How does alcohol affect driving abilities?

The last several decades have seen an enormous push to curtail drunk driving. Public safety initiatives have sought to raise awareness of the dangers of driving while intoxicated, and local laws have promised to increase punishments for those caught driving under the influence of alcohol. Sadly, despite these efforts, drunk driving remains a very real problem for New Yorkers and others across the nation. Intoxicated drivers can put unsuspecting motorists at risk of serious harm and death, as they typically don't understand, or don't care about, how alcohol affects their driving abilities.

And the effects are staggering. First of all, an intoxicated driver has a delayed reaction time. This means that he may not hit the brakes in time to stop for slowed traffic or to prevent hitting a pedestrian who is legally in a crosswalk. Second, a drunk driver lacks coordination. This means that such a driver may be unable to properly operate the brake and gas pedals, and his steering movements may be exaggerated.

Third, an individual who is under the influence of alcohol will experience a loss of concentration. Multi-tasking will become more difficult and may result in a driver swerving into oncoming traffic or suddenly changing lanes. Fourth, drunk drivers have decreased vision. These drivers may fail to see cars in their peripheral vision, resulting in them making movements that can cause a car accident. Lastly, intoxication leads to bad judgment. A drunk driver may think he can beat a light or drive safely at a high-rate of speed, but far too often this just leads to devastation, injuries, and death.

Being hurt in one of these wrecks can change the trajectory of an individual's health for years to come. He or she can experience extensive pain and suffering, and financial damages in the form of medical expenses and lost wages can leave an individual struggling to find the care that is right for them. This is why it is critical to fight to hold these negligent drivers accountable. By pursuing a successful personal injury lawsuit, motor vehicle accident victims may be able to recover the compensation they need to obtain the medical care they need, get back on their feet, and reclaim the life that they knew before the accident.

Source: Alcohol Rehab Guide, "Drinking and Driving (DUI)," accessed on April 10, 2017

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