In today’s day and age, it may be difficult to tell a drunk from a distracted driver. Both drive very erratically at times. The drunk motorist operates their vehicle while intoxicated by either drugs or alcohol. The distracted one drives while under the influence of overstimulation from music, eating, cellphone use, texting, conversations, shaving, getting dressed or doing their hair or makeup. As you might imagine, both intoxication and distractions can result in poor outcomes for motorists.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data shows that drunk driving rates have decreased in recent years. Those same statistics show that the complete opposite has occurred with distracted driving rates, though.
Safe driving requires the ability for you to multitask behind the wheel. You must stay in your lane, maintain a lawful and secure speed and be aware of the road conditions. You must also be mindful of the cars in front of, behind and beside you. You also have to be careful not to collide into any obstructions on the road.
Anyone who drives under the influence of drugs and alcohol is likely to experience delayed reaction times and diminished driving skills. A distracted driver may also be slow to react to different stimuli, resulting in them making careless and costly errors. Their judgment may also become compromised because they are doing too many things at once.
Drunk driving is a severe issue in the United States. NHTSA data shows that roughly 10,000 individuals lose their lives to drunk drivers on an annual basis. Those same statistics show that an additional 300,000 become injured. That federal data shows that men between the ages of 26 and 29 account for 20% of these road incidents.
That same federal government data also shows that distracted driving claims the lives of 3,500 people annually, with another 400,000 sustaining injuries. Females between the ages of 16 and 24 are mostly responsible for these road events.
If there’s one thing that you should know about drunk or distracted driving incidents, it’s that they often result in innocent Baton Rouge motorists or bystanders suffering from catastrophic injuries. An attorney will want to learn more about the events leading up to your crash before advising you of how Louisiana law may allow you to file a lawsuit to recover damages in your case.