Tennesseans do not have to be an expert in the sciences to know that alcohol can affect an individual’s ability to drive safely. This is thanks, in part, to aggressive law enforcement and public service campaigns that seek to spell out the dangers of drunk driving. Yet, even with the perpetuation of this knowledge and the increased availability of cheap ride-sharing services, many people choose to climb behind the wheel of their own vehicle while under the influence. This, in turn, puts multiple innocent motorists in harm’s way.


The ways in which alcohol affects an individual’s driving capacities are nothing short of frightening. To start, one’s visual acuity is significantly decreased after alcohol consumption. This can lead to blurred or double-vision, and it can impair a driver’s ability to gauge distance, speed and time. Affected vision can also cause a motorist to veer into oncoming traffic and fail to recognize objects in the roadway, including bicyclists and pedestrians.


But, that is not the only way drinking can affect one’s driving ability. For example, alcohol use typically decreases reaction time. This means that a drunk driver is much less likely to stop in time for a pedestrian who is in a crosswalk or for slowed or stopped vehicles in front of him or her. Alcohol consumption can even distort one’s ability to recognize colors. This limitation can affect a driver’s ability to recognize stop signs, yield signs and traffic signals.


Sadly, drunk driving accident often occur at high rates of speed because an intoxicated drive is often unable to slow down and take careful corrective action fast enough. The victims of accidents caused by drunk drivers can be seriously injured, too. They may wind up with a permanent disability, disfigurement or a medical condition that proves fatal. These circumstances are unacceptable, which is why those who are affected by a drunk driving accident should consider whether they want to take legal action in hopes of imposing liability and recovering compensation for their losses.