drunk driving accidents

The Physical, Psychological, and Emotional Effects of Drunk Driving Accidents

To this day, drunk driving contributes significantly to the number of injuries and deaths related to alcohol. In the US alone, drunk drivers are involved in car crashes that kill 28 people every day. Drunk driving-related accidents also cost Americans tens of billions of dollars every year.

It doesn’t matter if the accident is caused by a first offense DUI driver or a repeat DUI offender. The cost of drunk driving will always be high, especially if you factor in the physical, psychological, and emotional toll of drunk driving accidents on their survivors, who will have to deal with both literal and figurative scars for as long as they live.

Physical effects of drunk driving accidents

Surviving a car crash can sometimes be attributed to pure luck, but that only applies to those who got away unscathed or at least only sustained a few minor bruises or scratches. For many drunk driving car crash survivors, the extent of their injuries would hardly make them feel lucky.

We have heard of cases of car crash survivors suffering traumatic brain injuries and being unable to talk or even eat on their own years after the accident. Some can’t walk anymore, while some suffer tremendous pain on a daily basis, sometimes for the rest of their lives. That’s not to mention those who have lost limbs or sustained burns in the accident.

While people can sustain injuries to any part of their body in a car accident, the most vulnerable parts are often the legs and knees, the chest, the spine, and the head and neck. Significant injuries to these areas often take years to heal, if at all.

Psychological effects of drunk driving crashes

People who survive drunk driving crashes are prone to developing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a behavioral health problem that affects 5 million adults in the US every year.

For drunk driving crash survivors with PTSD, experiencing flashbacks of the accident is quite common. More often than not, things like riding or driving a car, seeing images of car crashes, or simply reading about similar incidents trigger these flashbacks.

Aside from flashbacks, PTSD symptoms include nightmares, emotional numbness, difficulty sleeping, concentration issues, jumpiness, irritability, and being angered easily. They also tend to avoid places, people, and activities that remind them of the accident.

Emotional effects of drunk driving mishaps

It’s typical for drunk driving accident survivors to feel anger, especially if a close friend or relative died in that crash. It’s also possible for them to be consumed by violent thoughts and sometimes thinking about acting on them. They might also resort to doing things that are out of character.

People who survive alcohol-related car crashes may also go through the seven stages of grief, especially when someone they know died. On top of the grieving, they may also feel isolated, unmotivated, and they often avoid the company of people. It’s also common for them to experience poor appetite as well. And if the survivor is the drunk driver who caused the deadly crash, he or she will likely be ridden with heavy guilt for many years to come.

These are just some of the physical, psychological, and emotional effects of drunk driving accidents. Indeed, the toll drunk driving takes on people’s lives is quite substantial. It’s just a good thing that there are treatments and therapies available today that can help survivors get through their trauma. While the entire process might be an uphill climb for many, professional treatment of the physical, psychological, and emotional effects of drunk driving car crashes presents a glimmer of hope that these effects can be overcome over time.

For more information about our Addiction Treatment Center, visit our website or call 866.951.1824