How a Combination of Impairment Factors Can Cause Car Accidents

car accidentAlmost everyone is involved in a motor vehicle accident at least once in their lives. Everyone hopes that they will be one of the lucky few, or that any accident that they are involved in is small enough to escape injury or repair. Driving seems like second nature to most of us after a while, but the reality is that being a good driver is an extremely complicated skill and even small mental or physical impairments can cause an error that results in a collision. Recognizing when one’s ability to drive is impaired, however, can help avoid the possibility of injuries and property damage.

What Kind of Impairment Factors Cause Car Accidents?

Impairment comes in many shapes and sizes when it comes to getting behind the wheel. Alcohol and certain drugs are some of the more common examples found in public service announcements about impaired driving. Alcohol and barbiturates are depressants, causing the brain to slow down and decrease reaction time and body coordination. These physical effects can easily hinder a driver from braking or accelerating quick enough to avoid an accident. At the same time, alcohol and drugs can cause euphoria and an increase in risk-taking, causing drivers to disregard caution while travelling at very high speeds.

Deteriorating or damaged vision or hearing can also increase the likelihood of car accidents occurring. Driving is primarily processing visual stimuli and responding to it quickly, so poor vision could easily cause collisions. Fatigue, alcohol and drugs, advanced age, and sleep deprivation are common factors that affect the eyes and lead to erratic driving. The inability to hear another car honking can cause accidents as well since they are principally used to warn other drivers of impending collisions.

How are These Impairment Factors Related?

Many of the factors and disabilities listed above cause both mental and physical impairment, and often in combination with other elements. For example, drinking alcohol physically causes poor driving by decreasing coordination and reaction time, causing drivers to swerve and respond slowly to the movement of other vehicles. At the same time, inebriation can cause double vision and decreased attention to auditory stimuli, causing drivers to misread signs, misjudge distances between cars, and disregard car horns. Finally, the increase in risk-taking and feeling of invincibility mentally causes drunk drivers to ignore caution at very high speeds, putting their lives at risk along with everyone else sharing the road with them.

Advanced age, physical injury, sleep deprivation, and fatigue also cause a combination of physical and mental weaknesses that can cause erratic driving. When such small variables can have a compounding effect and seriously influence one’s ability to drive, it is unsurprising that these factors can cause an accident to occur so easily. By being healthy, being awake, and taking care of physical injuries or issues, many of us can avoid causing car accidents by combinations of easily-avoidable impairment factors.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident, call Sacramento accident lawyer, Moseley Collins.  There is no fee to start and no cost to you unless we win. 

Moseley Collins
980 9th St, 16th Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 444-4444

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