You’re used to driving late at night even if you’re drunk. Whenever you meet up with friends to get a few drinks, you don’t mind driving alone just to get home. This has been your routine for years, and it has worked out for you – you get home without being involved in any accidents. However, your family and friends have started to show concern of how erroneous your ways are. They think that drinking and driving should never go together. They’re not telling you to stop drinking, but they’re just looking after your safety. But being the strong-willed person as you are, you didn’t heed any of their warnings for you. You think that you can take care of yourself (because you did that for years, right?) and they’re just overreacting. And so, you continue doing what you’re accustomed to.
Telling you that there are dangers in drink driving is an understatement. You might be a professional driver and you’re confident that you know everything there is about driving but once you’re drunk, things change – a lot. If you’re still not considering anything your friends and family warned you about, here are the health risks of drink driving. These should be reasons enough for you to change what you think is right:
- Drink driving can affect your vision: You need your eyes to be straight on the road when you’re driving. Aside from knowing what is in front of you, you should also look at the things happening around you when you drive such as the pedestrians, other vehicles near you and road conditions. You might be doing everything of these when you’re sober, but you’ll see things differently once alcohol is in your system.
- If you’ve been drunk too many times, you might already be familiar with the sensation of seeing everything as if it’s tilting to one side. This happens when you’re out in the open, drunk, so can you imagine what you’ll see when you’re behind the wheel?
- When you’re drunk, your vision becomes blurry. This means that when you drink and drive, you might lose the ability to see clearly what’s in front of you. You might notice that something is in front, but you’ll have a hard time determining what is it – is it a car or is a pedestrian?
- Drink driving can affect your hearing: The reason why it’s not recommended to wear your headphones while you drive is because your hearing is required here. You should be able to hear things to know if there’s a vehicle approaching towards you or if you’re in the way of a speeding truck.
- Scientifically speaking, there are hair cells all over your body, and these cells prompt your brain to “hear” something. When you’re intoxicated, these cells are impaired and can no longer function well. You might still hear a few honks while driving, but you may not be able to respond as quickly as possible.
- Aside from disrupting your driving, the damage to your hair cells due to excessive alcohol intake can also lead to permanent hearing loss. If this happens to you, you may never be able to drive again and can affect other aspects of your life.
- Drink driving can affect your brain: Your brain plays an important role in everything that you do, and driving is no exemption. You might argue that you can still see and hear well when you’re drunk, but everything of these senses will be useless if your brain can never process the information it receives.
- Your brain controls your eye, hand and feet coordination and this can be greatly affected once you’re drunk. You might be able to see and hear everything on the road while you’re driving but if you can’t do anything according to what’s in front of you, an accident could happen. Take this for example: you saw a pedestrian crossing a few feet away from your vehicle, but since you’re drunk, you might step on your break a little too late because it took you time to process this information. One of the best ways to prevent a bicycle or pedestrian accident is to responsibly consume alcohol and take a cab or a ride from a sober friend instead of driving.
- You also need your brain to function well when you drive because you need to understand everything that’s happening around you. If you’re hindered to do this, your judgment and decision-making will be affected.
Your friends and family wouldn’t stop you from doing anything unless it can become dangerous to your well-being, or the well-being of others. They’re only looking after you and want the best for you. Sure, you can still drink whenever and wherever you want, but once you’re drunk, you should pay attention to what these people have told you. If you have a car and you’re planning to go home after having a few drinks, don’t do it. Consider having a friend drive you home or stay in a nearby hotel for you to rest instead. Don’t force yourself to drive just to get home. Don’t sacrifice your life because of drink driving – it’s not worth it.