What Are the Effects of Alcohol when Driving?
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How Alcohol Impairs Driving Abilities

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The effects of alcohol may be even more pronounced when a person is driving. Various factors come into play when you’re driving that can intensify the effects of alcohol when you’re on the road. Even small amounts of alcohol can impair your driving abilities, regardless of your body weight, gender, or alcohol tolerance. The experienced professionals from Altra Insurance, premier providers of auto insurance in San Diego, explain some of the effects alcohol can have on you while you’re driving.

Compromised Visual Function

Alcohol can have detrimental effects on vision. If you have alcohol in your system, you may experience blurred vision, double vision, and increased sensitivity to light. When you’re driving at night, alcohol can intensify glare, leading to a halo-like effect around bright lights. Alcohol can also cause your pupils to dilate, further impairing your visual acuity. Your eyes may also become very dry and irritated as a result of alcohol consumption, which could further impair your vision, putting you, your passengers, and other drivers at risk.

Profound Drowsiness

One of the most common effects of alcohol is profound drowsiness. Drinking can make you feel extremely sleepy, making it difficult to keep your eyes open and on the road. Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, and it causes not only sleepiness but also muscle relaxation and lack of coordination. This can lead to excessive acceleration and deceleration as a result of poor muscle control. While it’s never acceptable to drive after drinking, stopping on the side of the road to rest or calling for help may prevent a serious accident after you’ve been consuming alcohol.

Delayed Reaction Time

Alcohol can significantly delay your reaction time, rendering you less likely to react quickly to a potentially dangerous situation when you’re driving. The effects of alcohol on your reaction time can be especially hazardous if you’re following the car in front of you too closely. If the other driver suddenly decelerates or abruptly stops, your alcohol-related delayed reaction time may result in a crash because you aren’t able to stop in time. Delayed reaction time can also put pedestrians, animals, and property at risk if you aren’t able to stop or swerve out of the way in time to prevent a collision.

Decreased Inhibitions & Disorientation

Alcohol is also known for decreasing inhibitions. This can be especially dangerous when you’re driving because you may be more likely to take risks. For example, you may decide to go through a yellow light just as it’s about to change to red. Your decreased inhibitions may also make you more likely to cut another driver off, drive too fast, become aggressive with other drivers, and feel less responsible for the passengers in your vehicle. 

You may also become disoriented when you drive after consuming alcohol. You may easily get lost, forget familiar landmarks, and even drive into a construction zone or a body of water. In extreme cases, you may even be unaware you’re operating a motor vehicle.

The most important thing to remember is if you’ve consumed alcohol or any other kind of substance that impairs your ability to drive safely, don’t get behind the wheel. San Diego drivers who want more information on driving safety or who need reasonably priced, dependable car or motorcycle insurance can call on the professionals at Altra Insurance Services. We also offer several other types of coverage, including homeowners and business insurance. For a free quote, call one of our friendly representatives today.

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