What Makes Drinking and Driving So Dangerous?

Drunk Driving Accident Injuries DelawareThe Delaware personal injury attorneys at Silverman, McDonald & Friedman have years of experience representing victims of drunk driving accidents. With offices in Wilmington, Newark, and Seaford, we are always close by when you need us the most.

Those who choose to get behind the wheel drunk often do not understand just how much is at stake. Drunk driving accidents often lead to catastrophic injuries. Many victims have no financial choice but to pursue legal action. While monetary compensation allows victims to afford their treatments and care, it cannot erase the physical damage they endure. It cannot get rid of the trauma, undo the dramatic life changes, or fix any other pain and suffering.

The effect of alcohol on coordination and driving skills

While awareness campaigns do society a great service by spreading the dangers of drunk driving, there’s only so much information that can fit on a billboard or advertisement. They frequently include links to websites to find out more, but the average drunk driver is not likely to visit it. This leads to a lack of total understanding of just why alcohol makes driving so dangerous, thus desensitizing people to the issue and blind to the campaigns. We all know how to drive, so how dangerous could it be?

The truth is, no matter how well you believe you know your own tolerance and driving skills, alcohol negatively affects your ability to drive after only one drink. Your blood alcohol content (or BAC) matters as soon as it is traceable, and puts you in more and more danger the higher it gets. Here are some ways it makes any driver a risk to themselves and those around them.

How much alcohol does it take to impact driving?

  • BAC of 0.02: Relaxation, lower inhibitions, loss of multi-tasking ability, blurry vision, lack of judgement, and mood swings (encouraging road rage and other reckless actions)
  • BAC of 0.05: Lack of coordination, even lower inhibitions, reduced response rate, less ability to track moving objects, decreased muscle control, and a higher lack of judgement
  • BAC of 0.08: Less self-control, coordination, reasoning, judgement, and ability to process information. loss of short-term memory and speed-control also come into play
  • BAC of 0.10: Almost no coordination or ability to control any vehicle, extremely slowed reaction times and tracking ability, tendency to brake at sudden times and slur speech
  • BAC of 0.15: Complete inability to control self or vehicle, inebriated to the point of vomiting and unawareness of anything around them

Any level of BAC makes driving more dangerous, and higher levels lead to lower control. Further, buzzed driving is drunk driving because any lowered state of awareness and control can cause deadly accidents. This is why, here in Delaware, a BAC of 0.08 or above is a criminal offense — however, anyone who feels any effects of alcohol should not drive. It is simply not work the risk.

Common injuries from Delaware drunk driving accidents

Tragically, there are many victims of drunk driving accidents who do not survive. Because drunk drivers are likelier to speed and act recklessly along with being unable to properly sense obstacles, their collisions often happen at high speeds. In the United States, over 10,000 people die each year from alcohol-related accidents, and “383 people were killed in crashes involving an alcohol-impaired driver in Delaware from 2009-2018.”

Those who do survive almost always suffer extreme, life-changing injuries that can and do branch off into their own further complications even decades later. Victims of serious drunk driving accidents may experience:

  • Traumatic brain injuries, which can not only cause devastating medical problems and life-long disability, but can also damage and alter a person’s personality, cognition, memory, and even their ability to speak
  • Spinal cord injuries, frequently leading to partial or total paralysis, nerve damage, and pain
  • Burns and disfigurement in some extreme cases where one or both vehicles ignite
  • Broken or shattered bones
  • Torn or amputated limbs

Victims rarely suffer only one injury; any of the above may be combined, compounded, and exacerbated with each other, in addition to severe psychological trauma and suffering from such an event. One person’s bad decision can lead to someone else needing to cope with a terrible experience that is as expensive as it is life-long. Any serious injury needs some form of medical attention. Victims need treatments, medications, surgeries, home accommodations, and time away from work (or unable to work entirely) to recover as much as they are able, and that can rack up hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical debt.

How can I seek compensation for my injuries?

No one should have to worry about affording to survive, least of all after a stranger’s recklessness. That stranger needs to be held accountable so the victim can receive proper compensation. If you have been injured in a drunk driving accident, you could seek damages that cover all current and future medical expenses related to the injury, any lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damage (such as your vehicle). With such generous, life-saving compensation available, it makes filing a civil injury claim that much more important.

As a victim, it is absolutely understandable to be daunted and intimidated by the idea of taking legal action against someone, but you do not need to be. When you hire an experienced personal injury attorney, you allow them to build your case and advocate on your behalf so you can focus on resting and recovering with your loved ones. Your health should always come first, but Delaware does have a two-year statute of limitations on personal injury cases. Waiting too long could mean losing your chance for compensation.

The personal injury attorneys at Silverman, McDonald & Friedman have years of experience successfully representing victims of drunk driving accidents. We understand that monetary compensation cannot erase the physical damage you endure. It cannot get rid of the trauma, undo the dramatic life changes, or fix any other pain and suffering. It can, however, make your recovery possible. Not only possible, but more comfortable, more affordable.

If a drunk driver caused your accident and your injuries, put your trust in the experienced Delaware personal injury attorneys at Silverman, McDonald & Friedman. We work tirelessly to get you the compensation you deserve, and we maintain offices in Wilmington, Newark, and Seaford for your convenience. To set up an initial, free consultation, call us at 302-888-2900 or use our contact form.