According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly 30 people die in drunk driving accidents every day in 2017, while approximately 3,166 people were killed in accidents involving distracted drivers that same year.
The following is a breakdown of how alcohol and distractions can affect driving ability.
The Dangers of Drunk Driving
Consuming alcohol can impair a driver’s ability to make reasonable and safe decisions on the road, delay reaction time, reduce concentration, and decrease vision. Although the legal limit in Colorado and most states is a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of .08 percent, alcohol can impair your senses after one drink.
At .02 percent, a driver may experience some loss of judgment, decline of visual functions, and a decreased ability to multitask. The higher the BAC level rises, the more pronounced the effects of alcohol can be to your bodily functions and decision-making abilities.
The Dangers of Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is considered any activity that diverts a driver’s hands away from the steering wheel, eyes away from the road, and attention away from the main task of operating a motor vehicle. Common distractions include cell phones, passengers, entertainment and navigation systems, food and beverages, and even grooming tools such as toothbrushes and make-up kits.
However, texting while driving is the most common cause of fatal traffic accidents, especially among teenagers and young adults. Sending or reading a text message can take your eyes away from the road for five seconds, which can be like driving the entire length of a football field blind if the vehicle is travelling 55 miles per hour.
What Happens If I’m Involved in a Car Accident with a Drunk or Distracted Driver?
Every driver on the road has a duty of care to follow the traffic laws and drive in a safe manner. When a person drives under the influence of alcohol or while distracted, the duty of care is breached. When such a breach leads to a collision, the injured party can hold the drunk or distracted driver liable due to negligence.