EFFECT OF ALCOHOL ABUSE ON DRIVERS IN THE LONG TERM

It is a known saying that too much of anything is not good, and on this, alcohol intake is no exception. Drinking too much alcohol frequently is harmful to your health and, it is sad to say that alcohol abuse has become a growing issue in societies today with no exclusion to drivers.

Abuse of alcohol is the excessive intake of alcohol, and drivers who abuse alcohol will experience some of its effects in their body system, and worse ones when it is long term.

As a driver, long-term abuse of alcohol can damage your frontal lobe, which is the area of the brain that is responsible for judgments and short-term memory.

This part of the brain is of great importance to you because drivers are to have sound judgments, knowing fully well that driving involves calculations and instant decision-making. Thus, if your frontal lobe is damaged, you are at a high chance of breaking traffic regulations, exposing yourself to arrests, or worse, accidents.

Also, long-term alcohol consumption may lead to alcoholism whereby you become physically and emotionally dependent on alcohol. It has a high chance of reducing your productivity level, damaging your relationships with people, and exposing you to developing many chronic diseases and health problems. Some examples are liver disease, pancreatitis, cancer, brain damage, to mention a few.

Furthermore, long-term abuse of alcohol exposes you to the risk of suffering damages in your digestive system.

For example, the tissues in your digestive tract could be damaged by alcohol and cause malnutrition. It could also lead to ulcers or hemorrhoids which may cause dangerous internal bleeding or in the condition of ulcers, be fatal and cause death if not treated early.

Alcohol also impairs communication between your brain and your body which makes coordination, a necessary skill in driving, difficult for you. It exposes you to damage to yourself, another individual, or properties.

 

FOUR REASONS WHY DRIVERS NEED TO AVOID ALCOHOL WHILE DRIVING

Alcohol is a risk factor in several traffic accidents all around the world. Research has proved that many drivers are unaware of the risks involved in driving under the influence because they don’t suffer traffic accidents when they drink and drive.

Sadly, this is not the case because research has shown that an estimated 32% of fatal car crashes involve an intoxicated driver or pedestrian.

Your blood alcohol content level can affect your driving hence, once a person is caught driving with a blood alcohol content level of 0.08 or more, he is guilty of the crime of driving under the influence in some countries, the USA for example.

Driving is not as straightforward as it may seem because it requires concentration, coordination, the need to react quickly, and processing information fast.

These requirements are skills often impaired by alcohol which forms the foundation of the reasons why drivers need to avoid alcohol while driving. Below are four of these reasons:

  1. Slow response and reduced coordination: Alcohol slows your response time leading to difficulty in controlling a sudden situation because you may realize it late. It could also be that upon realization, your brain and body coordination in maneuvering the vehicle may be slow.
  2. Impaired vision: Alcohol causes blurred vision and it can impair peripheral vision, making things that are close seem like they are far and vice versa. It can cause miscalculations as it is the danger you see that you can avoid.
  3. Poor judgment: Driving under the influence affects your ability to make rational decisions. The alcohol may make you take unnecessary risks, breaking road rules.
  4. Grievous consequences: Driving under the influence can lead to accidents, loss or damage of lives and properties, no insurance in case of an accident, and a high insurance premium if you get arrested.

To avoid driving under the influence, you can have an alternative driver to return you home when you are on a drinking spree, or in the absence of one, call a taxi.

 

Tips to Avoid Impaired Driving

As we see in the news so often, impaired driving is a leading cause of road accidents and death in North America. Knowing and following simple steps of prevention is the best way to avoid unnecessary heartache and pain.

What is impaired driving?

Impaired driving involves anything that prevents a person from having complete awareness of the road and surroundings while driving. The common form of impaired driving is when someone drives when drunk or while high due to drugs. This poses a danger to the driver as well as everybody else on the road. These impaired drivers get charged with driving under the influence or DUI for short.

Impaired driving means driving or operating any vehicle (this includes cars, trucks, snowmobiles, and boats) while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The consequences are serious, and it is a crime under the Criminal Code of Canada.

Understand the effects of drugs and alcohol

Knowledge is power. Find out from your doctor or pharmacist or read online to learn about the side effects related to driving when using prescription medication.

Read the details on the package of any prescription drugs or over-the-counter medicine, including allergy and cold medications.

