Whether they know it or not, Louisiana residents risk their lives every time they drive. While cars are generally safe, other drivers often pose serious safety hazards to drivers on the roadways. In particular, there is a large risk car accidents caused by drunk drivers.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 33,561 people in the United States were killed in 2012 by drunk drivers. A drunk driver is defined as someone with a blood alcohol content level measuring over .08 percent. The number of nationwide fatalities was an increase of 4.6 percent over the number of people killed in 2011. In particular, the largest jump in the rate of fatalities in 2012 was among truck drivers. In that category, there was an 86 percent increase in fatal DUI accidents. In Louisiana, in 2012, 241 people were killed by drunk drivers. This was a 10 percent increase over 2011.
Drunk drivers are dangerous to Louisiana drivers for a number of reasons. First, it doesn’t take much alcohol to affect a person’s judgment and motor skills. In fact, even with a blood alcohol content level of .02 percent, a person has already experienced an altered mood and some loss of judgment. A BAC level of .05 percent results in difficulty tracking objects and reacting to emergency situations.
By the time a person reaches a BAC level of .08 percent, he or she has significantly changed. They have slower eye movements, reduced concentration, memory loss, impaired perception and poor muscle coordination. With this poor coordination comes a loss in basic skills including hearing, balance, speech and vision. Overall, the person’s reaction time is slowed.
With this data and information, it is easy to see why drunk drivers are so dangerous and why they cause so many car accidents. Those injured by drunk drivers should know that they have legal rights and should seek legal assistance.
Source: National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc., “Drinking and Driving,” accessed on July 27, 2014