There’s a reason that driving under the influence of alcohol is illegal. It leads to many tragic car accidents every single year. Annually, thousands of people suffer injuries or lose their lives due to these crashes. Drunk driving has been prohibited simply to reduce the number of impaired drivers on the road.
How do these accidents occur?
Drunk drivers make significant mistakes
Impaired individuals may make driving mistakes that never would’ve occurred otherwise. For example, consider wrong-way accidents on the interstate. They should never occur because there are signs and traffic control systems to prevent them. But what researchers have found is that the leading cause of wrong-way accidents is impairment. Someone who is under the influence can easily miss these warning signs and make mistakes they wouldn’t make when they’re sober.
They don’t react quickly
Another major issue is that alcohol can have an impact on your reaction times. It slows you down. The driver themselves may not make a mistake, per se, but they still need to react to things that happen around them. For example, someone may be driving safely when they encounter an unexpected traffic jam. If they don’t hit the brakes in time, they could rear-end the vehicle ahead of them. Even a small delay in action can be enough to cause a crash.
They black out behind the wheel
In the worst cases, an impaired driver will actually black out while operating their vehicle. They won’t remember anything that happened. Their body will be operating on autopilot. This person may be just as shocked as anyone when they wake up the next day and find out that they’ve caused a serious car accident.
What comes next?
Have you been injured in a crash that was caused by an impaired driver? You may be able to seek financial compensation for medical bills, lost wages, lost earning capacity, pain and suffering and other costs. Seeking legal guidance is a good place to start as you begin navigating the aftermath of this tragic, preventable harm.