Keep in mind that fatigue and stress can affect your ability to drive safely.

The best way to avoid the consequences of DUI is to make simple arrangements that keep you from driving while you consumed alcohol or drugs:

Take responsibility

Even before you go out, decide who will be the driver by choosing a designated driver. Ensure that person doesn’t drink any alcoholic beverages.

If nobody in your group is sober, call a taxi.

If needed, take the keys from the person who is drunk.

When Throwing a Party

Serve plenty of healthy food. A stomach that is full is likely to slow the rate of alcohol absorption.

Offer non-alcoholic beverages. Water, juice, soda pop – give your guests plenty of alternatives. And never pressure guests to drink alcohol.

Stop serving alcohol well before the party ends. Give your guests an extra hour or two without alcohol before they head out the door.

Arrange alternate transportation. Pay attention to your guests’ alcohol intake and behavior. If someone has had a lot to drink or seems even the slightest bit tipsy, call a cab or set up a ride with a sober driver.

Understand the massive implications of these actions

You could:

  • Lose your license
  • Have your vehicle impounded
  • Need to attend an education or treatment program
  • Be fined upon conviction
  • Spend time in jail

While the hazards of drunk driving are all over the media, it has not prevented all drivers from driving while intoxicated. Understanding and following the rules is the best way to prevent avoidable tragedies.

Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol: Consequences and Effects

Drinking and driving is likely to lead to devastating and far-reaching impacts for you, your family, and anyone who happens to be on the road with you.

Unfortunately, despite public awareness campaigns, warnings, and stiff penalties for violations, people will still get behind the wheel of their vehicles while intoxicated.

The consequences of driving under the influence may include fines, demerit points, loss of license, and jail time. The best way to avoid this is to understand the serious consequences of drinking and driving, as well as how you can keep yourself out of circumstances of violating the law.

The Effects of alcohol on driving

Driving involves focus, attention to detail, and coordination. For safe driving on the roads, the driver is expected to consider many unknown factors that need a quick response and split-second decisions. Alcohol in the body, when it exceeds a certain level, is known to impact this decision-making capacity that is possible when there is no influence of alcohol in the system.

The effects of alcohol that could lead to dangerous consequences include:

  • A false sense of security and control
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Increased risk-taking
  • Difficulty maintaining a constant speed
  • Slower reaction times
  • Poor coordination
  • Sudden movements
  • Drowsiness

Legal Consequences of Drinking and Driving:

Taking the example of Ontario, Canada, here are some answered by https://torontodui.com/ to frequently asked questions:

Do you go to jail for drunk driving?

First-time offenders usually receive only a fine. However, repeat offenders can receive jail time.

How much jail time do you get for drinking and driving?

In Ontario, second-time offenders can receive 30 days in jail, while third-time offenders can receive 120 days in prison for drinking and driving.

What is the limit for drunk driving?

Ontario drivers are considered over the allowed limit if they exceed 80 mg of alcohol in 100 mL of blood. This makes them liable to get a drunk driving charge.

What happens the first time someone gets a DUI?

A first-time DUI offense in Ontario carries a fine of up to $1,000 and may cause you to lose your license for up to 30 days.

Can I drink a pint and drive?

Generally, people can drink one pint of beer and not go over the 80 limit. However, it is important to know that those who weigh less than normal may still go over 80 after one pint.

What happens if you get caught drunk driving?

The arresting officer can bring you to the police station to undergo a pair of breathalyzer tests. If you test positive, you will face charges from there.

It is important to know that just because a person can function well after drinking doesn’t mean that they are not at risk of showing high levels of alcohol in their system when tested.

REASONS WHY DRIVERS NEED TO STICK TO DRIVING RULES

Everyone would love to own a vehicle which they drive at their convenience. However, not everyone is willing to stick to the rules of driving. Some people think these rules are too stringent, and following these rules is not suitable for them. What are driving rules? They are basically set of rules which a driver is meant to stick to while driving.

These rules are what defines him to either be a good or a bad driver. Driving rules are not set based on hearsays, they were set by driving regulatory bodies of a state or a country. The major goal of these driving rules, is to make sure that all lives on the road are secured.

One major driving rule which is common across all states and countries in the world, is the prohibition of all drivers to stay away from alcohol and other drug-related substances which can affect the brain performance of a driver.

