Driving involves a rapidly changing environment, and the driver must be aware, alert, and able to make quick decisions at all times.
Driving and drinking alcohol do not go together. When you drive, you have to be physically alert and need your eyes, hands, and feet to control the vehicle. You should also be mentally alert and need your brain to control your eyes, hands, and feet.
Driving while affected by alcohol or drugs is a leading cause of death on the roads. This is a serious concern for everyone because accidents that result in injuries and deaths increase at a high level when the driving is impaired by the effects of alcohol.
Many young people risk their lives and that of others by drinking and driving. Because they feel a false sense of control and power, common sense doesn’t make sense. But the wisdom of the caution “do not drink or drive” is undeniable. Drinking and driving is the way to self-inflicted hell.
Alcohol acts on both body and mind. Hence, it will affect a person’s ability to think and act rationally.
When you drink and drive, you lose the ability to assess correctly and respond to changing conditions on a moment’s notice. For example, if you have to brake while a traffic light is changing, you may have missed it again. This small misjudgment while driving can hit a person crossing the street. And your own life is also at stake.
Studies show that when people drive under the influence of alcohol, they can’t respond to stimuli as fast as when they are sober. Because of the impaired comprehension and coordination due to the alcohol, the time to react may slow down by as much as 15 to 25 percent. A decreased reaction time is likely to cause accidents and collisions leading to injuries or fatalities.
Drinking can also cause vision problems. The ability to differentiate between green and red light (color vision) can be impaired, and it can also affect night vision. The attention needed for safe driving won’t be there when you are driving under the influence.
You may experience drowsiness that is almost the same as driving while you sleep. This leads to a drastic reduction in judgment. Eye, hand, and foot movements will also be inconsistent. It is essentially similar to giving up the steering wheel to someone who has never seen a car while you are in the back seat.
Wrong decisions are often caused by alcohol. And when drinking is combined with the use of sleeping pills, stimulants, prescription drugs, and cannabis, these wrong decisions can be the last decisions you will ever make.
If you or someone you know had alcohol at a party and considering driving, do not let them get behind the wheel. All of the abovementioned skills are critical for driving a motor vehicle safely, and should under no circumstances be impaired by alcohol.