Alcohol can cause a myriad of accidents and can leave drivers, passengers, and families hurt and heartbroken.
In a September accident in Scottsboro, a passenger died when the pickup truck in which he was traveling left the roadway and hit an embankment. The driver was also injured. Neither the driver nor the passenger was wearing a seatbelt. Troopers said that alcohol factored into the crash.
Earlier in June 2015, a teenage driver died after an intoxicated underage driver ran a red light and struck the victim’s car, a Toyota Corolla. The impact pushed the Corolla into a third car. The intoxicated driver also attempted to leave the scene of the accident—a felony offense.
How Alcohol Affects Driving Ability
Most know that alcohol impairs a driver’s ability to operate the vehicle safely. Here are just a few examples of how alcohol affects driving.
- Alcohol affects reaction time. While a driver is under the influence, his responses are slower. For example, if the car in front of him brakes suddenly, he may not notice, process, and react in time to prevent an accident.
- Alcohol can affect spatial awareness as well as judgment. Alcohol affects drivers’ ability to recognize how close they are to another vehicle, how much time there is to get through a light, and even where a turn is that they want to make.
- Alcohol can affect physical coordination. Instead of putting the car into drive, an intoxicated driver may put it in reverse (or vice versa). He might hit the gas instead of the brake (or vice versa). He might misjudge the distance between his car and a pedestrian or another car, or turn the wheel the wrong way. An intoxicated driver may also mismanage his turn signals.
- Finally, alcohol gives people a false sense of security and confidence. This might make it seem okay to take unnecessary and dangerous risks. It might also lead them to believe that they can “just squeeze by” or talk themselves out of a problem. And, of course, a drunk driver may believe he is okay to drive himself home.
So what is the solution?
Every drunk driving accident is preventable. If a driver decides to go out drinking, he should make arrangements beforehand: have a designated driver, take a cab or Uber, or get a ride from a friend. Driving under the influence is never worth it. An intoxicated driver puts his own life and the lives of anyone else on or near the road in jeopardy.
There are a lot of misconceptions about how blood-alcohol concentration works. To put it simply, alcohol in the blood will stay there until it has worn off. Time is the only cure—not water or coffee. Each drink takes a minimum of one hour to leave the bloodstream.
There are keychain breathalyzer tests that promise to determine blood alcohol concentration, but these may not be entirely accurate. So again, the best bet is to create a plan for an alternate ride home if you plan to drink.
People know that drinking and driving is dangerous, but many do it anyway. If you or someone you love suffers injuries in an accident with a drunk driver, do not hesitate to contact a car accident lawyer at Martinson & Beason, P.C. Give us a call at 256-533-1667 to set up a consultation about your case.