New York roads can be stressful to navigate, especially in heavy traffic. There is no way of knowing if a drunk driver is nearby, although it is sometimes possible to notice erratic driving behaviors that suggest that the person behind the wheel might be intoxicated. Alcohol affects every person differently, which is part of the reason there are laws against intoxicated driving.
Drunk driving causes fatalities every day
Throughout the country, there are approximately 28 deaths each day that are associated with drunk driving collisions. That translates to approximately one fatality within every hour. The following list shows how alcohol can impede the ability to safely operate a motor vehicle when a person’s blood alcohol content level is between .02 and .08:
- Decline in ability to perform two or more tasks at once
- Impaired visual perception
- Loss of muscle control
- Impaired judgment or ability to detect danger
- Short-term memory loss
- Reduced response time in an emergency
It is easy to understand how any of these issues might increase the risk for causing a motor vehicle collision. In some cases, a motorist is able to notice another driver’s erratic behavior and take swift action to create distance between his or her vehicle and a suspected drunk driver.
Avoiding a collision is not always possible
A person could be alert and cautious at the wheel and still wind up getting hit by a drunk driver. For example, there might be little to no time to react if a drunk driver blows through a red light doing 70 mph. A person who suffers injury because of another driver’s irresponsible choice to get behind the wheel while intoxicated should not have to bear the financial burden associated with the collision, including but not limited to medical bills or car repairs. This is why state law allows a recovering victim to file a personal injury claim in court.