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How does alcohol affect your driving?

Driving is a significant responsibility that requires full attention and mental clarity. When alcohol enters the equation, driving becomes a dangerous cocktail that can have severe consequences.

Understanding how alcohol consumption affects driving ability illustrates how dangerous this practice is and why you must make every effort to avoid it.

Alcohol and impaired vision

Consumption of alcohol can cause blurred vision and slower reaction times, making it challenging to detect obstacles on the road. Even a small amount of alcohol can impact your ability to judge distances accurately, thereby increasing the risk of accidents.

Reduced coordination

Impaired coordination can result in swerving, overcorrecting or even failing to react to sudden changes in traffic conditions. This lack of control can endanger the lives of both the driver and others sharing the road. As reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 37 people lose their lives in drunk driving incidents every day in the U.S.

Slower reaction times

When driving, you may need to make split-second decisions. Alcohol slows down your brain’s processing speed, which translates to slower reaction times. In emergencies, quick actions are important to avoid collisions. Alcohol-induced delays in reaction times can be the difference between a close call and a major car accident.

Impaired judgment

When it comes to judgment, alcohol can cause risky decisions that a person might not make when sober. For instance, inebriated drivers often underestimate the speed of oncoming vehicles, attempt dangerous maneuvers or ignore traffic signals and signs.

Inability to concentrate

Driving requires constant attention to the road and surroundings. Alcohol makes it challenging to concentrate, leading to distracted driving. Even brief moments of distraction can result in accidents. Whether it is fumbling with the radio or checking your phone, alcohol amplifies the dangers of these actions.

Aside from the physical and moral consequences of impaired driving, there are also legal consequences. Keep in mind that drunk drivers in Arizona can face jail time, fines and loss of license. And even with first offenses, these legal repercussions can have a long-lasting impact on your life.