Alcohol and Driving
Alcohol is a depressant that affects your vision, coordination, reaction time, multitasking ability, judgment, and decision-making. How can you drive safely if you can’t see, think, and move around well and react quickly? Alcohol affects your ability to identify dangerous situations and make good decisions when you know danger is ahead, and it slows your reaction time even if you do make a good decision. In addition, having alcohol in the body while you’re driving messes up your distance and speed perception, making you see things farther or closer than they really are, or makes you feel like you’re driving the speed limit when you’re really speeding.
You need quick decision-making, reflexes, accurate perception, and multitasking skills to drive well and safely. Even one drink can make you an unsafe driver. And remember, driving with any alcohol in your bloodstream or in your car is illegal if you’re under the age of 21.
Overall Effects of Alcohol
In low doses, alcohol produces:
A relaxing effect
Slow reaction time
Slower brain activity
Sensations and perceptions that are less clear
In medium doses, alcohol produces:
Sleepiness and disruption of sleeping patterns
Increased urine production
More blood flow to skin surface
Lower core body temperature
In high doses, alcohol produces:
Long-term effects of alcohol
Disrupts normal brain development;
Liver damage and cirrhosis of the liver;
Brain cells die, decreasing brain mass;
Stomach and intestinal ulcers and destroyed organs;
Blood pressure increases, causing heart disease, heart attack, or stroke; Male sperm production decreases;
Lower levels of iron and vitamin B,...
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