Impaired Driving Prevention Month
December is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month, a time to reflect and raise awareness of the dire consequences of driving under the influences of alcohol or drugs.
This year, Prestige ER is committed to raising awareness of the dangers associated with impaired driving to help save lives.
Overview of Impaired Driving Statistics
- More than 10,000 people die each year in drunk driving car accidents
- According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 28 Americans die in a drunk-driving car accident every day. This translates to one person every 52 minutes
- One-third of car crash-related fatalities involve a drunk driver
13,592 people perished in car crashes with alcohol-impaired drivers from 2009 to 2018 in Texas, the highest number of deaths in the country
What is Impaired Driving?
Impaired driving or driving under the influence (DUI) refers to drinking alcohol or taking drugs (prescription or illegal) and then operating a motor vehicle.
The vehicle is not limited to cars and trucks; it also includes motorcycles, bicycles, boats, jet-skis, golf carts, and even lawnmowers.
Dangers of Impaired Driving
It is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at or above 0.08% in Texas. However, any amount of alcohol or drugs can significantly impact our ability to drive.
The following are just a few ways in which drugs and alcohol can influence our driving capabilities:
Slow Reaction Time
Our reaction time decreases when we are under the influence or otherwise distracted while driving. The longer it takes to react, the more challenging it becomes to avoid road obstacles, pedestrians, animals crossing a street and breaking on time to avoid crashing into another car.
Lack of Coordination
Alcohol, certain prescription medications, and illegal substances can impact our eye, hand, and foot coordination.
These motor skills are vital when driving. When we are not in complete control of our senses, our risk of getting into an accident increases significantly.
Reduces Our Capacity to Concentrate
Drugs and alcohol have a negative impact on our capacity to concentrate on tasks, including driving. Being distracted, letting our thoughts wander, or feeling sleepy while we are behind the wheel of a car can result in us becoming involved in a severe car crash.
Simply put, alcohol impairs your vision. After a few drinks, your eyesight can become blurry, making it difficult to judge distances or spot obstacles on the road.
Common Impaired Driving Injuries
Fortunately, not all drunk driving-related accidents are fatal, but many can result in severe trauma.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries can mean long recovery times, and for many victims, these injuries can result in permanent partial or complete paralysis.
Spinal cord injuries are time-sensitive; the sooner a patient receives treatment, the better their chances of recovery.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Severe trauma to the brain is not uncommon in car crash victims, and the effects of the injury can be long-lasting.
Traumatic brain injuries can affect a person’s memory, ability to reason, and emotional behavior. Additionally, they can result in loss of vision, hearing, and taste.
The force of impact during a car crash can cause significant internal injuries to organs such as the liver, kidneys, lungs, and heart. These injuries can be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention.
Bone fractures are common injuries of impaired driving-related accidents. However, injury severity varies; some patients will only require a cast, while others may lose a limb.
Soft Tissue Injuries
During a motor vehicle crash, the force of impact can damage ligaments, tendons, and muscles. When the injury occurs in a victim’s back, neck, or shoulder, it can affect their mobility, and for some, it can result in long-term chronic pain.
Some vehicles catch fire after their crash. When this happens, trapped passengers or first responders can sustain severe burns that may result in permanent disfigurement or scarring.
How to Prevent Impaired Driving Accidents
There is only one way to prevent drunk driving accidents: never drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Choose a designated driver, or use a ride-sharing app, taxi, or public transport if you plan or have been drinking
You Are Covered
If you are a victim of an impaired driving accident, know that your insurance is obligated to cover your emergency care regardless of if the ER facility is part of your network or not.
At Prestige ER, we remain committed to helping patients receive the best care possible in their time of need.
Know Where to Go in the Event of an Emergency
Prestige ER is Your #1 Choice During an Emergency.
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Prestige ER is honored to serve the residents and those passing through Plano, Mesquite and surrounding cities.
Part of caring for your health is to know where to go in case of an emergency. Please keep in mind that Prestige ER is Open 24/7 every day of the year, if you need us, we are here for you.
We are available 24/7 because an accident can happen at any time. Do not risk your health! Get help from the ER experts when you need it, visit us immediately.
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