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How Does Alcohol Use Cause A Drunk Driving Accident?

by Feb 22, 2022Car Accidents, Mike Miller, Personal Injury

Alcohol affects our senses and reactions so drastically that having only one or two drinks can make it unsafe for a driver to get behind the wheel. Sadly, .0 use at bars and restaurants is so common in our society that many of us have been in a situation where we’ve had to call an Uber for a family member, friend, coworker, or stranger who would otherwise make the unsafe decision to drive after having a few drinks. 

If there’s one thing we’ve learned in our years as Minnesota drunk driving crash attorneys, it’s that the drunk driver of a vehicle should be responsible for the choices they make. We can’t blame alcohol for an injury-causing car crash – we can only blame the driver who drank the alcohol and possibly the bar or liquor store that furnished the alcohol. While we all know that drunk drivers are dangerous, it is important for sober drivers to understand the traits an intoxicated driver might display because of the alcohol they’ve consumed. 

Here is how alcohol can affect drivers and may cause a drunk driving accident.

Affects Vision

We are all taught to avoid drivers who weave in and out of lanes, drive the wrong way on a one-way or highway, or drive onto the shoulder, for fear that they are intoxicated. These can be common signs of drunk driving because of the way alcohol impairs the driver’s perception or vision. Alcohol makes drivers less concerned with processing what’s in their peripheral vision. Instead, these drivers are more likely to focus on a far-off point for a long time and lose sight of the lane, traffic signs, or shoulder markers. They are also less likely to see another vehicle approaching in a neighboring lane, which may cause a sideswipe or u-turn accident at high speeds. 

Slows Reflexes

The ability to make split-second decisions is an important component of safe driving. When you are behind the wheel, you are responsible for observing and reacting to any circumstances that could put you or another driver in danger. Alcohol affects our ability to react to novel and unexpected occurrences. For example, a drunk driver who decides to run a red light may not possess the reaction time necessary to avoid crashing into oncoming traffic. 

Lowers Inhibitions

Alcohol begins to lower our inhibitions after just one drink. This sometimes leads to a  dangerous paradox where the more intoxicated an individual becomes, the more confident they become in their driving abilities. Of course, we know that alcohol also affects many of the skills that allow us to drive safely, so you’re never a “better driver” after a few beers.

As if choosing to drive home after drinking isn’t risky enough, intoxicated drivers are more likely to take other risks like speeding, not obeying traffic lights, weaving through traffic, going the wrong direction on a highway, or making sudden or sharp turns. These actions can all lead to a single car or multi-car accident and serious injury or death. There is a reason why Minnesota drunk driver accident lawyers often encounter personal injury defendants who were going over 100 miles per hour when they caused a crash – many people would not risk driving at that high rate of speed without any “liquid courage.”

Minnesota Drunk Driving Personal Injury Accident Lawyers

Drunk drivers are unpredictable. Even if you drive defensively, you may have found yourself injured in an accident caused by an intoxicated driver. These accidents and their repercussions are costly for the injured party – medical bills, lost wages, mental anguish, and more.

Sieben Edmunds Miller’s Minnesota drunk driver accident attorneys help clients pursue compensation for injuries caused by a drunk driver. If you were struck by an intoxicated driver, we can help you work toward a favorable outcome to your personal injury case. 

We believe you deserve to focus on your recovery without worrying about your finances. Contact our team after a crash to discuss whether a personal injury case is the best path forward.

Submit your information for a free case evaluation.

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