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Impaired Driving Dangers and Prevention

Impaired Driving Dangers and Prevention

Impaired driving dangers are a serious reality that take precious lives each year.  They are time-sensitive emergencies that can be prevented.  Lives can be saved.  Let’s get to know about this topic and please help us create awareness to help save lives.  In an average year, 30 million Americans get behind the wheel of a car while drunk, while an estimated 10 million drive while under the influence of an illicit drug.

This year has been anything but average. This year more of us have turned to alcohol to help us cope with the pandemic’s challenges.

This surge in alcohol consumption is concerning because it increases the number of fatal accidents, especially during the Holiday Season.

The Real Cost of Impaired Driving in America

Aside from the $44 billion annual costs of alcohol-related crashes, the most significant loss is human lives.

An estimated 29 Americans die in motor vehicle crashes involving an impaired driver every day. This translates to one death every 50 minutes.  Due to these alarming statistics, we are bringing you the Impaired Driving Dangers and Prevention.  Together, we can prevent traffic accidents.

Never forget that under Texas Law, Insurance Companies Must Cover ER Trips Involving Traffic Accidents.

Impaired driving does not necessarily mean drunk driving; it also involves distracted driving and drugged driving. In fact, drugs, both legal and illegal, are involved in about 16% of car crashes.

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

Dangers of Impaired Driving

Get to know about the impaired driving dangers to help prevent a tragedy.  Any amount of alcohol or drugs can significantly impact our ability to drive. Here are several ways in which drugs and alcohol can influence our driving capabilities:

Slow Reaction Time

When we are under the influence or otherwise distracted while driving, our reaction time decreases. A slower response time makes it harder to avoid obstacles such as pedestrians crossing a street and breaking on time to avoid crashing into another car.

Lack of Coordination

Drinking alcohol or taking drugs affects our motor skills, specifically our eye, hand, and foot coordination. These motor skills are vital when driving. Without these crucial coordination skills, we may not be able to avoid harmful situations.

Reduced Concentration

Driving requires concentration. Anything that causes us to become distracted while driving, including alcohol and drug consumption, can significantly increase our risk of being involved in a serious car crash.

Slow Reaction Time

When we are under the influence or otherwise distracted while driving, our reaction time decreases. A slower response time makes it harder to avoid obstacles such as pedestrians crossing a street and breaking on time to avoid crashing into another car.

Lack of Coordination

Drinking alcohol or taking drugs affects our motor skills, specifically our eye, hand, and foot coordination. These motor skills are vital when driving. Without these crucial coordination skills, we may not be able to avoid harmful situations.

Reduced Concentration

Driving requires concentration. Anything that causes us to become distracted while driving, including alcohol and drug consumption, can significantly increase our risk of being involved in a serious car crash.

Decreased Vision

Alcohol impairs our vision. After a few drinks, you may notice your vision becomes a little blurred. Impaired vision affects our ability to judge the distance between our car and other vehicles or obstacles on the road.

Most Common Impaired Driving Injuries

Thankfully, not all impaired driving-related accidents are fatal; however, they can still cause severe injuries, including:

Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries can result in partial or complete paralysis. Recovery depends on many factors, such as the extent of the damage and how long it takes a patient to receive treatment. Unfortunately, for many patients, the outcome is permanent.

Traumatic Brain Injuries

Traumatic brain injury is widespread among crash victims. Severe trauma to the brain can have devastating effects on a person. Traumatic brain injuries can cause changes in a person’s memory, their ability to reason, and their emotional behavior. Additionally, they can result in loss of vision, hearing, and taste,

Severe traumatic brain injuries can result in life-long disabilities.

Internal Injuries

The force of impact can cause internal injuries, including organ damage that can be life-threatening and require immediate emergency medical care.

Organs such as the lungs, kidneys, liver, and spleen are the most common internal organs injured during a car crash.

Orthopedic Injuries

Broken bones are common injuries associated with impaired driving-related incidents. Injury severity varies; some patients will only require a cast while others may lose a limb.

Soft Tissue Injuries

The impact during a crash can cause damage to ligaments, tendons, and muscles. When the injury occurs in a victim’s neck, back, or shoulder, it can limit their ability to move and may result in long-term chronic pain.

Burns

Suppose the crash is severe enough to cause one or more of the vehicles to catch fire. In that case, victims may suffer severe burns that may result in permanent disfigurement and scarring. Burn victims also have an increased risk of infection while healing.

Prevention

The only way to prevent an impaired driving-related accident is not to drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

If you plan to drink, make arrangements ahead of time. Either select a designated driver or choose to use a ride-sharing service instead of driving yourself.

Getting Prompt Medical Attention Can Help Save A Life

According to the CDC for every person killed in a road accident,

“8 were hospitalized, and 100 were treated and released from the Emergency Room.”

Anyone who is involved in a severe motor vehicle accident should be taken to the nearest Emergency Room for evaluation, given that some injuries can only be diagnosed with advanced imagining technology.

During a crash, victims might have suffered internal injuries or head trauma that if not treated promptly can lead to long-term disabilities or even death.

Some injuries are more time-sensitive than others, in these cases it is better to transfer the patient to a Free-Standing ER facility such as any of the Altus Emergency Centers where they can be treated by a licensed emergency physician right away, rather than transport them to a Hospital ER where their treatment might be delayed due to overcrowding issues.

It’s important to remember that insurance companies are obligated to offer emergency room coverage in their policies. If you are involved in a car accident and need to go to the emergency room, your insurance policy will cover your visit.

Altus Emergency Centers wishes everyone a Happy and Safe New Year. Stay home if you can, and please don’t drink and drive.

As always, we remain open during the New Year Celebration to help with any medical emergencies.

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