auto accident drunk driver

How Substance-Impaired Driving Affects Auto Accident Cases and Liability

Impaired driving is a growing problem in Bay Minette and throughout the United States, despite the fact that millions of dollars have been spent over the course of several decades to stop drivers from driving while under the influence. You’re at greatest risk of being hit by an impaired driver in the late nighttime hours and on weekends, but it’s truly a risk that can strike anytime.

If you’ve been hit by a drunk driver, you may be entitled to compensation for their negligence. Let’s talk about your next steps. Call Turner, Onderdonk, Kimbrough & Howell at 251-336-3411 to set up a consultation now.

The Effects of Substance Impairment on Driving

It’s no secret that drinking or doing drugs has a negative impact on your driving. It’s been decades of hearing it from driving instructors, news anchors, researchers, and victims—and yet, people continue to die due to the negligence of impaired drivers. The fact is that alcohol affects your mental and physical abilities in a multitude of ways, all of which are negative when you get behind the wheel.

Some of the most common ways that alcohol affects your driving include:

  • Poor judgment: Alcohol makes it far easier for you to make poor choices, which is why so many people wake up after a night of drinking to see a dozen ignored calls to their ex on their call log. But that poor judgment can be fatal when you get behind the wheel. If you see an obstacle, you may opt to swerve toward it as a joke or speed up to scare your passengers. It may cause you to try to cut someone off while turning left rather than waiting for them to pass through the intersection. There are hundreds of ways this could go wrong.
  • Blurry vision: Alcohol has a negative impact on your vision. You may struggle to see clearly and even have a hard time distinguishing colors, which can be particularly dangerous when you’re at a stoplight.
  • Slower reaction time: Drinking can drastically slow down your reaction time. When you’re driving, being able to react quickly to changes in traffic or unexpected obstacles can literally save your life.
  • Easily distracted: You may find it harder to concentrate after a few drinks. Concentration is key when you’re driving, and drunk drivers often find their minds wandering and their attention anywhere but the road.


Increased Collisions and More Severe Injuries

Drugs and alcohol make the roads safer in two key ways. To start, they increase the number of car accidents in communities like Bay Minette and Chatom. Second, accidents caused by impairment are more likely to result in severe or fatal injuries than other types of collisions. The reasons we discussed earlier outline why accidents are more likely to happen, but why are DUI accidents more likely to be severe or fatal? Impaired drivers often do not realize that they are impaired. They don’t realize that they are in danger until it is too late to take corrective action.

While a sober driver may realize an error in judgment immediately and take evasive action to avoid a crash, an impaired driver may not realize their mistake until they are trapped in their crumpled vehicle. When drivers do not take steps to mitigate the force of a crash, the crash is likely to be much more severe.


Liability and Compensation

If you seek compensation after a crash, you’ll need to prove the other party’s liability. This is often pretty straightforward in a drunk driving crash since the impaired driver is obviously negligent when choosing to drink and drive. Furthermore, these types of crashes often result in criminal charges, which may strengthen your case against the impaired driver.

This doesn’t mean that your case against a drunk driver is cut-and-dry. You still need to advocate for yourself with the help of a personal injury lawyer in Bay Minette if you want to seek full and fair compensation.


Fight for Compensation with the Team at Turner, Onderdonk, Kimbrough & Howell

When you’re ready to start your personal injury claim, the team at Turner, Onderdonk, Kimbrough & Howell is here for you. Set up your consultation now by calling our Chatom office at 251-336-3411, calling our Bay Minette office at 251-336-3697, or contacting us online.

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