Many Chicago drivers underestimate the risks of driving while buzzed.
Drunk driving accounts for a large percentage of fatal car accidents in the United States. A driver is considered legally drunk when blood alcohol content (BAC) surpasses a certain limit. The legal limit for BAC has changed many times since the 1930s. The limit has been lowered recently from .08 to .05 in most states, including Illinois. A fit and healthy person will reach this limit after three or four drinks. However, driving even after one drink could be dangerous. A driver with a BAC of .01 is around 50 percent more likely than a sober driver to cause a car accident, according to a recent study published in the journal Injury Prevention. A person can reach a BAC of .01 after drinking only six ounces of beer.
How Alcohol Affects Brain Function
A standard drink contains around 14 grams or 1.2 tablespoons of alcohol, says The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. No matter the amount of alcohol, any amount of alcohol can affect brain function. After you consume even a small drink, the chemicals in your brain stop working. As a result, the communication between different sections of the brain may be hampered. This may affect you in many ways. For example, you may experience the following symptoms:
- difficulty in decision making
- difficulty in controlling impulses
- lack of balance
- slow reaction time
- ignoring consequences
You may also experience problems with your eyesight. For instance, you may not be able to see any object in clear focus or may have a problem with depth perception. Some people may have a false sense of confidence after consuming one or two drinks. They may mistakenly think that they are okay to drive. But the fact remains that driving with even a slight buzz could be dangerous. Buzzed drivers are likely to experience poor eye-hand coordination and slow response time. This increases the risk of getting involved in a car accident.
Drivers Underestimate the Risks of Buzzed Drinking
Drunk or buzzed driving accounts for around 170,000 car accidents that cause minor injuries and 10,000 car accidents that cause fatal injuries in the United States every year, according to a report by the National Transportation Safety Board. This represents nearly 30 percent of automobile-related fatalities, says the report. Every year, more than 200 children aged 14 or below get injured from accidents caused by intoxicated driving. When someone drives under the influence of alcohol, he or she puts many other people’s lives at risk. Despite the prevalence of accidents caused by drunk driving, many drivers are seemingly unaware of the risks associated with driving under the influence of alcohol. Nearly 30 million licensed drivers admit that they have driven under the influence of alcohol.
Speak With a Chicago Car Accident Lawyer
Although buzzed driving is not illegal, drivers found guilty of negligent driving as a result of even a small amount of alcohol consumption may face lawsuits. If you suffer an injury as a result of buzzed or drunk driving by someone else, you are entitled to financial compensation. Contact a Chicago car accident lawyer from Willens Law Offices at (312) 957-4166.