You’re a person who loves to socialize, and this is evident in the number of friends you have right now. Whenever you’re invited to meet up, hang out and have a few drinks, you always accept their invitation. In your mind, you’re a grown man, and you can stay as late as you want because you have your vehicle. So you can have all the drinks that you want and go home when you’ve already had enough – and most of the time, your definition of “enough” is when you can no longer walk straight and everything is already spinning. It’s already normal for you to drive home when you’re drunk. Although you always arrive safe and sound, your friends already showed concerned about this behavior of yours. They’ve warned you a countless number of times that drunk driving is dangerous and you should change your ways. But you’ve never really paid any heed to their comments because in your defense, you’re always careful whenever you’re driving. But should you be waiting for an accident before you’ll realize the real risk of drunk driving to your health?
“Drunk driving is dangerous” is an understatement. If you’re not sober behind the wheel, a lot of things change and these can be the very reasons why you’d end up in an accident or put your health in danger. Are you still not convinced to change your ways? This article might influence you to turn over a new leaf.
- Drunk driving is a health-risk because it impairs your hearing: When you’re driving, you need to hear everything. Your sense of hearing should be optimal because you need to be able to hear incoming vehicles around you. And once you fail to do that, you might end up in an accident, especially in an intersection.
- There are tiny hair cells in your inner ear, and these are responsible for translating sounds into nerve impulses. These are the reasons why you’re able to hear and have these signals sent to your brain. But too much of anything is never good – and excessive alcohol consumption can damage your hair cells which can lead to permanent hearing loss.
- Aside from permanently damaging your hair cells, excessive alcohol consumption can also increase your blood pressure to the inner ear which can cause tinnitus. Tinnitus is a buzzing, swooshing or ringing sound in the ears. Even though this condition can be gone in a few hours, this can be quite disturbing while it’s present, especially while you’re driving. It’ll seem like you’re hearing an incoming vehicle honking when nothing is actually there.
- Drunk driving is a health-risk because it impairs your eyesight: You need your night vision when you’re driving for many reasons. For one, you need your eyesight to determine if there are vehicles, pedestrians or warning signs on the road. If you fail to take notice of any of these, you might end up in a fatal accident.
- When you’re drinking too much too often, the communication between your eyes and your brain is hindered. There will be neurological disruptions once there’s too much alcohol in your system. Once this happens, your driving will be affected negatively. Sure, you can still see everything around, but since the communication between your brain and your eyes isn’t as efficient, you might react a little too late from what you’re seeing. You might see a pedestrian crossing the street, but you might not be able to step on the brakes in time.
- You’ll also experience sensitivity to light once you’re drunk and decide to drive. Imagine how inconvenient this would be when you’re on the road. Instead of veering away as an incoming truck is approaching your vehicle at night, you’d end up covering your eyes to avoid the sensitivity, and you can no longer react properly with anything that’s coming your way.
- Drunk driving is a health-risk because it affects your brain: You need your brain for you to function well. All of your senses will be useless if your brain doesn’t interpret the signals it receives. Once you drink and drive, your brain’s function will be impaired.
- You need your mind on the road – literally. You need to be able to think straight to react accordingly to the hazards that are in front of you, especially when it’s something that you don’t expect.
- Your decision-making will also be compromised once alcohol is in your system. You need to decide quickly when you’re on the road because you need to think whether to take a left or right turn when you’re in busy traffic, or if you’ll overtake a slow vehicle.
There’s nothing really wrong if you would love hanging out with your friends and if you love having drinks with them. By all means, hanging out with friends can bring a lot of benefits to your life. But if you’re planning to drive home after consuming alcohol with your friends, you should know when you had enough. You should control yourself and impose a limit as to how many drinks you should have. Remember that you should always be sober when you’re behind the wheel. Your life and your safety should always be a priority at all times.
Janine Penn has been a law writer for more than a decade. She hopes to impart some of her wisdom to others through her written works. She is often reading a new book whenever she has the time.