The probability of a serious accident caused by drunk driving is high. Studies show that even with just a small amount of alcohol, a drunk driver is twice as likely to be involved in a traffic accident compared to a sober driver.
Traffic accidents linked to drunk driving occur because consuming alcohol results in an impairment of many of the skills needed to properly operate a vehicle. Impairments can include concentration, visual acuity, judgment, comprehension, reaction time, and decreased coordination. Alcohol can also impair a person’s central nervous system and mental functions, thus causing drivers to disobey traffic laws, even if they had not intended to do so.
In many instances, an intoxicated person may either forget or choose to forget even the most basic driving laws, such as wearing a seatbelt or using their signal lights when making a turn.
Alcohol may also lead to drivers failing to stop at stop signs or to run red lights.
A drunk driver’s peripheral vision is affected and may therefore lead to tunnel vision; he or she may not see the stop sign on the sidewalk or that a traffic light has turned red. Since response time is also affected, a driver may not be able to brake in time to stop for a red light.
Swerving is also a common traffic law violated by a drunk or drugged driver. Due to his or her inability to perform several tasks at once, an impaired driver may have difficulty concentrating on other traffic while staying inside a lane. A drunk driver may also feel drowsy and more relaxed, which may result in his or her swerving after falling asleep at the wheel, or even ending up going the wrong direction on a one-way road.
Depending on how inebriated they are, many drunk drivers also have a tendency to speed or to drive too fast for road conditions. Eager to get to their destination yet impaired, some drunk drivers loose the ability to judge how fast their vehicle is going or are unable to make sense of the numbers on the vehicle’s speedometer. There are also drunk drivers who may have reached a state of aggressiveness or overconfidence, thus causing them to drive recklessly.
A sober person may already find it difficult to follow traffic signs, but an intoxicated individual may find it nearly impossible to do so. If impaired by alcohol or drugs, a driver’s comprehension may be affected. This means that he or she may lose the ability to accurately interpret the pictures, symbols, arrows, words, and colors that are used on the road and leave him or her confused and unable to respond appropriately to a particular situation.
By getting behind the wheel, alcohol-impaired drivers do not only pose a considerable risk to themselves, but are also putting the lives of other drivers and passengers in danger.
The best policy to avoid ever being pulled over by a police officer for a DWI is to arrange for a sober driver. Never put yourself in a position to have to determine if you are physically able to drive a motor vehicle after consuming alcohol.