Alcohol and Driving

About 1/2 of all traffic deaths are alcohol related. Learning about alcohol's effects on the mind and body could prevent you from making a fatal error -- drinking and driving.

Some Effects of Alcohol

Alcohol reaches the brain almost immediately after it's consumed. Possible results include

Poor Judgment

Alcohol acts like an anesthetic, dulling areas of the brain that enable people to make sensible decisions.

Loss of Concentration

Drinking may cause drowsiness. When alertness decreases, the chances of having a crash increase.

Slowed Reaction Time

Drinking slows reflexes and hinders coordination. Drivers who can't react quickly are a hazard to themselves and others.

Visual Problems

Alcohol can cause double or multiple vision and blurring. It also reduces side vision, making it difficult to see vehicles approaching from the left or right.

Special Risks of Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol can be especially dangerous when people --

Fail to Recognize alcohol's handicapping effects. Some drinkers mistakenly think that alcohol improves their driving ability. They also may lack experience as drivers. The result may be unpredictable driving behavior possibly leading to tragedy.

Foolishly Believe That coffee, a cold shower, exercise or fresh air can sober them up. Time is the only sure way to sober up.

Some People Don't Realize that beer and wine are just as potent as hard liquor. 12 oz. of beer, 5 oz. of wine and 1 1/2 oz. of 80 proof liquor contain about the same amount of alcohol.

Nationwide, thousands of lives could be saved each year if people didn't drink and drive.

If any of this sounds familiar to you, about yourself, or someone you know, then there may be a problem with alcohol. For more information, please read the page about The Signs of Trouble for people who drink.

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The purpose of this information.

This information was published as an experiment in publishing on the WWW. While learning how to publish on the WWW, I needed something that I felt was of some value. When I was attending a local university, I assembled this information for use as a presentation to classes of undergraduate students during Substance Abuse Awareness Week. While I do believe that this information is accurate, I make no representation as to the accuracy of this information, use it with caution. If in doubt as to the application of this information to you or someone you know, contact a medical or mental health professional.

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