At some point, if you're like most people, you become concerned about drunk drivers on Missouri roadways. We're pleased to say that public awareness about drunk driving dangers continues to grow, and law enforcement initiatives are helping to keep more impaired drivers off the road. Unfortunately, even with all that progress, the fact of the matter is this: there are drunk drivers on Kansas City roads at all times of the day, every day of the week. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there are approximately 30 drunk driving deaths in the United States every single day - that's a fatality every 48 minutes.
Some drivers want to create a distinction between drunk driving and "buzzed" driving, but in reality, even a low blood alcohol content (BAC) can affect your driving abilities, according to the CDC:
• .02% BAC: Decline in visual functions (rapid tracking of a moving target); decline in ability to perform 2 tasks at the same time (divided attention)
• .05% BAC: Reduced coordination; reduced ability to track moving objects; difficulty steering; reduced response to emergency driving situations
• .08% BAC: Muscle coordination becomes poor (e.g., balance, speech, vision, reaction time, and hearing); harder to detect danger; judgment, self-control, reasoning, and memory are impaired; reduced information processing capability (e.g., signal detection, visual search); impaired perception.
• .10% BAC: Reduced ability to maintain lane position and brake appropriately
• .15% BAC: Substantial impairment in vehicle control, attention to driving tasks, and in necessary visual and auditory information processing
Because we have seen the devastation drunk drivers cause, we offer these tips to help you and your loved ones avoid being injured by a drunk driver.
Your ride home:
• Never get in the car with someone who is impaired. It's never worth it.
• Don't be afraid to "cause a scene." Never ride with someone who is impaired.
• If you have a friend who commonly drinks and drives, drive yourself to all events.
• Carry a cell phone and cash to ensure that you can get a safe ride home if the person you're riding with is intoxicated. Call for help, stay where you are, or take public transportation.
• Serve lots of food, including carbohydrates such as pizza, bread, and pasta.
• Serve low alcohol drinks.
• Stop serving alcohol 2 hours before your party ends.
• Always have water, soda, juice, and coffee available.
• Call a cab for anyone who is impaired or drive them yourself. Have the cab number in your cell phone.
On the road:
• If you suspect a driver is drunk, stay out of the way. Pull over and call 911.
• Never try to pass a drunk driver.
• If a drunk driver is heading toward you, get off the road onto the shoulder, beep your horn, and flash your lights.
Signs of a drunk driver:
• Swerving lane to lane or unsafe lane changes
• Erratic speeding, breaking, or swerving
• Driving without headlights at night
• Driving on the wrong side of the road
• Driving too fast or too slow
• Aggressive driving such as tailgating
For more information about personal injury claims connected to drunk driving accidents, please visit our website.