This past Memorial Day weekend, many people may have drank at a backyard barbecue, the beach, a neighborhood block party or another celebration ushering in the unofficial beginning of summer. However, alcohol use can have a serious effect on a person’s ability to drive. Driving entails being able to concentrate, make sound decisions and reacting on the spot to risky situations. Alcohol use affects all these abilities.
For example, alcohol use can slow reaction time, which may lead to a car crash. A person’s coordination is also affected by alcohol use. For example, consuming too much alcohol can make it difficult for a person to enter their vehicle and start its ignition, much less walking and standing.
Alcohol can also reduce a person’s ability to concentrate. While behind the wheel, a person needs to concentrate on many things. This includes lane markings, one’s speed, the actions of other vehicles and traffic signs. If a person cannot maintain their concentration while driving, they may cause an accident.
Alcohol use can also negatively affect a person’s vision. A person may experience blurred vision or may not be able to maintain control of how their eyes move. This could make it difficult to ascertain how much distance, there is between one’s vehicle and the others sharing the road. One’s peripheral vision could also be affected, leading to accidents.
Finally, alcohol use can inhibit one’s judgment. For example, while behind the wheel a person needs to be able to anticipate something that might go wrong, so that appropriate actions can be taken. Alcohol can rob the driver of their alertness and awareness.
As this shows, there are many reasons why getting behind the wheel of a car after drinking too much is dangerous. These dangers affect not only the drunk driver, but also all other drivers on the road. Those who have been injured in alcohol-related accidents may want to inform themselves about their legal rights and options for compensation from the responsible party.
Source: AlcoholRehabGuide.org, “Drinking and Driving (DUI),” accessed on May 29, 2017