Driving and Drinking the Number One Cause of Automobile Accidents

You’ve seen the popular drunk driving PSA commercials all over your television screen. You may have read the blogs headlining a famous celebrity’s DUI. Even worse, you’ve watched your local news and seen some of the fatal accidents that have occurred right in your town as a result of someone operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. Yes, drinking and driving is so prevalent that it has now become the number one cause of automobile accidents. In the state of California in the past year, there have been 774 DUI fatalities and well over a quarter of a million people were third time DUI offenders.

The Mindset of A Drunk Driver

Most people, including DUI offenders can reason that driving while intoxicated is dangerous, that’s it’s both legally and morally wrong. Alcohol interferes with the way that the central nervous system functions which prevents the brain from functioning like it normally would. When a person is intoxicated their mind and process of thinking is severely altered. Alcohol changes your sense of judgment and the depth of a person’s perception. It also affects basic and vital driving skills.

Judgment affected

Someone intoxicated may feel that they are not intoxicated at all. They may reason that they haven’t had a lot of drinks or that the drinks they had were not strong enough to cause intoxication. It’s nearly impossible to know your limit when you are drunk.

Perception is altered

Once a person is intoxicated they are most likely unable to make sound decisions. They may make the decision to drink and drive, or put themselves in other potential risky situations.

Impaired driving skills

Drunk drivers actually believe that they are driving normally and safely. Consuming large quantities of alcohol will affect your balance and limit your ability to see clearly. Drunk drivers are often aggressive and have a lack of self –control which makes for bad driving. Someone who has been drinking also has a slower reaction time. They won’t be able to react quickly to changes in traffic or to emergency situations.

What Can You Do

While we may not be capable of totally eliminating drunk driving, we all can take a part in making our city’s roads safer. Here are some things you can personally do:

– Be a designated driver. If you and your friends are going out for the night and you know alcohol will be present; volunteer to be the designated driver for the night. It’s important to figure out who is going to be the designated driver before all the fun begins.

– If you are throwing a party or event you also want to make sure your guests are safe. You can offer nonalcoholic beverages, or limit the amount of hard liquor that is available, and you can call a cab for drivers that are too drunk to drive. Do whatever you have to make sure that all of your friends and family get to their prospective places safely and without harming others.

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