The Dangers of Driving Under the Influence
The dangers of driving under the influence are real claiming lives every day. Thousands of people are injured or killed by drivers under the influence every year. While driving under the influence typically refers to drunk driving, medications and illegal drugs can also impair your ability to operate a motor vehicle.
The reality is that getting behind the wheel after a few drinks, taking drugs, or even prescription medication that can cause drowsiness can be dangerous to yourself, other drivers, and pedestrians.
At Supreme Care ER in Houston, the finest emergency room in Cypress Texas, we’re happy to provide you with the emergency care that you need in the event of a medical emergency. We’re open 24 hours during all holidays including Christmas and New Year.
Driving Under the Influence Can be Deadly
Motor vehicle accidents due to driving under the influence claimed the lives of 1.077 Texans in 2021, accounting for 24% of all traffic accident fatalities in the state.
According to data from the Texas Department of Transportation, the days surrounding Christmas and New Year’s register the highest number of fatal crashes.
The Effects of Driving Under the Influence
Even low levels of alcohol, certain prescription drugs, and illegal substances can impair your ability to drive a motor vehicle, including cars, trucks, motorcycles, golf carts, ATVs, and boats. In the case of alcohol, even though the limit for blood alcohol content (BAC) is at 0.08%, it can start having side effects in your system with a BAC as low as 0.01%.
These are some of the side effects of drinking under the influence
1. It Slows Reaction Times and Reduces Concentration
The road is full of unpredictables, animals crossing, a cyclist falling, and debris flying off trucks, to name a few.
Usually, our brains can react quickly to swerve or hit the breaks to avoid these dangers. However, alcohol reduces our reaction time. Therefore, it takes us longer to process these situations.
Additionally, alcohol harms our ability to focus and concentrate, making us more likely to become distracted while driving.
2. Impairs Eye-Hand Coordination
Being under the influence affects our body’s nervous system and hinders our motor skills. This means drunk or drugged drivers have less eye, hand, and foot coordination, all vital driving skills.
Having impaired motor skills increases the likelihood of having an accident.
3. Promotes Poor Judgement and Memory Loss
Intoxication affects the part of your brain responsible for rational thinking and judgment. Additionally, alcohol and other substances lower our inhibitions which can cause us to make decisions without thinking about their consequences.
Being intoxicated can also cause memory lapses, also known as blackouts. Memory lapses happen when our brains cannot transfer short-term memories into long-term memories. Driving during a memory lapse further impairs your ability to make reasonable decisions and significantly increases your chances of being
What to Do If You are Involved in a Car Crash
The first thing you should know is that the law ensures traffic accident victims have access to quality emergency care, even if they visit an out-of-network facility.
This is an excellent benefit for you and your loved ones because it means your insurance company cannot deny you coverage or charge you at an increased rate for going to an emergency room that is not part of their network.
If you are involved in a motor vehicle crash, whether a drunk driver causes it or not, you should always go to the ER for an evaluation. This is because, due to the increased adrenaline levels, you may not feel pain as intensely, and your injuries may be more severe than you initially thought. Additionally, you could have internal damage that can compromise your life.
At Supreme Care ER, we care about the safety of the members of our community, and while not all accidents are preventable, those caused by driving under the influence are.
Therefore, if you plan on drinking during the Holidays, please don’t drive. Instead, consider using a ridesharing app, or have a designated driver.