What Are the Effects of Drunk Driving?
Getting behind the wheel after drinking is not something you want to do. The effects of drunk driving are not only physical but also mental and emotional. Alcohol can interfere with your reflexes, vision, coordination, and decision-making. In addition, it can impair your reaction time and ability to steer and operate the brake pedals. Getting behind the wheel after drinking can also lead to an accident and possible injury or death.
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The number of people driving while intoxicated has dropped significantly in recent years. However, there are still a few people who choose to drive while intoxicated. The most recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report shows that 11,654 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes in the U.S. in 2014.
One of the most notable changes in alcohol-impaired driving has been the decline in the number of drivers under the age of 21 who were impaired by alcohol. From 1982 to 2002, the number of alcohol-related traffic deaths among 16- to 20-year-olds decreased by 56 percent. Meanwhile, the number of deaths among drivers aged 21 to 34 decreased only slightly. In addition, the number of drivers with a BAC of 0.10 percent or higher has declined from 5.7 to 3.8 percent. This represents the largest proportional decline in any age group.
The number of crashes involving alcohol has dropped slightly for the past two years, but it is still a leading cause of fatalities on the road. A study conducted by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) found that nearly three-quarters of all traffic fatalities involved alcohol in 2014. In addition, the NHTSA estimates the economic cost of alcohol-impaired driving crashes in the United States at $49.8 billion annually.
The best way to avoid getting behind the wheel after drinking is to arrange for a designated driver. If you decide to drink on your own, be sure to have plenty of food and drinks to keep you from becoming intoxicated. Also, don’t feel pressured into drinking and driving.
There are many other ways to prevent drunk driving. In addition to arranging a designated driver, drivers can also choose to avoid drinking and driving by driving safely, avoiding alcohol-impaired drivers, and using other forms of transportation such as taxis or ridesharing services. In addition to increasing the risk of an accident, driving while impaired can also lead to a criminal record, loss of employment, and imprisonment.
In addition to the negative effects of drunk driving, drivers can expect to pay an 80% increase in insurance premiums. Moreover, many drunk drivers are arrested and serve time in jail. Consequently, the negative effects of drinking and driving may be permanent.
The best way to prevent drunk driving is to spread awareness about the risks. For example, one National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) study found that a single 12-ounce beer can impair a woman’s motor skills, which can include swerving, slurring speech, and erratic driving. A second study found that women who drank one to three 12-ounce beers may experience a short-lived blackout, a debilitating liver disease, and a host of other problems. If you are worried about your drinking, contact the American Addiction Centers to find the help you need.