How Alcohol Affects Driving Skills and Judgment
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal in every state in the U.S. Besides being illegal, however, it is also extremely dangerous, as consuming alcohol significantly impairs a person’s driving skills and judgment in a number of ways. Read on to learn more about the five ways that alcohol impacts driving abilities.
Reduced Reaction Time
Drinking alcohol affects a person’s reflexes and reduces reaction times, which for drivers means that they have a lot less time to react to changing situations on the road. In fact, some studies have shown that drivers who have consumed alcohol experience a reduction in their reaction time of as much as 15 to 25 percent. Unfortunately, this reduced reaction time makes it a lot more likely that a person will be involved in a collision, as they are unable to swerve, slow down, or otherwise avoid a collision.
Inability to Concentrate
Driving safely requires a lot of multi-tasking, with motorists needing to focus on many different things at once, like the vehicle’s position on the road, speed, and other cars. Even a small amount of alcohol can affect a person’s ability to concentrate on these tasks. This can be very dangerous, as even a simple lapse in focus can lead to an accident.
Consuming alcohol also affects a person’s ability to understand road signs, traffic signals, and situations that may require a quick response. This can lead to a driver becoming confused and failing to properly merge, make a lane change, or even take the right exit. With impaired comprehension, drivers can misinterpret important instructions, which in turn can lead to abrupt lane changes and even driving in the wrong direction.
A Lack of Coordination
Driving requires the use of both fine and gross motor skills. Both of these types of skills, however, are adversely affected by alcohol consumption. Drinking and driving, for instance, can reduce eye-hand-foot coordination, which makes it difficult to execute precise maneuvers, like merging onto a freeway. A lack of coordination makes it a lot more likely that a driver will make erratic lane changes, drift across lanes, or change speeds suddenly.
Alcohol also affects eye movement, slowing down the muscle function and reducing peripheral vision. Studies have shown that drunk drivers tend to fixate on a single point for long periods of time, making them less likely to see things in their peripherals. Alcohol has also been shown to negatively impact a person’s depth perception, ability to judge distances, and perceive colors. These problems make it a lot harder to distinguish objects and distances, compromising a driver’s ability to see obstacles, pedestrians, or even other vehicles.
Call a Florida DUI Accident Lawyer Today
Unfortunately, an alarming number of drivers get behind the wheel while intoxicated, which can have devastating consequences for anyone else on the road. These drivers can and should be held liable for putting other motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians at risk. Call Boone & Davis at 954-566-9919 to speak with one of our compassionate Florida DUI accident lawyers about your recovery options.