When behind the wheel, a driver is responsible for being aware, keeping his or her eyes on the road and ensuring that he or she can safely operate the vehicle. This means refraining from driving at times when under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Impairment can happen after just one or two drinks, lessening a driver’s ability to react to hazards and avoid accidents. Alcohol is one of the leading causes of motor vehicle accidents, and it often causes harm to innocent motorists and passengers.
As a Texas driver, you could be sharing the road with an intoxicated driver at any time. It may be helpful to learn more about the common signs of intoxication and how you can protect yourself while driving. You may also benefit from learning about the legal options available to you if you suffer harm in an accident caused by a drunk or drugged driver.
Alcohol and driving don’t mix
According to statistics released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, alcohol and other impairment-causing substances are a factor in approximately 40% of all traffic accidents. Many drivers are unaware of the ways that alcohol can impact them, even if they believe they are capable of driving safely. Common ways that alcohol affects drivers include:
- Vision – Impairment makes it difficult for drivers to see objects at their correct distance, and they may also have a difficult time seeing colors well. Alcohol may cause double vision and make it difficult for a driver to focus.
- Judgment – Alcohol dulls a driver’s ability to make proper judgments while behind the wheel. He or she may be less capable of recognizing risks and reacting appropriately to other drivers.
- Reaction – Impairment slows a driver’s reaction times, making it less likely he or she will come to a complete stop in an appropriate amount of time, react to hazards and think critically while operating a vehicle.
Impaired drivers may be unaware of how impaired they are, and others may pay the price for this type of reckless and negligent behavior. If you are a drunk driving accident victim, you will benefit from learning more about the legal options that may be available to you. Through the civil justice system, you may be able to recuperate your financial losses and seek compensation for your emotional duress as well.