When a driver is hooked on alcohol and other hard drugs, it becomes difficult for the driver to concentrate fully on the wheels and the road. As a matter of fact, the driver finds it hard to comprehend and interpret things as he would, if he was not under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

The lives of passers-by and other drivers on the road are at risk because the driver who has taken alcohol or drugs, before taking to the wheels, is not in the best state of mind.

If drivers could pay heed to this specific aspect of driving rules, we would have fewer cases of accidents on the road. This is because, everyone on the road would be sane and mentally stable.

In addition, you are also protecting your vehicle by sticking to driving rules. There are some road accidents which can make your vehicle a total write-off, thus compelling you to buy another vehicle. Driving rules are essential because, they ensure that the society is rid of deaths and severe injuries caused by fatal or ghastly accidents.

EFFECTS OF DRUG ADDICTION ON DRIVING 

Driving under the influence of drugs is risky, and it gets even worse when it the driver is addicted to drugs. Someone who is addicted to drugs does not only pose a risk to himself, but to other people on the road. When drugs are taken in reduced doses, it still has the capacity to greatly step-down your driving skills.

For instance, someone who is hooked on cannabis, will find it difficult to drive fast and also stay awake. In addition, it would also be difficult to maintain the right lanes during the course of driving.

The effects which comes with drug addiction during driving, varies from individual to individual. The effects are dependent on the size of the person; weight and health. The consistency with which the drug is ingested also matters, and if the drug is combined with other medications.

With the aforementioned factors, it is quite herculean to state the exact way whereby the combination of drugs will affect the safety of a driver.

Drug addiction causes reduced reaction times in individuals. Hence, the person will not respond as fast as he needs to. This is often the cause of accidents on the road.

There are times when the driver will need to apply the brake promptly in order to avoid hitting a passerby, and he ends up not responding quickly to this expected action. Usually, the reason for this is, the response ability of the driver has been impaired.

In addition, the driver finds it hard to concentrate when driving because of the presence of drugs in his system. It becomes hard to keep his sight on the road, and stick to all the rules which guide good driving.

Furthermore, there is a likely chance that the driver will feel drowsy while driving, and this is dangerous because an accident could result in the process. This could get worse if the driver combines hard drugs with other medications or even alcohol.

Conclusively, there are times when the driver would need to perform more than one action while driving, but it becomes difficult to do this, because he is addicted to drugs.

 

EFFECTS OF ALCOHOL ADDICTION ON DRIVING

Driving is a serious business, and it involves a great deal of care so that lives would be preserved. Some people are often in the habit of taking alcohol before they drive. To make it worse, people who are addicted to alcohol present the greatest risks to life, as some of them can even take alcohol during the course of driving.

Alcohol addiction is an obsessive disorder, which has the capacity to mess with the normal way of life of an individual. Some people need the frequent intake of alcohol to be normal, this shows to an extent the abnormality which alcohol addiction presents.

It is expected that someone who is addicted to alcohol, will have a slower reaction time, than someone who is not addicted. The driver will be unable to respond promptly to various situations. It reduces the response time of the driver, which can in turn lead to an accident.

For instance, if a small child or an animal runs across the road where there is a drunk driver, there is a possibility that the driver would find it hard to react swiftly, because the brain will take a longer time to access the situation and avert the accident.

In addition, the motor skills of a driver are impaired. The motor skills involve the foot, eye, and hand coordination. When these parts are unable to synchronize properly, the driver could have an impending danger on his hands. Hence, to avoid this, the intake of alcohol needs to be reduced. As a matter of fact, the excessive intake of alcohol can make a driver find it hard to start his car.

Closely related to this, is the inability of the driver to concentrate properly. Alcohol is a powerful substance, and a very minute quantity has the capacity to affect the concentration of an individual. When driving, proper concentration is an asset which no driver must miss, and the absence of this increases the likelihood of an accident.

Drivers are advised to avoid alcohol at all cost, to ensure that the lives on the road are safe. If there is a decline in alcohol addiction among the drivers on the road, there would be fewer cases of road accidents.

POSITIVE HABITS FOR A DRIVER

For a driver to be regarded as being good, it does not only boil down to his driving skills, it also involves the level of safety in his driving. It is easy to inculcate bad habits while driving, and a good number of them are detrimental.

