The second part of our driving behaviors series of blogs discusses DUI accidents. As with distracted driving, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a choice. Drivers who choose to get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle impaired by drugs or alcohol put themselves and all others on the road in danger. In the blog below, we discuss the dangers of drunk driving and what you should do if a drunk driver injures you.
How Deadly is Drunk Driving in Louisiana?
Crashes involving alcohol totaled almost 41 percent of the fatal traffic accidents in 2018 (285 crashes). Alcohol-impaired drivers were involved in approximately 6.5 percent of the injury crashes that year (2,957). It is estimated that 305 people died in 2018 in DUI accidents in Louisiana. In Orleans Parish, there were 18 fatal alcohol-related accidents and 392 injury crashes involving alcohol during 2018.
Sadly, roughly 30 people died in drunk driving crashes each day in the United States during 2017 (10,874 for the entire year). Even though drunk driving is illegal, many drivers choose to ignore the information about how alcohol impairs a driver’s ability to operate a motor vehicle safely.
How Does Alcohol Impact a Driver?
According to information provided by the NHTSA, a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) of just .02 results in some loss of judgment and relaxation, which results in a decline in visual functions and the ability to perform two tasks simultaneously. At a BAC of .05, a driver may have difficulty steering, has a reduction in response times to emergency driving situations, and experiences a reduction in coordination.
When a driver reaches the legal limit of .08 BAC, the driver’s muscle coordination decreases substantially making it difficult for the driver to balance, speak, or see clearly. Perception, short-term memory, and information processing are all impaired. As a person’s BAC increases, the person becomes increasingly dangerous behind the wheel of a vehicle.
What Should I Do If I am Injured in a DUI Accident?
Call 911 immediately to report the accident! Tell the operator that you suspect the other driver may be intoxicated, but do not confront the other driver. You can never predict what a drunk person may do if you confront or accuse the person of drunk driving. When the police officer arrives, explain why you believe the other driver may be drunk, such as swerving between lanes, failing to use turn signals, slurred speech, trouble walking, and other signs of intoxicated driving.
As with any car accident, it is a good idea to take pictures or make videos of the accident scene, whenever possible. You may want to wait until the police arrive if the driver is belligerent or aggressive. You can also ask eyewitnesses for their names and contact information. Remember, even though the driver may be charged with DUI, you must still prove that the driver caused the DUI accident to receive compensation for your injuries from the driver or the driver’s insurance company. Evidence gathered at the accident scene can be very helpful in proving fault and liability.
You also need to document your injuries for an insurance claim. Make sure that you see a doctor as soon as possible if you did not go to the emergency room after the crash.
We also encourage you to contact our office to speak with a New Orleans DUI accident attorney. Our legal team investigates DUI accidents to determine the cause and gather evidence that proves fault. We assist you in filing your insurance claim and negotiating a fair settlement for your claim.
Contact a NOLA DUI Accident Attorney for a Free Case Review
Contact Attorney Fred Olinde of The Olinde Firm by telephone at (504) 587-1440 or 1-800-587-1889 to schedule a free legal consultation with a New Orleans DUI accident attorney.