Impaired Driving: The Effects of Drugs & Alcohol

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Effects of Drugs & Alcohol on Driving

There are enough distractions on the road that can make it a struggle to pay attention while driving. So, why make it worse? Driving with blurry vision, being dazed or seeing random flashes of light are just some things that people can experience when they use drugs or alcohol before they drive. Unfortunately, some people are under the impression that they can drive under these conditions and choose to share the roads with YOU![/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]


Stimulant Drugs

[/vc_column_text][vc_text_separator title=”Cocaine” title_align=”separator_align_left”][vc_column_text]Cocaine, caffeine and amphetamines are examples of stimulant drugs. While they increase alertness, they can wear off suddenly and leave a driver feeling extremely fatigued. In some cases, stimulant drugs can lead to overconfidence or aggression, which may result in reckless driving behaviors. Cocaine use can result in hallucinations, blurring, or a phenomenon known as “snow lights”, where an individual will notice weak flashes or movements of lights and swerve towards or away from them. In addition to this, people who use cocaine will often hear sounds and smell scents that aren’t there and all of these side effects can distract them from their driving.

cocaine[/vc_column_text][vc_text_separator title=”Marijuana” title_align=”separator_align_left”][vc_column_text]Marijuana is not classified into a regular drug category since the spectrum of behavior effects is unique. Regardless, it is extremely dangerous to drive while under it’s influence. Marijuana has an active ingredient known as THC that affects the areas of the brain that control balance, coordination, body movements, memory and judgment. Studies have also identified that using marijuana negatively affects perception of time and speed, attentiveness and the ability to learn from information that has been obtained from previous experiences.

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Depressant Drugs

[/vc_column_text][vc_text_separator title=”Alcohol” title_align=”separator_align_left”][vc_column_text]Drugs such as alcohol, barbiturates and opium related drugs slow down your reflexes, impair balance and coordination, reduce your ability to think clearly and can cause drowsiness. Taking these will slow your reaction time, distort your vision, impair your ability to perceive speed and distance, reduce your concentration, all of which greatly increases your risk of being involved in a terrible crash.

alcohol[/vc_column_text][vc_text_separator title=”Blood Alcohol Content (BAC)” title_align=”separator_align_left”][vc_column_text]When discussing alcohol levels in conjunction with driving, you will hear a term called Blood Alcohol Content (BAC). BAC refers to the amount of alcohol contained in a person’s blood. It is measured as weight per unit of volume. Typically this measurement is converted to a percentage such as 0.10%, which indicates that one-tenth of a percent of a person’s blood is alcohol.

Effects of Alcohol at Different BAC Levels

0.02 BAC

  • Relaxation Slight warmth
  • Altered mood
  • Loss in judgment
  • Difficult to concentrate and make good driving decisions

0.05 BAC

  • Exaggerated behavior
  • Inhibitions lowered
  • Start to lose coordination
  • Difficult to steer your car
  • React poorly in emergency driving situations

0.08 BAC

  • Judgment and reasoning and memory impaired
  • Difficulty controlling speed
  • Struggle to remembering things
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Poor recognition and reaction to surroundings

0.10 BAC

  • Slurred speech
  • Difficulty staying in your lane as you drive
  • Thinking slower and slower
  • Coordination is even worse

0.15 BAC

  • Begin vomiting
  • Losing your balance
  • Less muscle control than you usually do
  • Substantial deterioration in nearly every aspect of skills you need while driving…

[/vc_column_text][vc_separator][vc_column_text]”Impaired Driving: Get the Facts.” CDC. n.d.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]


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