Drunk driving, as we all know, is extremely risky. In the U.S., approximately 29 people die every day from an alcohol impaired crash. That statistic doesn’t specify whether or not those deaths are to drunk drivers, or the victims or their driving. There’s no denying that there are plenty of dangers to drunk driving. But when it comes to your driving under the influence, what exactly does alcohol do to your driving skills?
Driving Skills: Alcohol’s Negative Effect
Slow Reaction Time
When you drink, alcohol reaches your blood stream and begins to slow your reaction time. This can make you feel as if you’re moving a bit slower than usual. By slowing your reaction time, you’re unable to respond as quickly as usual to unforeseen circumstances on the roadway. As you can imagine, slowed reaction times hinder a pretty vital aspect of your driving skills. When you drive, you have to be able to respond quickly to changes in weather, road conditions, traffic, and so forth. As most drivers know, the difference of one or two seconds can be the difference between an accident sometimes.
Loss of Coordination
In addition to slow reaction time, alcohol reduces hand, eye, and foot coordination. After heavy drinking, you may find simple coordination tasks to be difficult. For instance, you may be unable to walk in a straight line, or place your key in the ignition easily. That lack of coordination can cause serious issues when it comes to performing all the necessary actions too drive safely. From applying brakes, turning on turn signals, slowing, or turning the steering wheel. Every aspect of driving requires multi-tasking, coordination, and awareness.
As we all know, alcohol can affect your vision quite severely. In some cases, people experience serious blurring or ‘double vision’ after drinking quite a bit of alcohol. These changes in sight can come out of nowhere for many, or be a late reaction as your body continues to process the alcohol.
Your vision might seem perfectly fine for the first five minutes of your drive…
But, you quickly find that your vision starts to go as your drive continues on. There’s no denying that this is a serious hazard when it comes to driving safely, avoiding an accident, and making it home. Quite obviously, your ability to see clearly is crucial to driving safely.
Alcohol will affect every person a little bit differently. However, there are certain effects that are unavoidable. For these reasons, and many more, drunk driving is risky for everyone involved.