Impaired driving can be defined as the reduced ability to perform adequately the various elements of the driving task. While alcohol consumption is the first thing that comes to mind, there are many factors that lead to impaired driving, some of which may surprise you. Check it out…
Alcohol: Under Florida law, a DUI is a proved impairment of normal faculties caused by a blood alcohol level (BAC) of .08% or above. The effects of alcohol begin immediately and, of course, increase as additional drinks are consumed. Driving under the influence of alcohol can lead to the following:
- Impaired vision
- Lowered alertness
- Reduced concentration and vigilance
- Difficulty in understanding sensory information
- Reduced muscle coordination
- Impaired perception
Click here to read more about the effects of blood alcohol concentration.
Legal or illegal drugs: The use of both illegal or psychoactive substances and medicinal drugs while driving is a more recent cause for concern, however more complex than that of alcohol due to the huge range of drug types. What you may not realize is that many over-the-counter drugs taken for everyday ailments can cause impairment and can be both highly unsafe, even illegal to take while driving. Some of which include:
- Antihistamines taken for colds and allergies
- Amphetamines taken to stay awake
- Barbiturates used as sleeping pills
- Tranquilizers used to relax
Fatigue: Fatigue has also been identified as a significant factor in road crashes, particularly amongst commercial drivers, and can be attributed to overwork, excessive hours of driving, lack of rest and nourishment – all of which reduces mental alertness which can lead to sleepiness or drowsiness.
Distractions: While drivers can easily be distracted by anything, the popularity of mobile devices has led to a significant increase in distracted driving resulting in injury and loss of life. In fact, the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found that text messaging creates a crash risk 23 times worse than driving while not distracted. For more information on the dangers of texting while driving, click here.
Medical conditions: There are certain medical conditions, largely those associated with the aging process that can lead to impaired driving – cataracts, anxiety, limited range of motion, increased range of fragility, diabetes, macular degeneration, glaucoma, and dementia just to name a few.
Any of these factors leading to impaired driving can result in legal consequences such as tickets, fines, arrest or other forms of punishment. If you are in need of a Tampa attorney experienced in both traffic and DUI law, call the law offices of Anton Castro for more information.
Resources: http://www.flhsmv.gov/ddl/duilaws.html, http://www.cdc.gov/MotorVehicleSafety/Impaired_Driving/impaired-drv_factsheet.html, http://www.druginfo.adf.org.au/topics/how-does-alcohol-affect-driving, https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/dangers-texting-while-driving, http://webtrafficschool.com/wts/content/Texas/Factors_Influencing_Driving_Performance.html, http://roobrik.com/driving/health/