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How alcohol affects driving skills

Many people in New York are aware that drinking and driving do not mix. Yet many motorists continue to use alcohol before and while they operate their vehicles. With the number of alcohol-related accidents steadily increasing, drivers should educate themselves on the dangers of alcohol and how its use can affect their driving skills. According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc., drunk driving was committed by more than 29.1 million people in 2012. Drunk driving accidents impact two-thirds of motorists at least once in their lifetime.

Alcohol affects the central nervous system. It causes a depressing effect on the body's responses that changes the way people move, think and act.

Decreases reaction times

Once people consume alcohol, their ability to react to people and situations diminishes. They may feel like they are in control of their actions and try to act normally, but their movement speeds and their reaction times are often much slower than when sober. Decreased reaction times increase the risk of car accidents because inebriated motorists are not capable of responding fast enough to avoid these situations.

Affects perception

Many people who drink do not believe they are intoxicated even when they are feeling buzzed. However, they may have trouble seeing and understanding traffic signs, driver gestures and intent. Intoxicated motorists often end up confused and in car wrecks because they were not able to fully understand their situations on the road.

Interferes with judgment

Drunk drivers are unable to think clearly. They may lack the ability to make rational decisions that could potentially keep them from getting into collisions with other motorists. They are also unable to stay focused on driving and the road. They tend to get distracted easily and forget that they must stay aware of several things at once when they are driving instead of only one.

There are many reasons why people drink. Whether celebrating something or just relaxing with friends, everyone should practice moderation and good judgment when it comes to alcohol. Those who drink knowing that they must travel elsewhere later on should make alternative arrangements, so they can have someone else who has not had any alcohol do the driving for them. They can also just decide not to drink unless they are somewhere that they plan to stay until the effects of the alcohol completely wear off.

If you or someone you know is involved in a car accident where alcohol is a factor, you should talk to an attorney to learn about your options.

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