Why Alcohol & Driving Don’t Mix

All licensed drivers in Texas and throughout the United States know it’s illegal to drive under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Or if they don’t know, they should know.

As most of us are aware, it’s no secret that local, state, and national organizations like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) have made drunk driving one of their focal points in their campaigns. So, it’s nearly impossible not to be aware of the dangers of drunk driving.

The Transport Accident Commission (TCA) explains how the NHTSA has reviewed 109 different research studies on the subject of alcohol and impairment. The TCA went on to explain how alcohol affects all of these driving behaviors:

  • Divided attention
  • Vigilance
  • Tracking
  • Perception
  • Vision
  • Psychomotor skills
  • Reaction time
  • Drowsiness

“Alcohol is a drug. It acts on the brain and other parts of the nervous system to slow activity down. It affects everyone this way. This is why alcohol is such a problem for driving – it slows down reflexes and decision making and drivers don’t always notice the effects. The more you drink, the higher your blood alcohol level and the stronger the effect of the alcohol on your reflexes and decision making,” says the TCA.

How Alcohol Diminishes Safe Driving Skills

Before alcohol affects your motor skills, it affects your mental functions, which means “judgement” is the first to go out the window. This is why so many impaired drivers will drive without a seatbelt, they’ll drive with an open container, and they’ll speed. Alcohol impacts concentration, especially as it relates to performing multiple tasks at once. When an impaired person is driving, they’ll have a more difficult time multi-tasking; for example, keeping their eyes on the road, following the traffic laws, playing music, talking to passengers, following the speed limit, and positioning their vehicle. Alcohol also affects reaction time, motor skills, vision and hearing acuity. Warning: Alcohol tolerance has zero effect on blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Same goes for coffee and cold showers. The only thing that can help the body eliminate alcohol from the system is time.

Contact our Plano personal injury firm to file a drunk driving accident claim!

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