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How does alcohol affect your ability to drive?

On Behalf of | Jun 30, 2022 | Personal Injury

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that in 2020 alone, 11,654 people were killed in drunk driving accidents. This is a 14% uptick from the number of drunk driving fatalities in 2019. The sad part of these accidents is that they are entirely preventable. Unfortunately, some drivers ignore just how great an effect alcohol has on their driving abilities.

At or above the legal limit

It is easy to see why it is illegal to drive if your blood-alcohol concentration is at or above the legal limit of 0.08. If a driver’s BAC is at 0.08 it is likely that their coordination will suffer. They will have a harder time concentrating and they may even have short-term memory loss.

A BAC of 0.15 is even more dangerous. A driver with a BAC of 0.15 will find their ability to control their vehicle will be substantially impaired. They may be unable to pay attention to any driving task and their ability to process information will be severely impaired.

Drivers shouldn’t be fooled, though, by thinking that if they are below the legal limit, they are safe to drive. Even a BAC of 0.05 can reduce a driver’s coordination and ability to track moving objects. They may find it more difficult to steer and their ability to respond to emergency situations may be impaired.

Some signs a motorist is intoxicated

There are signs you can look out for if you suspect you are sharing the road with a drunk driver. The driver may swerve between lanes, tailgate, run red lights and stop signs and speed up significantly or slow down unnecessarily. They may even travel the wrong way down the street.

Any of these behaviors can lead to a drunk driving accident that results in injuries or worse, fatalities. If you suspect your car crash was caused by a drunk driver you will want to make sure you know more about filing a personal injury lawsuit if appropriate, so you can be adequately compensated for the losses you suffered in the crash.