What are the Five Kinds of Driving Impairment?

Impaired driving is dangerous driving. Nearly everyone knows that, but so many people still make the choice to drive while impaired. However, there are different kinds of impaired driving. Today, we are going to cover the five types of impaired driving.

Alcohol-Related Impairment

During the latest reporting year in Tennessee, there were nearly 6,000 known alcohol-related crashes. Over the last ten years, there have been nearly 70,000 alcohol-related crashes. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that almost 30 people die each day in the US due to drunk driving. Around 10,000 people die each year due to drunk driving.

The legal blood alcohol concentration in Tennessee is .08%. However, alcohol begins to affect our brains after just one drink. Alcohol impairs motor skills and our sense of judgment.

Drug-Related Impairment

We need to be clear – drugged driving is impaired driving. Drugs that alter a person’s mental state have the same, or worse, effects on a person’s motor functions. The following drugs are commonly found in drivers’ systems after a vehicle crash:

  • Street drugs like marijuana, heroin, meth, cocaine, or crack
  • Prescription drugs like Xanax, Oxycontin, Percocet, etc.
  • Over-the-counter medications like allergy relief pills, Sominex, Nyquil, or other sleep aid

Many people do not think about over-the-counter or prescription medications when they think of impaired driving. Many of these medications come with specific warnings telling people not to drive or operate heavy machinery when using them. You can get a DUI when taking illegal or prescription drugs and driving.

Fatigued Drivers

Fatigued driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving. There is a reason that commercial truck drivers have strict rules about how many consecutive hours they can drive without a break or sleep period. Playing the radio loudly or rolling the windows down will not keep you awake. Fatigued drivers run the risk of falling asleep and veering into oncoming lanes, slamming into vehicles in front of them, or running other vehicles off the road.

Distracted Drivers

There are many ways in which drivers can become distracted, and they can all lead to devastating consequences:

  • Manual (driver’s hands off the wheel)
  • Visual (driver’s eyes off the road)
  • Cognitive (mind focused on something other than driving)

One of the most common distractions drivers have is their cell phone. The urge to check a text or watch a quick video can be deadly. Other distractions can include other people inside the vehicle, eating and drinking, reading while driving, applying makeup, and more.

Medical Conditions

There are many medical conditions that can impair a person’s driving, and they can happen without warning. Some of these conditions mimic other types of impaired driving:

  • Epilepsy
  • Transient ischemic attack (TIA or mini-stroke)
  • Heart conditions
  • Diabetes

Some medical conditions require a person to relinquish their license due to the risks they would pose on the roadway. However, many people do not know they suffer from a serious medical condition until they occur.

What kind of injuries are common with impaired driving crashes?

Impaired driving is often the cause of severe crashes. It is not uncommon for us to see the following injuries in the aftermath of an impaired-driving incident:

  • Broken and dislocated bones
  • Severe lacerations
  • Internal organ damage
  • Internal bleeding
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Whiplash injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Concussions

It is vital that you seek medical treatment for any injury sustained in a vehicle crash and contact our Nashville car accident lawyers.