Car Accidents Happen For Many Reasons: Drunk Driving is One of Those Reasons
Little Rock, AR (Law Firm Newswire) May 2, 2014 - Despite the amount of educational material aimed at drunk drivers, people still drive while under the influence.
“Most people think of drunk drivers as being completely inebriated, weaving in and out of lanes, veering from one side of the road to another, running stop signs or even driving the wrong way on a highway. While these kinds of drunken motorists are dangerous, a new study shows that even those with low blood alcohol levels can be high risk drivers,” suggests Michael Smith, an Arkansas drunk driving lawyer.
The University of California published their research in the Injury Prevention Journal. What it revealed was startling and frightening, but perhaps not unexpected. The scientists studied 570,731 fatalities between 1994 and 2011, using records from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS). This system also tracks the blood alcohol content (BAC) of every driver in a crash. In this particular study, researchers focussed on drivers with a BAC of .01, enough to get a bit high, but not totally drunk. Drivers slightly under the influence tend to refer to this level of inebriation as having a “buzz on.”
The statistics showed that those with a BAC of .01, which is significantly lower that the legal limit of .08, were 46 percent more likely to be the at fault driver in a fatal car wreck and that there is no defined ‘threshold’ for when the risks of driving drunk suddenly get higher. Across the board, the risk of collisions increased as the BAC went up. “This is important news,” adds Smith, “as it lends a great deal of credence to the call from the National Transportation Safety Board's (NTSB) to lower the legal limit to .05.” NTSB numbers show drivers with a BAC of .08 are 169 percent more certain to get into an accident. Lowering the legal limit would save thousands of lives.
“Driving while under the influence is not only illegal, but it is negligent. If you have been involved in an accident with an impaired driver, whether they were under the influence of a drug or alcohol or driving while distracted, you are entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages and other damages,” says Smith. Only an injury lawyer can take this kind of case to court to ensure the plaintiff obtains justice.
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