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How Alcohol Affects One’s Driving

Alcohol affects your psychomotor skills; therefore, your ability to drive may actually be impaired before you reach the point of legal intoxication. Although the legal limit for blood alcohol content is .08%, many people can be affected at much lower levels than that. Because of this, many states have penalties for those caught driving with a blood alcohol content level of .05% or higher.

EzLicence driving lessons PerthOne of the biggest killers on our roads is alcohol. Although we all know about the dangers from our time in EzLicence driving lessons Perth, it can be very hard to resist getting behind the wheel after a couple of beers or some other alcoholic beverage. However, you might want to reconsider that next drink before getting in your car.

In addition to the effects on your psychomotor skills, alcohol can also reduce your ability to focus and pay attention while you’re behind the wheel. However, some people believe that a few drinks do not impair their driving ability. For example, a study showed that men thought they were okay to drive after having 3-4 beers, while women who drank the same number of beverages believed they could only have 1-2.

In addition, other studies have shown that both male and female participants were more likely to take risks while driving when under the influence of alcohol. This is a dangerous practice as taking risks, especially those involving complex maneuvers, can lead to a life-threatening accident.

Some research shows that your risk of being involved in a fatal car accident increases immediately after having one drink and heads back down to normal as you reach a .05% blood alcohol content level. However, by the time you reach .10%, your chance of being involved in a deadly crash is at least five times greater!

Although most states have lowered their legal limit to help reduce accidents on our roads, there are still some that allow individuals to drink and drive as long as their BAC is below the legal limit. Some people may only feel the effects of alcohol after reaching .08% blood alcohol content. But, as we mentioned above, you might not feel the effects of those couple of drinks until your blood alcohol content reaches .08% or higher.

So, what happens to your driving skills at these various levels? According to studies done by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), here are some examples of the effects you might experience at different blood alcohol content levels:

.02% – Minimal effects

.05% – Slight impairment in steering control, attention, and moderate difficulty keeping track of two objects simultaneously

.08% – Substantial impairment in all these skills

Reduced ability to maintain your lane position

.12% – Even more difficulty maintaining your lane position and slower reaction time

.15% – Harder to keep track of moving objects, reduced peripheral vision

Base Rate Neglect – begin to ignore stimuli outside the realm of driving tasks

In addition, at higher levels of blood alcohol content, you may experience delayed reactions which could cause you to veer off the road, loss of consciousness, visual disturbances, slowed stomach emptying (leading to nausea), and emotional instability.

So how can you avoid driving while under the influence? You might also want to consider the time it will likely take for your body to lower your blood alcohol content levels back down to .00%. For example, it takes approximately one hour to drop your blood alcohol content by .02%. Rest assured that if you are in this range, you are in the clear. But, if your BAC is above .08%, you may want to consider taking a taxi or having someone else drive for you.