Think Before You Drink

March 3, 2008

Anything in excess could never bring you any good. This is essentially true, especially with alcohol. We have often heard in the news about how excessive drinking of alcohol could lead to something undesirable. People get involved in fights, show unpleasant behavior or even unintentionally hurt themselves or other people when they are under the influence of alcohol.

Take for instance in driving, the connection between drinking and alcohol-impaired person is more complex than a mere depressant effect on their brain. It is commonly recognized that, especially when driving, alcohol can cause physical dysfunctions like double vision, slurred speech and/or bloodshot eyes, and inability to walk a straight line. Under the influence of alcohol, other physical symptoms can also come up like slightly impaired judgment, reduced tolerance to glare, underestimation of speed and distance, drowsiness, a false sense of security, slower reaction time, narrowed peripheral vision, a lessening of depth perception, a reduction of cue-taking, an inflated ego, and increased aggression that can all take toll on any driver, which can lead to vehicular accidents.

To reduce driving under the influence of alcohol and the rising statistics of alcohol-related auto crashes, the federal and state governments have proposed, enacted, and implemented various actions and policies referred to as countermeasures. However, even with strict laws that prohibit drunk driving, there are still numerous cases of alcohol-related accidents happening around us. This is because many people many people still believe that drinking-and-driving behavior is acceptable until the drunk driver causes an accident that harms another person. Such an attitude remains the biggest obstacle to solving the drinking-driver problem.

A frequent reminder is that “don’t drink and drive” and it is not at all a myth. Several studies have already proven that the information processing of a person is severely impaired when drunk. This is important because alcohol causes diminished judgment and reduces a person’s ability to interpret and integrate complex sensory information.

Alcohol-impaired drivers require more time to read street signs or recognize and respond to traffic signals than the non-impaired. Drunk drivers tend to look at fewer sources of information, acquire less total sensory input from the driving environment, and tend to restrict their vision to the center of the roadway. This is the reason why drunk drivers are often the leading purveyors of road accidents that kill thousands of people each year.

With these bleary scenarios about drinking and driving, you must think about drinking twice whenever you drive. The safest policy is not to drive after drinking at all. If you do drink and then drive, you should know and stay within your personal limits as well as the legal limits. In this case, you do not just help promote the health and welfare of yourself, but other people as well.


Got something to say?