Motor vehicle accidents happen for many reasons. Driving distractions, speeding, and failure to obey road signs are just a few of the behaviors that may lead to damaging car crashes. While these behaviors are a cause for concern, driving under the influence of alcohol is especially harmful.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 29 people lose their lives to accidents involving alcohol on a daily basis in the U.S. Despite these sobering statistics, some drivers think nothing of getting behind the wheel after drinking. Here are a few ways drinking affects your driving ability and causes severe accidents.
Decreased multi-tasking ability
While it might not seem like a complex procedure after you have been driving for many years, but operating a motor vehicle requires a bit of skill. For example, drivers must perform different tasks at the same time, such as steering the wheel while signalling a lane change or turn. The more alcohol a person consumes, the harder it will be to multi-task while driving. In fact, many people experience a decrease in multi-tasking ability after just two drinks.
Diminished response times
Being alert and aware behind the wheel is a must. When you are paying attention, you will notice road hazards quickly so you can respond before a crash occurs. Inebriation not only affects your alertness, it can also dull your response to an emergency. If a drunk driver does not notice a stopped vehicle in the road ahead until it is too late, it is likely that a crash will occur.
Drivers must process many types of information when driving. You must look out for road obstacles while also listening for sirens from approaching emergency vehicles. You must also be aware of pedestrians when driving through areas with a lot of foot traffic. Drinking dulls the senses while also limiting your cognitive abilities, which is key to assessing risk and making smart decisions.