Study: Driving with a BAC level of 0.01 raises fatal car accident risk
A new study revealed that drivers who operate a vehicle mildly “buzzed” raise their risk of causing a fatal car accident.
Drivers who decide to get behind the wheel of a vehicle after having a few drinks seriously endanger the lives of others. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 30 people in the U.S. die every day in car accidents involving alcohol. This amounts to approximately one death every 48 minutes. Although the legal blood alcohol content level in Texas is 0.08, states the Texas Department of Transportation, a new study revealed that those who drive with a BAC level as low as 0.01 raise their risk of causing a fatal car accident.
Driving mildly “buzzed” compromises driving ability
A study conducted by researchers at the University of California, San Diego found that driving with a BAC level of 0.01 was associated with a 46 percent higher risk of being the cause of a car accident in comparison with the other driver involved in the collision. This study was based on data collected from the U.S. Fatality Analysis Reporting System and analyzed 570,731 collisions that occurred between 1994 and 2011.
Additionally, researchers discovered that the amount of blame put on a driver for causing a car accident increased starting from when their BAC level was at 0.01 all the way up to 0.24. To determine blame, the researchers used 50 different factors, such as driving on the wrong side of the road. In response to their findings, the researchers on this study wrote that since even minimally “buzzed” drivers increase their risk of causing a fatal accident, no safe combination of drinking and driving exists.
The effects of BAC
A driver’s ability to operate a vehicle properly varies depending on the amount of alcohol in their system. According to the CDC, drivers with a BAC level of:
- .02 will experience a decline in visual functions, such as rapid tracking of a moving object, and compromise their ability to perform two tasks simultaneously.
- .05 will experience reduced coordination, difficulty steering, limited ability to track moving objects and may have reduced response times to emergency driving situations.
- .08 will have difficulties concentrating, experience short-term memory loss, have a hard time controlling their speed and may experience impaired perception.
- .10 will experience a reduced ability to brake appropriately and maintain their position in a driving lane.
Drivers who were involved in a car accident caused by a drunk driver may suffer from severe emotional, mental and physical consequences in the aftermath of the collision. If you were recently injured in a drunk driving accident, consult with an attorney who can provide you with legal guidance during this difficult time.