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Why Alcohol Impairs Driving Ability

Bad News Booze Cruise

We all (should) know that drinking impairs our ability to drive, but the reasons why this occurs may be more of a mystery to some. Understanding the physiological effects of alcohol can help us better see how driving safely gets much more difficult under the influence.

The Center for Disease Control reports that drunk driving is the leading cause of death for persons aged 5-34, resulting in an average of 30 deaths per day. It is the worst-case scenario for an impaired driver, and a statistic that proves that something about intoxication makes it harder to drive.

The first critical safety tool that is weakened by alcohol is the ability to properly assess risk. Good judgment flies out the window with a shockingly low level of alcohol, and when it’s gone bad ideas seem very reasonable. Alcohol impairs judgment while driving as well as the judgment of whether to drive in the first place.

With a touch more alcohol vision and acuity are affected, and it becomes harder to correctly perceive things moving at speed, including things outside the vehicle and the vehicle itself. Vision compromised by the effects of alcohol can make it difficult to judge distances, which makes stopping and cornering harder.

The most obvious effects of alcohol, however, impact reaction time and coordination. Impaired motor skills combined with the inability to quickly engage those skills in response to oncoming traffic, loose dogs or children and traffic signals makes driving very dangerous not only for the driver but for everyone else.

Drinking and Driving

Of course, I should remind everyone that our blog entries are for your information only and are not intended as medical advice. Because everyone is different, you should work with your medical professional to determine what’s best for you. If you’re going to drink, do it legally and responsibly; don’t be stupid =).


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    Good evening Hamsters. Busy ruinnng errands all day and enjoying the return of winter for a few days. Started at a step-lively 43 on the way to feed the mares at 6; wore several layers and gloves and did not tarry out there. Overcast, breezy, and gloomy for a good part of the morning out here; definitely required layers of clothes going on the errands, as it did not go above 57 even when the sun came out later.Agree with FA #28 on the Chrysler SB halftime ad and thought it is very much like an inkblot test that can be interpreted several ways in they eye or ear in this case of the beholder. What has ruined that variable for many of us is the Obama thugs claiming it vindicates them and all their works. Now why Chrysler chose that script for a very expensive ad at all is certainly open to speculation. It’s out in the ether and can’t be put back in the bottle.Wonder what the folks at Fiat think of that expenditure, major share owners that they are. Not to leave out the American taxpayers and the Chrysler bondholders, whose purses were stolen and pockets picked and then pushed aside when Obama’s thugs took over the company. Guess the uproar will not disappear soon, and it shouldn’t. It just refreshes memories of the outrage when it all happened, and that isn’t a bad thing this close to elections.

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