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How does buzzed driving affect people behind the wheel?

On Behalf of | Jul 7, 2023 | Drunk Driving |

Individuals who earn their driver’s licenses usually learn about the dangers and consequences of drunk driving early on, but some drivers make a distinction between driving drunk and driving buzzed, or feeling the effects of alcohol without being legally drunk.

Despite this division in terms, buzzed driving contributed to more than 13,000 alcohol-related deaths in 2021, and the effects of even a few alcoholic drinks can reduce driving ability.

Reduced response times

A car accident can happen in the blink of an eye, but in some cases, drivers can avoid a collision by responding quickly, such as braking or changing lanes on a freeway. Buzzed drivers may not have the ability to respond as quickly as they might when sober, which can result in a serious accident.

Reduced concentration

Buzzed drivers may experience a fuzzy or foggy sensation overlaying their consciousness, which can affect their concentration. This can reduce their driving ability in several ways, including:

  • Failing to notice traffic signs
  • A lack of focus on vehicle speed
  • Drifting in and out of vehicle lanes

Any of these issues can cause an accident, as well as serious injury or death to other individuals involved.

Vision changes

The effects of alcohol on the body can occur well before the .08 limit, which defines a driver as legally drunk. Failure to notice moving objects or track other vehicles may occur before drivers reach that limit, colliding with them or pedestrians using a crosswalk.

While alcohol affects individuals differently and some have higher tolerances, buzzed driving can still cause serious car accidents and death to those in other vehicles.