So its Saturday night and you’ve organised with some friends to go out for dinner and drinks. You’ve decided to drive thinking I’ll only have one maybe two drinks, you will be fine to drive home safely. You’ve done this before and had no problems. Right!
At some stage of our lives we have been in this situation at least once where we have had these thoughts about driving home after we have a few drinks of wine or beer when you’ve been amongst friends. But in that present moment in time, I wonder how many of us have taken a step back to think of the dangers of drinking and driving, and what long-term effects it can have on everyone?
In today’s post I will be talking about the dangers of drinking and driving.
Driving can be really complicated when you think about it. It requires our total concentration, good coordination, rapid reflexes, and be able to make correct judgement and decisions. When we consume alcohol, it impairs our alertness and decreases reaction times. Without theses skills, drivers are unable to fully execute the skills necessary for safe driving.
When you drink alcohol and drive, you’re more than likely to find it difficult to:
- Judge the speed of your vehicle
- Stay awake when you are driving
- Notice traffic lights, pedestrians and other hazards
- Judge the distance between your car and other vehicles
- Makes you more confident that you would be normally, leading to dangerous and reckless driving.
- Slows down your brain functions. This means you’re slower to react and make decisions
Different countries have strict laws about drinking and driving. Within Australia, the legal limit is set at 0.05 blood alcohol concentration (BAC). For drivers on their learners or probationary licences they must have a BAC of 0.00
So how can you lower the risks of drinking and driving, and most of all enjoying yourself and the people around you:-
- If you drink, don’t drive. Take turns with your friends or family having one designated driver, or catch public transport or a cab
- Monitor the size of your drink. The standard wine glass size varies from 100-280mls
- Take into account your body size. Gender, body fat and fitness are all contributing factors to how much alcohol will affect you.
- If you have been drinking, allow time to recover. Your blood alcohol content will rise for up to two hours after you stop drinking. After a big night it’s best to avoid driving the next day as your often still above the limit
- Eat food before drinking because food in your system allows the alcohol to be absorbed slower thus affecting the drunken process.
- When you drink remember that you do not have to just drink alcohol, drink something like a non-alcoholic drink or water as well.
Amanda Ogden is from Sydney Australia, and has spent the past 13 years working within the welfare industry in both administration and case management assisting people with mental health issues, mild intellectual disabilities, acquired brain injuries, drug & alcohol, homelessness gain employment. She also loves travelling, creating jewellery, music, friends and family.