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Effects of impaired driving and accident costs

Drunk driving is a known safety hazard on Ohio roadways and across the nation. Although laws prohibit driving while impaired by intoxicants like alcohol, drunk driving still occurs frequently and results in accidents and injuries.

Alcohol consumption has been shown to cause a serious decline in a person's ability to operate a vehicle. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published information about the effects. When a person has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent, the person loses physical coordination. Speech, balance, reaction time and even hearing could be reduced because of the intoxication. Poor judgment and lack of reasoning abilities are also associated with this level of alcohol impairment. If a person has a BAC of 0.1 percent, the impairment worsens. An obvious loss of physical coordination becomes apparent. The person loses the ability to stay in a lane or react in time to apply the brakes.

The car accidents that often result take a high toll in monetary and physical damages. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 26 percent of crash costs arise from alcohol-related accidents. Looking at data from the year 2000, it was estimated that, across the United States, $114.3 billion worth of expenses can be attributed to drunk driving crashes. Because substantial numbers of insurance claims come from impaired driver mistakes, 18 percent of insurance premiums result from the need to factor in these costs.

A person injured in a drunk driving car accident might be able to recover damages with a personal injury claim. An attorney is sometimes able to help prepare such a lawsuit after looking at the accident and police reports. If evidence of negligence is present, a lawsuit might regain medical expenses and lost income for the injured person.

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