Why Driving While Hungover Is a Dangerous Savannah Crash Risk

young man with headache behind wheelSavannah is a city with a vibrant night life, and drinking is part of that social time. When it is time to go home, however, how do you know when it is safe to get behind the wheel again? Is it when the buzz wears off and you are not legally drunk? What many people do not know is that being hungover could be as serious a crash risk as driving while intoxicated.

At Roden Law, we take a closer look at the effects of driving with a hangover, including why it may increase the risk of a crash.

Injured by a negligent driver? If so, we encourage you to call our law offices to discuss your situation. We have a history of success, and we are prepared to seek full compensation for your damages. Call to request a free case review today. If you choose our firm to represent you, there are no upfront costs to pay.

Request a free case review: 1-844-RESULTS.

What Is a Hangover and How Long Does it Last?

A hangover is the aftermath of drinking too much alcohol. When people use the term, they are generally referring to feeling ill, throwing up and many other symptoms we will discuss later in this article.

Generally, a hangover begins as the alcohol wears off, approximately six to eight hours after you stop drinking. However, for some people it could take longer. Everyone’s body processes alcohol uniquely based on their body type and other factors.

The symptoms of a hangover peak at about 12 hours and by 24 hours, most people feel normal again.

What Symptoms Accompany a Hangover?

Research shows that consuming too much alcohol triggers your body’s immune system to release certain chemicals. The chemicals, called cytokines, are what cause you to feel so many unpleasant symptoms, such as:

  • Certainly, the symptoms of a hangover can vary from person to person, but here are some common ones:
  • Headache or feeling of being lightheaded
  • Nausea, vomiting, or stomach pain
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Excessive thirst and dry mouth, feeling dehydrated
  • Dizziness or a sense of the room spinning
  • Sensitivity to light and sound
  • Mood disturbances, such as depression, anxiety, or irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating or memory problems
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Blurry vision

Why Is It a Crash Risk To Drive While Hungover?

Operating a vehicle with a hangover significantly heightens the risk of an accident because it diminishes your driving capabilities in several key areas. When suffering from a hangover, your body is still metabolizing the alcohol ingested, which can lead to:

  • Slowed response time: Most people understand how alcohol consumption slows down your reflexes, but many drivers may not realize that the feeling sluggish or fatigued persists with a hangover. This delayed response time is crucial while driving because unexpected road obstacles, like animals, potholes, objects, or pedestrians, might not be avoided in time to prevent an accident.
  • Compromised Decision-Making: Your ability to make quick decisions is also compromised during a hangover. Before any corrective action can be taken, you must first determine the best course of action, which can be challenging under the influence of a hangover.
  • Reduced Motor Skills: Even if you manage to decide how to react, like braking or swerving to evade a hazard, your coordination may be impaired due to the hangover. This impairment can make it difficult to maneuver the vehicle effectively, brake in time, or steer accurately without overcorrecting.

How Long Should I Wait Before Driving After Drinking?

The exact time varies from person to person. Some people metabolize alcohol much faster than others. Factors, such as your age and body weight impact how long it takes alcohol to wear off. Even gender has an impact. For example, alcohol inherently stays longer in a woman’s bloodstream than in a man’s. The reason is that women have less water in their bloodstream. Water in the bloodstream helps to dilute alcohol.

Before driving again, your best bet is to wait until all the effects of the alcohol have worn off. In other words, plan ahead to either drink less or make other plans to help you get home safely, such as:

  • Go with friends and agree on who will be the designated driver.
  • Call for an Uber, Lyft or other rideshare service.
  • Plan to stay the night at a friend’s house or at a nearby hotel.
  • Arrange for a family member to come and pick you up.

Driving while hungover may not get you a DUI ticket if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC), but it could still lead to a crash. If you caused the crash, you can be held liable for the damages.

Injured in a Crash in Savannah? Call Roden Law for Legal Help Today

After being injured in a crash caused by another’s negligence, you may not be sure what to do next. Your priority must be your health, which is why you should get examined at a nearby hospital immediately. The medical records created by the treating physician provide vital evidence that links your injuries to the crash.

At Roden Law, we are here to help you through this difficult time. We have the staff and resources to fully investigate your crash, gather evidence and build a strong case on your behalf. Your initial consultation is completely free, and if we represent you, there are no upfront costs to pay.