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Impact Of Alcohol Consumption On Your Driving Skills

By Expert Author: Mildred A Natwick

Drunk driving is extremely dangerous. Many studies have shown that drunk driving causes fatal accidents. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in the United States, around 30 people die in accidents every day due to alcohol-impaired driving. This means one death for every 48 minutes.

Though, many people are aware of the fact that alcohol affects driving, they tend to ignore it and put their lives at risk. Alcohol brings changes in the normal functioning of the brain and affects the sensory and motor skills that are essential while driving a vehicle. In this context, knowing how alcohol impairs senses and affects the driving skills may help you avoid drunk driving. Here are some effects on driving.

• Slow response time:
While a normal individual responds to a situation in two seconds, a person who consumes two units of alcohol responds in 2.2 seconds. Therefore, a drunk driver reacts slowly compared to a normal person. That is if he is supposed to apply brake now, he will do it a bit late based on his alcohol consumption. Hence, the chances of crashes and accidents are higher while drunk driving.

• Inability to judge properly:
Cognitive traits are important as they help the person in decision making. As alcohol badly affects the cognitive skills of a person he is unable to judge the speed and the relative distance of other vehicles. Their body and brain coordination becomes weak and therefore they fail to do things properly. They cannot do multiple things at a shot. For instance, if they are turning the driving wheel, they may not be able to change gears or apply brakes.

• Impairment of senses:
For safe driving, clear vision and hearing are an absolute must. Alcohol impairs these senses. The person having consumed alcohol might not be able to hear or see properly. This will affect his decision making skills that are necessary to respond to an instantaneous situation, for instance, applying brakes. Moreover, the person's focus will be more on the straight road ignoring the side vision. As the person's hearing gets affected due to alcohol, he may not be able to hear the warning horns of other vehicles.

• False confidence:
This is a common issue with most alcohol abusers. Alcohol gives them a high that brings false confidence. They think they can do anything and everything. They tend to drive fast and rush. They ignore traffic signals and other vehicles on the roads. This can be very dangerous.

Drunk driving, thus, causes inconvenience not only to the driver but also to others. It often leads to crashes or fatal road accidents. Therefore, to reach home safe, avoid drunk drinking.

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