Although the majority of West Virginia motorists try to drive safely, others engage in risky behaviors. Drunk driving is one of those that can put everyone on the road at risk of a serious crash.
How does drinking affect driving ability?
Drinking alcohol affects the body in a number of ways that significantly impact your ability to safely drive. Alcohol is a depressant, which means it can slow down your central nervous system. This can lead to drowsiness, slower reaction time, impaired concentration and reduced judgment. Your coordination and vision can also become impaired when you drive drunk.
Considering all of these effects, if you get behind the wheel even after consuming one drink, you might not be able to safely operate your vehicle. Depending on your body chemistry and weight, it might take several drinks or just one to become impaired. A person doesn’t even have to be over the legal BAC limit of .08 to get into a car accident.
Individuals who drive drunk are more likely to do things they would normally not do while driving. In addition to driving erratically, a person under the influence is more likely to neglect to use turn signals, use headlights or even follow traffic laws. Speeding, tailgating and running red lights or stop signs are very common. In the worst-case scenario, a drunk driver might not even notice pedestrians trying to cross the road.
How many people are killed in drunk driving accidents?
Every year, around 10,000 people nationwide die as a result of drunk driving accidents. This means that approximately 30% of all fatalities from car accidents occur directly due to driving under the influence of alcohol, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
In West Virginia, 24% of all car accident fatalities occur annually as a result of drunk driving. These are devastating losses and families who have lost loved ones due to them are entitled to file a lawsuit.
Drunk driving accidents can be quite serious. If you were affected, hold the at-fault driver liable for your injuries.