Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving: Facts on Impaired Driving to Help Teens & Young Adults Arrive Alive by 30Seconds Health
If you know your teen or young adult drives after drinking – no matter what the amount – the worry can be overwhelming. What's a parent to do? Rick Birt, President and CEO of SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions,) shares tips and facts on impaired driving so you can help ensure your loved ones arrive at their destinations alive:
Alcohol-related fatality rates are nearly twice as high for 18, 19 and 20-year-olds as for those over age 21. Young drivers are less likely than adults are to drive after drinking alcohol, but when they do, their crash risks are substantially higher. This risk is especially true at low and moderate blood alcohol concentrations and is thought to result from teens’ relative inexperience as new drivers.
Many substances can impair driving, including alcohol, some over-the-counter and prescription drugs and illegal drugs.
- Alcohol, marijuana and other drugs impair the ability to drive because they slow coordination, judgment and reaction times.
- Cocaine and methamphetamine can make drivers more aggressive and reckless.
- Using two or more drugs at the same time, including alcohol, can amplify the impairing effects of each drug a person has consumed.
- Some prescription and over-the-counter medicines can cause extreme drowsiness, dizziness and other side effects. Read and follow all warning labels before driving, and note that warnings against “operating heavy machinery” include driving a vehicle.
Impaired drivers can’t accurately assess their own impairment, which is why no one should drive after using any impairing substances. Impaired drivers can experience:
- Slow reaction time.
- Alteration of depth perception.
- Hyperactivity from a high.
- Reduction of peripheral vision.
- Lack of awareness of surroundings.
Impaired driving puts teenagers at higher risks of injury or death. Remember: If you feel different, you drive different.
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