Just about everyone knows that it is illegal to drive while under the influence of alcohol—and just about everyone knows that driving drunk greatly increases your chances of causing a traffic accident. But not everyone understands exactly why drinking affects one’s ability to drive or that alcohol consumption can lead to accidents and injuries for several different reasons.

Here are four ways that alcohol can affect your driving ability:

•    Clouded judgment leads to speeding and reckless driving. Alcohol doesn’t just affect physical coordination. It also affects your brain and your behavior. Alcohol can harm your judgment and give you false confidence—two issues that can lead to speeding, unsafe lane changes, or reckless driving. It’s no accident that alcohol is associated with issues such as street racing accidents.
•    Slowed reaction times means not being able to avoid hazards. Alcohol seriously interferes with your ability to respond to what is happening in the world around you, and to do so in a timely fashion. You may have trouble judging speed and stopping distances. You may also take several more seconds than normal to brake, swerve, or respond to traffic signals.
•    Coordination and balance issues may mean dangerous swerving. Alcohol makes it more difficult to focus on several tasks at once, such as operating your car while also keeping an eye on the road. The result could be losing control of your vehicle or running off of the road. Motorcycle riders in particular may be affected by reduced coordination and balance.
•    Too much alcohol can result in falling asleep or passing out behind the wheel. Extremely inebriated drivers may black out, pass out, or fall asleep while operating their vehicle. These issues can cause catastrophic injuries, especially when the driver passes out with his or her foot on the gas pedal. Some drivers don’t even wake up when their car leaves the roadway or strikes an object.

There are extremely good reasons for Virginia’s DUI laws: Drinking and driving affects almost every aspect of safe driving. Even today, one out of three serious car accidents involves a driver who has consumed alcohol or who is under the influence of drugs.

If you’ve been injured in a drunk driving car accident, you may deserve compensation. Speak to one of our Warrenton traffic accident attorneys today to learn more about your case through a free evaluation. Call 540-341-0007.

Andrew Thomas
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Civil litigation attorney in Virginia and is AV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell.

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