You undoubtedly have no way of knowing who is behind the wheel of each and every vehicle when you’re driving along a North Carolina roadway. You also have no control over the actions of other drivers, which is why traveling anywhere by motor vehicle carries an inherent risk for personal injury. Certain issues, however, increase that risk, such as if a nearby motorist has consumed alcohol before driving.
Alcohol affects every person’s brain and body differently. Regarding motor vehicle collisions caused by drivers suspected of intoxication, the main issue is whether their blood alcohol content (BAC) level was at or beyond the legal limit for driving at the time. If someone with a BAC of .08 or higher collides with your vehicle, then, according to North Carolina law, you’ve been hit by a drunk driver.
Noticeable impairment is pertinent in this state as well
As you may have learned when you obtained a license to drive in North Carolina, your BAC level isn’t the only thing that matters if a police officer pulls you over for suspected drunk driving. In this state, it is also illegal to operate a motor vehicle if you are noticeably impaired, which might include issues such as not being able to walk straight or slurring your speech when you try to talk.
Alcohol impedes a person’s ability to drive in many ways
If you notice someone driving erratically as you navigate the flow of traffic, it’s always best to try to distance yourself from that particular driver; however, it’s not always possible. The following list includes impediments that often occur when a driver has consumed alcoholbefore getting behind the wheel:
- He or she is more likely to overcorrect if the vehicle skids or veers out of position.
- If you have alcohol in your system, your reaction time may be significantly slower than normal.
- Alcohol impairs depth perception, which makes it difficult for a driver to judge distance between his or her vehicle and another car or object, such as a curb or parked car.
- A drunk driver’s ability to match speed with the current traffic pattern may also be an issue.
- Cognitive ability may become impaired, which might result in a driver thinking it’s safe to maneuver a merger or pass when it’s not.
You’re not responsible for another driver’s behavior. You are also not always able to avoid a collision if a drunk driver is nearby. Even if you’re alert and cautious at the wheel, if someone runs a red light or veers out of his or her lane into your lane, there may not be enough time for you to safely avert a crash.
Drunk driving collisions often increase in number during the holidays
Data shows that there is typically an increase in the number of drunk drivers on the road during a holiday weekend or season. If you suffer injury because someone goes to a holiday party and consumes alcohol, then chooses to drive instead of hiring transportation or relying on a designated driver, you shouldn’t have to be responsible for the financial consequences that may result from a collision.
Why should you have to pay medical bills when the collision that resulted in your injuries may have been preventable were it not for another driver’s irresponsible decision to drive under the influence of alcohol? Many recovering drunk driving accident victims have sought financial recovery for their losses by filing personal injury claims in a civil court.