Impaired driving is a serious problem. Someone who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs can cause devastation, causing serious injury – or worse. In fact, according to accident statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), one person dies in the United States from an alcohol-related car crash every 51 minutes.
But exactly how big is the problem? And how exactly does alcohol affect driving abilities? Read on for an analysis of how dangerous drunk drivers can be to your safety.
Drunk and impaired driving may be a bigger problem than you think. For example, in 2015:
- Over 10,000 people died in drunk-driving collisions.
- Law enforcement arrested 1.1 million motorists for impaired driving.
- Legal and illegal drugs besides alcohol were factors in 16 percent of car crashes.
- Marijuana users were 25 percent more likely to get into a crash than non-marijuana users.
Effects of alcohol on driving
Did you know that just two alcoholic beverages can cause a decline in visual abilities and multitasking? Four alcoholic drinks may result in impaired perception, reduced coordination, difficulty steering and difficulty concentrating. More drinks may result in a driver having difficulty maintaining a lane position and controlling a vehicle.
How to spot drunk drivers
You have no control over whether the other drivers on the road drink and drive. You can, however, watch for warning signs. If you see a driver veering into other lanes, nearly hitting objects near the road or driving too slowly, keep your distance.
Getting hit by a drunk driver is a scary experience. Make sure you contemplate your legal options for compensation if you ever get in a drunk-driving accident.