Why Drinking and Driving Do Not MixFebruary 28, 2019
It is certainly no secret that driving while under the influence of alcohol is an unsafe, irresponsible decision that can have serious, possibly fatal consequences. Even a small amount of alcohol can impair a driver’s ability to react quickly to a situation, which can endanger the person driving, as well as the passengers in the vehicle and other motorists and pedestrians in the vicinity.
Understanding how alcohol affects the body, and the impact it can have on the driver’s ability to operate the vehicle, may help motorists make more responsible choices when it comes to drinking and driving.
Operating a motor vehicle requires concentration, focus, and coordination, particularly if you are driving in heavy traffic and you have multiple passengers in the car. The more alcohol a person consumes, the more of an impact it will have on the driver’s ability to maintain control of the vehicle.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), close to 40 percent of fatal traffic accidents involve a drunk driver.
Effect Alcohol Has on Driving Skills
Even a small amount of alcohol can impact the skills necessary to safely operate a motor vehicle, including the following:
- Judgment: Alcohol affects the area of the brain that controls judgment, which allows the individual to make rational decisions based on personal experiences and knowledge.
- Vision: Alcohol can affect the muscles in the eyes, causing slowed movement, altered visual perception, and diminished night vision and color distinction. In some cases, the driver may experience blurred vision and difficulty judging the distance or speed of another vehicle. Vision can be impacted by a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of as low as .02 g/dl.
- Concentration: Alcohol can cause drowsiness, which can impact the driver’s ability to focus their attention on the road.
- Coordination: Alcohol reduces hand/eye/foot coordination needed to safely operate a motor vehicle. The more alcohol the driver has consumed, the more their coordination will be affected.
- Reaction Time: Alcohol impacts a driver’s ability to process information and react quickly to unexpected driving situations. Even a small amount of alcohol can impact reaction times, but the more alcohol that is in a driver’s system, the less likely it is that they will be able to react quickly to a potentially dangerous situation.
While it is a common misconception that things like coffee, fresh air, or a cold shower will remedy the effects of the alcohol, this is not the case. Only time will remove alcohol from the circulatory system.
It takes approximately one hour for the body to get rid of one alcoholic drink. Ideally, people who are going to be driving should not drink at all.
Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Victims of Drunk Driving Accidents
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured in a car accident involving a drunk driver, do not hesitate to contact the Baltimore car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. Drunk driving accidents are completely preventable if people avoid getting behind the wheel after consuming alcohol. We will determine who is responsible for your injuries and seek the maximum financial compensation you deserve. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent car accident victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.