Drunk driving accidents cause thousands of personal injuries and fatalities every year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are an average of 32 fatalities per day caused by alcohol-related crashes.
Being drunk significantly increases the risk of accidents due to the impact alcohol has on cognitive and physical functions. When under the influence of alcohol, individuals experience impairment in several key areas that are crucial for safe driving.
- Impaired judgment and decision-making. Alcohol affects the brain’s frontal lobe, responsible for decision-making and judgment. Under the influence, individuals are more likely to take risks, make poor decisions, and underestimate dangerous situations. These factors lead to a higher likelihood of accidents.
- Reduced coordination and motor skills. Alcohol impairs motor skills and coordination, affecting a person’s ability to control their movements accurately. This can result in difficulty with tasks such as steering, braking, and maintaining proper balance while driving.
- Slowed reaction time. Reaction time is crucial for safe driving, and alcohol slows down neural processing. In an emergency or unexpected situation on the road, a drunk driver may react more slowly, increasing the chances of a collision.
- Decreased concentration and attention. Alcohol impairs the ability to focus and maintain attention on the task at hand. This lack of concentration can lead to distracted driving, increasing the risk of missing important cues on the road and causing accidents.
- Poor vision and perception. Alcohol affects vision and depth perception, making it challenging to accurately assess distances and judge the speed of other vehicles. This impairment can result in misjudgments and errors in navigating traffic.
- Sleepiness and fatigue. Alcohol can exacerbate feelings of tiredness and fatigue. Combining alcohol consumption with exhaustion from a long day can amplify drowsiness, impairing alertness and increasing the likelihood of falling asleep at the wheel.
- Inability to multi-task. Driving requires the ability to multitask, such as scanning the environment, reacting to road signs, and maintaining awareness of other vehicles. Alcohol impairs this multitasking ability, making it challenging for individuals to handle the complexity of driving safely.
How Does Drunk Driving Increase the Risk of Car Accidents?
A single-vehicle accident is when there is a crash but only one vehicle is involved. Typically, a single-vehicle crash happens when a vehicle leaves the roadway and moves onto the shoulder, median, roadside or parking lane, etc. and then crashes into an unmoving object like a tree, pole, wall, or fire hydrant.
Drunk-driving is a major crash risk factor for single vehicle crashes. Single-vehicle accidents often happen when a driver loses control of their vehicle, which is much more likely to happen when judgement and reflexes are impaired by alcohol. A recent single-vehicle accident in Bellingham, WA involved a suspected drunk driver.
Driver Arrested for Suspected DUI at Time of Single-Vehicle Crash
As reported by KPUG1170.com, WSDOT says that single-vehicle accident involving a suspected drunk driver blocked all lanes of the Guide near the Smith Road intersection just before 11 a.m. Thursday, January 4. According to WSP Trooper Kelsey Harding, a car was driving northbound when it crossed into the southbound lanes and crashed into a ditch.
The driver was taken to PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center in Bellingham but they were later arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence at the time of the crash.
We help victims of drunk driving accidents!
Tario & Associates, P.S. has over 40 years’ experience representing victims of drunk driving car accidents. When you have been seriously injured through no fault of your own, you may need a legal advocate who will fight for the settlement you deserve.
If you or a loved one was injured in a collision because of the negligence of another, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal rights. Let an experienced car accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times larger with the help of a lawyer. Call the personal injury lawyers at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!