Motorists in New Orleans and elsewhere in Louisiana face the highest risks of involvement in car accidents caused by impaired drivers during weekends. The National Safety Council stresses that the first drink is where impairment begins. They urge drivers to arrange a designated driver, rideshare or taxi to get them home before they enjoy that first drink. According to the NSC, 10,000 U.S. lives are lost each year in accidents linked to impairment.
The agency supports several suggestions to make the roads safer for sober drivers. One such proposal is to lower the current blood alcohol limit of .08 in all states. According to research, most people’s ability to navigate a vehicle safely is already compromised by the time their BAC reaches .08.
However, very few adult drivers support such action. Although most drivers agree that drunk driving is a serious risk, a significant percentage of them admit to overlooking the risk and getting behind the wheel knowing that they are over or close to the legal limit.
NSC believes that efforts to educate drivers about impaired driving are necessary to bring about changes in human behavior. Only then will widespread change related to drunk driving be possible.
Alcohol is not the only problem
The NSC further reports that drugs are another cause of impaired driving. Marijuana, opioids and even certain over-the-counter medications can adversely affect driving ability. They affect mental judgment, motor skills and visual functions. Furthermore, drugs could cause drowsiness. For these reasons, drug impairment is as dangerous as alcohol impairment, and drivers should avoid both.
Motorists in New Orleans are advised to practice defensive driving, which might help them identify impaired drivers. Those who become involved in drunk driving accidents might have grounds to file personal injury lawsuits against impaired drivers. Similarly, surviving family members of deceased crash victims might have viable wrongful death claims to file in pursuit of financial relief.