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What is Impaired Driving?

Man's hand holding a beer and keys approaching a car door.

Impaired driving is anything that affects your ability to operate a motor vehicle. Impaired driving is hazardous and is one of the top causes of car crashes in the U.S. — here’s what you need to know.

Impaired Driving Statistics

The following statistics illustrate the dangers of driving while impaired:

Alcohol-Impaired Driving

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), each day, 29 people die in drunk driving crashes — that’s one life lost every 52 minutes. You can learn more about the prevalence of drunk driving in Missouri here:

Related Article: Drunk Driving Accident Statistics in Missouri [Infographic]

Drug-Impaired Driving

The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that in 2018, 12.6 million Americans drove while under the influence of marijuana or other illicit drugs. Drug-impaired driving also includes prescribed or over-the-counter medications that cause drowsiness or mixing drugs and alcohol — all of which are severe concerns when behind the wheel.

How Impaired Driving Affects The Ability to Operate a Motor Vehicle

When driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs, the following effects take place:

  • Impaired judgment: Alcohol and other drugs affect the part of the brain needed to make decisions. It’s critical to judge distance, speed, and the spatial distance between your vehicle and other vehicles on the road.
  • Blurred vision: When driving, it’s critical to have proper vision to see road signs, traffic signals, and other vehicles. Experiencing blurred vision can be the catalyst to a crash.
  • Lack of color distinction: Traffic signs and signals have distinct colors, and we often recognize what they mean by just the color alone. When the ability to distinguish colors is limited, the potential for a dangerous accident can increase severely.
  • Slow reaction time: When behind the wheel, it's imperative to be alert and process information quickly should you need to make a rapid decision. Alcohol and drug impairment means being less alert, and you may not react to potential danger in time, thus leading to a crash.

Driving while impaired can also encompass driving while distracted, such as texting or talking on the phone while driving and driving while fatigued.

Related Article: How Many Accidents Are Caused by Texting and Driving?

Hurt in an Impaired Driving Car Crash? Meyerkord & Kurth Can Help.

Being injured in a car crash due to impaired driving can mean a long road to recovery physically, mentally, and financially. From pain and suffering to mounting medical bills, the consequences of a car crash can be severe. When you need to focus on healing from your injuries, let us be your advocate and deal with the insurance companies. The attorneys at Meyerkord & Kurth are here to defend your rights to receive the compensation you deserve when harmed by a negligent driver.

For a free, no-obligation consultation, contact Meyerkord & Kurth today.

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