December is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month. Unfortunately, driving while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs is a serious issue in the United States, especially during the holiday season. With holiday parties and New Year’s Eve celebrations, alcohol consumption is higher during the holidays than at other times of the year. The Nevada personal injury attorneys at Lerner and Rowe want everyone to have a good time celebrating during the season and to do so safely. Here, we review the dangers of impaired driving and offer some safety tips.
What Is Impaired Driving?
Many assume that impaired driving only applies to alcohol. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), impaired driving “happens when someone operates a vehicle while impaired by a substance like marijuana, other illicit drugs, some prescribed or over-the-counter medicines, or alcohol.” There is one death related to impaired driving every 50 minutes in the United States. Impaired driving is entirely preventable, which is why deaths caused by those driving under the influence are so frustrating and difficult.
Not only does impaired driving lead to injuries, accidents, and the potential deaths of innocent bystanders, but it more often than not results in criminal charges for the driver. The Las Vegas car accident attorneys at Lerner and Rowe can help if you’ve lost a loved one due to wrongful death resulting from an impaired driving accident.
Dangers of Impaired Driving
Everyone has a different reaction to alcohol and drugs due to how they are metabolized, tolerance, and other factors. Keep in mind that even if your blood alcohol content is below the legal limit and you feel sober, you may still be too intoxicated to drive. Dangers of impaired driving include:
- Slow reaction time: alcohol leads to slowed reaction time, meaning that you cannot properly prepare for hazards when driving like other cars, animals, pedestrians, or other obstacles. Not being able to respond fast enough to avoid potential dangers can cause accidents and injuries.
- Reduced focus and concentration: drinking impairs one’s ability to focus. It may impair your ability to concentrate or cause you to lose concentration often. This might lead to an increase in other types of distracted driving, such as fumbling with the radio or using your phone.
- Poor coordination: since alcohol is a depressant, it impacts the central nervous system by worsening hand-eye coordination.
- Lack of judgment: Being drunk impairs your ability to use rational thinking. Because it decreases inhibitions, alcohol encourages people to act impulsively and without thinking.
A drunk person’s impaired judgment might lead them to believe that they are safe to drive. Problems on the road are harder to anticipate when you aren’t thinking clearly.
- Memory loss: blackouts, or lapses in memory, occur when alcohol prevents the brain from encoding recently acquired information into long-term memory. This already damages your judgment, but if you’re behind the wheel, it’s far worse.
- Increased chance of an accident: driving while intoxicated increases the likelihood of an accident and also decreases your ability to recall information in the event of an accident.
Impaired Driving Prevention
Preventing impaired driving is easy and something that everyone who plans on partaking in alcohol should plan for. The temptation of impaired driving is real for some people who do not have a ride home, who suffer from alcoholism, and who have driven while impaired in the past without getting caught. It is not worth the risk of driving and potentially ending your life or someone else’s. Follow these tips to prevent impaired driving.
- Make a plan before going out: if you’re going out, make sure to have a designated driver either in your group or plan to call a rideshare or a taxi.
- Keep your guests safe: if you are hosting a party, ensure your guests get home safely. Don’t let your guests get behind the wheel if they’ve been drinking; take their keys away and allow them to spend the night. Property owners might be held liable if someone leaves their house intoxicated and causes an accident.
- Do not get in a car with someone who has been drinking: being a passenger to an impaired driver is just as dangerous as drinking and driving yourself. If you suspect someone is drunk and is trying to drive, attempt to stop them from driving–doing so might save a life.
- Avoid peer pressure: peer pressure isn’t just for teenagers. If you don’t plan on drinking or do not consume alcohol regularly, certain social situations can make you feel pressure to do so.
Injured By an Impaired Driver?
Lerner and Rowe hope that everyone stays safe while celebrating, especially during the holiday season when there is plenty to celebrate. Even following safety precautions does not guarantee an accident won’t happen. If it does, the Nevada personal injury attorneys at Lerner and Rowe can help. If you or a loved one have been injured in a drunk driving related accident, or any other type of accident caused by the negligence of another person, contact our office as soon as possible.
We’ve helped thousands of clients obtain compensation for accidents. Our staff of Nevada personal injury lawyers are available to you 24/7, even on holidays. You won’t pay until we win your case because of our “no win, no fee” guarantee. Call us at 844-977-1900 to schedule your free case evaluation. You can also fill out our online form or reach us via LiveChat.