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2020 Motor Vehicle Accidents

How Does Alcohol Affect a Motorist?

Drinking and driving is never the right choice. Yet drunk driving crash statistics consistently show that thousands of Americans make this mistake every single year. Some of the issue lies in that too many people think that they are a skilled enough driver or a “strong” enough drinker to be able to avoid the ways alcohol affects their driving abilities. Or they have bought into the myth that one drink is “not enough” to cause intoxication.

The truth is that one drink is enough to affect your driving abilities. It does not matter who you are or how much time you spend behind the wheel, intoxication will affect your driving abilities in predictable and dangerous ways, argued the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

According to the NHTSA, as well as other safety groups, consuming alcohol will impair your:

  • Vision: After a single drink, your visual acuity will lessen. Fine print and distant objects will blur, and your ability to accurately judge a distance will drop. With higher blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels, vision can start to double.
  • Judgment: Most people will admit that they lose their sense of proper judgment when intoxicated, which is why they act out while drunk. While dropping judgment and inhibitions can be fun in the right settings, it is disastrous while driving. Drunk drivers cannot judge distances, speed, signals, etc. correctly, making them unpredictable to other drivers.
  • Reaction time: As alcohol impairment sets in, the brain begins to lose higher cognitive functions and multiple processes will be slowed. Your reaction time will be noticeably longer when inebriated, which is a serious problem because driving requires you to always be alert and ready to react to emergencies.
  • Color distinction: Many people also experience temporary color “blindness” as intoxication limits their color distinction. Even the bright reds and greens of traffic signals can all blend into an indecipherable color due to intoxication, turning every intersection into a dangerous guessing game for a drunk driver.

Were You Hit by a Drunk Driver?

If the driver who hit you admitted to being drunk or was later given a BAC test that showed they were legally intoxicated, then they were almost certainly exhibiting all of the previously mentioned symptoms. While it is clear that they were increasing the chances of getting into a crash, you are not guaranteed any sort of compensation from them and their insurance company. You will still need to file a claim and fight for the damages you deserve.