonly rear-end and head-on collisions.
Bryan Car Accident Lawyers
It is essential for all drivers—whether they are experienced professionals or new drivers—to be aware of the three most common forms of driver impairment so that they can remain safe on the roads at all times. Being mindful of alcohol consumption, drug use, and distracted behavior while operating a vehicle can help reduce the likelihood of being involved in an accident due to these forms of impairment.
If you have been injured in an accident due to someone else’s negligence or recklessness on the roadways, contact our team at The Payne Law Group today for legal assistance by calling (979) 300-7406 or filling out our online contact form!