Archive for November, 2014

Columbia Crash Risk Heightens With ‘Buzzed Driving’

Many motorists think they can have a drink or two and still get behind the wheel safely. A personal injury lawyer knows it can be very difficult to predict a safe amount to drink without your driving being affected. 

Because even a small amount of alcohol may affect your ability to drive, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently reminded motorists that “buzzed driving” is indeed drunk driving. With holidays like Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years, coupled with the earlier darkness due to daylight-saving time ending, it is more important than ever for motorists to be aware of the high risks associated with driving after consuming alcohol.

Buzzed Driving Can Increase the Risk of Collisions

One of the biggest challenges in preventing intoxicated driving is that people who have consumed alcohol may not be able to make a rational choice about whether they can safely drive. As Young Men’s Health cautions, having one drink can make it harder to think clearly and affect your judgment. As a result, after you have consumed alcohol, you may believe that you are OK to drive when really it would be unsafe for you to do so.

The Daily Mail also reported on a study demonstrating how difficult it is to make accurate predictions about when you have had too much to drink such that your driving will be affected. Researchers found that one thin dancer was able to consume considerably more alcohol than someone twice as heavy as she was before her ability to drive safely was affected. While weight and gender are important factors in blood-alcohol content estimation, the historical frequency of alcohol consumption and a variety of other things all impact the way in which alcohol affects you.

Here’s a fact: Most people really can’t drink as much as they think before their driving is affected. This is why the National Transportation Safety Board is advocating for the permissible blood-alcohol concentration limit to be dropped from the current level of .08 percent to a lower level of .05 percent. The reason is once a person reaches the .05 percent level, driving abilities may already be significantly impaired. For some people, just one drink would result in the legal threshold being reached or exceeded.

Business Insider published a chart showing just how little you can actually consume before you have had too much alcohol to be legally allowed to drive. For example, after a 100-pound man had consumed only two drinks, his blood-alcohol concentration would be at .09 percent. A 180-pound man would only have to drink three drinks before he reached a blood-alcohol concentration level over the legal limit and even a 220-pound man could have just four drinks.

It is always better not to take a chance and drive when you are buzzed. So before you start drinking for the night, be sure you have a designated driver or another plan in place to get home without getting behind the wheel.

Contact Columbia injury lawyers at Matthews & Megna LLC by calling 1-803-799-1700 or visit Serving the entire Florence, Darlington, Columbia, Midlands and Pee Dee, SC area.