Every driver in Atlanta knows — or should know — that drunk driving is illegal and extremely dangerous. Unfortunately, there are still far too many accidents that are caused by people who have had too much to drink before getting behind the wheel.

Alcohol can significantly impair a person’s judgment, focus and reflexes. Because of this, there are certain types of accidents that are more likely to happen when a driver is drunk.

  • Head-on collisions: Most drivers have no problem driving on the correct side of the street and quickly noticing if they are driving the wrong way. They see signs, lines on the road, cars parked a certain way and cars coming right at them. A drunk driver, however, can miss all these visual cues and may not realize they are headed the wrong way or driving in the wrong lane until after they have caused a head-on collision.
  • Pedestrian accidents: Many drunk driving accidents occur at night when visibility can already be a problem. When it’s dark out, it can be more difficult to see non-vehicle hazards like pedestrians and bicyclists. Drunk drivers experience slower eye movements and difficulty with visual perception so they can have difficulty seeing and avoiding smaller objects on the road.
  • Rear-end collisions: Drinking can make people drowsy and unable to concentrate or multi-task as well as they can when they are not impaired. In this state, a drunk driver can fall asleep at the wheel or get distracted and end up crashing into a stopped vehicle. Because alcohol can also slow a driver’s reflexes, these accidents typically happen at higher speeds because a driver is delayed in applying the brakes.

In the aftermath of these types of accidents, impairment is often considered to be a factor. It can be crucial for victims and their families to make sure that police records, blood tests and accident reconstruction details are all reviewed with the help of an attorney to determine if intoxication was a factor and whether legal action may be appropriate.

Source: NCADD, “Drinking and driving,” accessed on July 13, 2015