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Alcohol and commercial driving a lethal mix for truck accident

These blogs are posted on behalf of Seidel, Cohen, Hof & Reid, LLC, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the firm or its attorneys. The information presented in this blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice.

Sharing the Pennsylvania highways with increased numbers of tractor-trailers may be intimidating under the best of circumstances. However, if that trucker has been drinking, then the ingredients for a horrific truck accident may exist. These wrecks can have a devastating impact on the victims' lives.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it does not take a large quantity of alcohol before a driver begins to experience a detrimental affect. After two cans of beer or two glasses of wine, one's ability to visually track a quickly moving object or focus on two tasks is measurably affected. This amount is estimated to register a .02 percent BAC. At the legally defined impaired driving level of .08 percent -- typically the equivalent of four drinks -- a driver's ability to concentrate, maintain safe speeds and process sensory information are all negatively impacted.

At levels that exceed the driving legal limits, almost every faculty that a driver relies on to safely operate a vehicle is affected. After more than seven drinks, a driver is no longer able to rely on any reflexes or skills such as required for braking or for maintaining proper lane position. Statistics for 2014 report that close to 10,000 people died in alcohol-related crashes in the country.

Nearly 33 percent of traffic fatalities are caused by an impaired driver. When that driver is behind the wheel of a large commercial vehicle, the consequences can be devastating. Every year, some Pennsylvania families are forced to deal with a nightmare scenario of a truck accident. When these crashes are caused by an impaired or otherwise negligent driver, personal injury or wrongful death claims may be an appropriate means of reducing the monetary burdens imposed by these tragic events.

Source: cdc.gov, "Impaired Driving: Get the Facts", Accessed on June 9, 2017

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