Below are positive habits which are expected of a driver:

  • Keep away from your phone: One habit which drivers are fond of, is using their phones while driving. Some are in the habit of making calls, chatting with their phone during the course of driving. Hence, it would be difficult to perform a swift action if need be.

 

  • Maintain the speed limit: One of the major causes of accidents, is drivers who fail to maintain the moderate speed limit. Over-speeding kills people year in, year out. In some countries, drivers are fined for exceeding the expected speed limit.

 

  • Avoid alcohol before driving: There are many dangers when it comes to drinking and driving. It prevents the driver from thinking straight and making prompt decisions.

For instance, if a child happens to cross the road right in front of a drunk driver, it would be difficult for the driver to quickly apply the brakes. Hence, a life could be lost in the process. Alcohol prevents you from being alert and aware, no matter how minute the quantity of alcohol taken, there is still an effect which it has on the brain and mind.

 

  • Using Seatbelt: For some people, using the seatbelt seems like a burden and waste of time. It is essential for both the driver and passenger to have their seatbelts on, as it is one of the easiest ways to save their lives. As a good driver, you need to make sure your seatbelts are on, and you must enforce the same rule on anyone who journeys with you.

 

  • Avoid playing loud music: Loud music is another form of distraction when driving, it also prevents you from being aware, alert and informed. It makes it difficult for you to respond to sudden occurrences which could have simply been avoided.

WHY IT IS IMPORTANT TO DRIVE WITH A GOOD MENTAL HEALTH

Driving is not a regular activity which can be performed by paying little attention, it is a very skilled and complex activity which needs the application of high cortical functions. An individual who is driving a vehicle needs to be able to clearly judge and give quick reactions when it is needed. The inability to do this could cause risks to the person driving, or users of the road.

Mental disorders have the capacity to inhibit good judgement, concentration and also reaction times. Studies have shown that, in road accidents, the percentage of those caused by people with mental illness, is higher than those caused by people who do not have mental illness.

For instance, someone who undergoes bouts of depression from time to time, should be declared unfit for driving, as there is a huge tendency that the person would not be able to make the right decisions. The hands of the person might just be on the wheels, and his eyes faced forward, but his mind might not be there.

Hence, if there is a sudden need to apply the brakes, it would be difficult to do this, as his mind has been carried away. Children and young teenagers are at a high risk on a road containing drivers who are not in their right state of mind. These set of people find it difficult to concentrate properly on the road, and they cannot entirely be blamed for this.

It is essential in a developed country, that before drivers are given their license, there has to be a proof certifying a clean bill of mental health. Until this has been verified, it is advisable not to handover a license to any regular person. Putting this measure in check would ensure that, the number of accidents caused due to mental health illness, would be on the decline.

In addition to this, it would be highly beneficial if there is a check on these drivers from time to time. Mental health illness can develop at any time, and once it has been detected quite early, it makes it easy to manage.

THE IMPORTANCE OF NOT DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL

When it comes to drinking and driving, it happens on a regular basis, and the sad part is, people are not aware of the danger which is behind it. When they get home or perhaps, any destination safely, it looks as if they have gotten away with it.

Driving under the influence of alcohol is not a good decision to make, because you are not only putting your life at risk, you are also endangering the lives of others who are on the road. In most countries, it is illegal to drive after taking alcohol, and even though you can control yourself, it is still not safe at all.

First and foremost, driving under the influence of alcohol affects your judgement and compels you to make bad decisions, which are most times, life-threatening. After making such decisions, you would get to discover the next day, but it would have been too late. When there is no sound judgement, you are bound to be distracted when driving, and something hazardous could happen.

In addition to this, driving after taking alcohol causes slowed reaction time, and it inhibits coordination. Basically, you will not be able to respond promptly, thereby the chances of being involved in an accident. For example, during times when you need to stop quickly, if someone runs in front of your vehicle, you might not be able to react quickly, and there are chances that you would hit them eventually.

Furthermore, when driving under the influence of alcohol, you might not be able to see clearly, and this is very important. Having a good vision when driving, prevents possible accidents, and alcohol certainly inhibits this. Your vision could get blurred, and your eyes could move on their own.

Studies have shown and proven that, those who drive when they are intoxicated, are likely to cause an accident than individuals who are sober when driving. In most countries, there are penalties for those who are caught driving under the influence of alcohol, and it could get more severe if there is an accident, and a life is lost in the process.