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Drunk driving accident risk spikes in California during the Super Bowl

A recent analysis revealed that the number of fatal or injurious drunk driving accidents in California increases on Super Bowl Sunday.

Drunk driving accidents result in many injuries and fatalities in California and throughout the country every day. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, accidents involving a drunk driver kill nearly 30 people in the U.S. on a daily basis. Although drivers, passengers and pedestrians are always at risk of being involved in an injurious or fatal alcohol-related accident, a recent analysis conducted by California safety officials and the Auto Club of Southern California revealed that a driver’s risk of being involved in a drunk driving collision nearly doubles on Super Bowl Sunday.

How the analysis was conducted

Those conducting this analysis looked at the number of alcohol-related crashes that happened from 5 p.m. on the evening of the Super Bowl until 4 a.m. the following morning in California from 2009 to 2013. Then, this information was compared with the injurious and fatal drunk driving crash rate on other Sundays in both January and February.

Over this five-year period, there were 294 alcohol-related crashes that resulted in catastrophic injuries or deaths in California on Super Bowl Sunday. Comparatively, for the other Sundays in January and February during this same time period, there were 166 fatal and injury collisions involving an impaired driver.

Alcohol’s effect on driving ability

In California, according to the California Vehicle Code, it is illegal for drivers to operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol content level at or above 0.08. However, alcohol can have an impact on a person’s ability to drive safely when his or her BAC level is even lower than this legal limit. For example, when a person reaches a BAC level of 0.02, he or she may experience a reduction in his or her ability to perform two tasks at once and experience a decline in his or her visual functions.

With a BAC level of 0.05, a driver may have difficulties steering the vehicle he or she is driving and may also experience reduced coordination and a reduced ability to track moving objects. Once a driver reaches the illegal limit of 0.08, he or she may experience short-term memory loss and impaired perception and have a difficult time concentrating and controlling the speed of the vehicle he or she is driving.

Recovering after an accident

Drivers, passengers and pedestrians in California who are involved in a collision caused by a driver who was under the influence of alcohol may sustain injuries that harm their ability to go back to school, work or function independently for an extended period of time. If you were harmed in a drunk driving-related accident, consult with an attorney to determine what legal steps should be taken next to ensure your best interests are protected.

Keywords: car accidents, fatal motor vehicle accidents