Intoxicated or impaired driving is a prevalent issue in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that every single day almost 30 people die in a motor vehicle crash that involves an alcohol impaired individual. The consequence of impaired driving results not only at a significant human loss, since fatalities occur every 51 minutes, but also a financial repercussion of approximately $60 billion spent annually on alcohol-related crashes.1
Dangers of Alcohol-Impaired Driving
Alcohol has an effect on a driver’s ability to control and operate their vehicle. Most standard understand of the effect of alcohol correlates to a specific blood alcohol concentration. For instance, a driver who has a blood alcohol concentration of .02% begins to experience loss of judgment, relaxation, altered states of mood, decline in visual functions, and an inability to perform two tasks at the same time.2 A driver with a slightly higher blood alcohol concentration around .05% begins to see an impairment in their psychomotor performance, suffer from slower eye movements, experienced a reduction in coordination skills which includes visual perceptions, reaction times, and information processing, possess an inability to track moving objects such as pedestrians or motor vehicles, difficulty in steering, and an overall reduced response to emergency driving situations.3 States do not consider drivers to be legally intoxicated until their blood alcohol concentration has reached or exceeded .08%, however, at this point muscle coordination has significantly decreased resulting in poor balance, speech, vision, reaction time, and hearing, ability to detect dangers is significantly reduced, needed skills such as judgment, self-control, reasoning, and memory are all impaired placing the driver in a low concentration state, propensity to have short-term memory loss, inability to recognize or control speed, and a person’s information processing capabilities which are needed to detect signals or conduct visual searches are significantly impaired.4
Teen Drivers and Drunk Driving
According to the CDC, at all levels of blood alcohol concentration, even those below the legal limit of .08%, there is a greater risk for younger people to be involved in a crash than older people.5 The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report that even though teens are below the minimum drinking age in every single state, they are at the greatest risk for death in an alcohol-related crash. Alcohol is a huge contributing factor in teen deaths and auto accidents in general as approximately 2000 underage drinkers are killed while driving and alcohol consumption is a factor in a third of all teenage auto accident fatalities.6 The tendency for teen drivers to engage in binge drinking, the level of inexperience behind the wheel, the increased likelihood for drunk driving to occur during late hours when visibility issues are already prevalent, and the general physical and mental impairments associated with any level of alcohol consumption are some of the reasons why teen drivers can cause DUI accidents.
Contact an Experienced St. Louis Personal Injury Attorney for a Free Consultation
If you have been involved in an auto accident involving an impaired teen driver, it is important to discuss the circumstances of your injury with an experienced auto accident attorney who can help to protect your legal rights and interests. To contact a personal injury attorney for a free consultation please feel free to call the The Bruning Law Firm trial attorneys at 314-735-8100.