Drinking and Driving Causes Fatal Accidents
I’m Ed Smith, a Fair Oaks car accident lawyer. Staying safe on area roads is a major concern with local drivers, particularly when driving along Highway 50 or Interstate 80. Although California has strict laws regarding drunk drivers, charging them with heavy fines and other penalties, there are still many people who drive while impaired.
How Alcohol Consumption Affects Drivers
Alcohol consumption slows down the central nervous system and acts as a depressant. Cognitive skills that process information are adversely affected as well as coordination. Because alcohol is a depressant, it slows down the reaction time of a driver, reduces their ability to concentrate, affects judgment and causes their vision to blur. Any of the above effects of alcohol consumption on a driver can increase the risk of an accident when a drunk driver is behind the wheel. When a driver exhibits all of the effects of alcohol consumption, it is a disaster waiting to happen.
Incidence of Drunk Driving Accidents
Drunk driving accidents caused more than 10,000 fatalities in 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This means that one person died every minute daily around the nation due to a drunk driver.
Sacramento Drunk Drivers Endanger Others
According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, there were 1,193 deaths and injuries caused by drunk drivers in Sacramento County in 2015. There were 1,123 the previous year. The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office offers information on how to spot a drunk driver, which may help motorists stay safe on the roads. Drunk drivers may exhibit the following behaviors:
- Driving on the centerline
- Swerving out of the lane
- Driver is unable to stay within one lane
- Suddenly stopping without a reason
- Tailgating another vehicle
- Almost running into other objects, including cars that are parked
- Driving with the windows on the vehicle lowered even though it’s too cold outside to do so
- Driving after dark without turning on the headlights
- Driving too slowly for the other traffic or speeding
- Using the wrong turn signals
Avoiding Drunk Drivers
It isn’t always possible to avoid a drunk driver; however, there are ways to defend yourself and lessen the risk.
- If you spot a potential drunk driver up ahead who is swerving or acting erratically, keep your vehicle well behind this driver. Have a passenger call 911 to report the dangerous driver. If you have to call to report it yourself, make sure you use a hands-free phone.
- Be sure to wear your seat belt, and insist that others in your vehicle buckle up. While wearing a seat belt won’t prevent a crash with a drunk driver, it does increase the odds that people in the car will live to tell about it.
- If you drive late at night, you are more likely to encounter a drunk driver than at any other time. Try to avoid it if possible.
- Be more cautious around intersections. Drunk drivers are less likely to obey traffic signals and stop signs and may be tempted to make an illegal turn.
- If you are with friends who have been drinking, don’t drink alcoholic beverages and offer to do the driving.
- Don’t get into a vehicle if the driver is drunk.
Related Articles by Fair Oaks Car Accident Lawyer Ed Smith
Fair Oaks Car Accident Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Fair Oaks car accident lawyer. Being hit by a drunk driver can result in severe injuries or the death of a loved one. If this happened to you or a family member, give me a call at (916) 921-6400 to hear my free and friendly advice. Outside the area code, you can call (800) 404-5400, or use my AutoAccident.com contact form online if it is more convenient.
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Photo Attribution: https://pixabay.com/en/beer-alcohol-background-nobody-2381585/
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