Intoxication and Distraction are Dangerous for Driving

Both intoxication and distraction are dangerous for driving. Either can cause a fatal traffic crash. Combining the two further increases the risk of crashes, according to research.

intoxication and distraction are dangerousStudy subjects used a driving simulator. Their primary goal (# 1) was to keep a safe distance from the vehicle ahead of them. Their secondary goal (# 2) was to keep a stable lane position. All subjects engaged in distractions and half consumed alcohol to a BAC of 0.08.

Researchers then compared sober driving while distracted to driving intoxicated without distraction. Distraction produced more serious changes in driving behavior than did intoxication. It did this for both primary (# 1) and secondary driving (# 2) goals. But impairment was greatly increased when participants were both intoxicated and distracted.

intoxication and distraction are dangerousThis research is consistent with the earlier findings of others. That is, cell phone use is highly distracting. It makes such phone users even more dangerous than drunk drivers at the .08 to .10 BAC levels.

The take home messageis simple. Don’t drive while intoxicated. And don’t drive while using a cell phone (even a hands-free model). And don’t even think of doing both at the same time.

Candy Lightner formed MADD. She did this to reduce needless drunk driving crashes. But she left the group after it changed focus. She said “It has become far more neo-prohibitionist than I ever wanted or envisioned.” Then she added “I didn’t start MADD to deal with alcohol. I started MADD to deal with the issue of drunk driving.”

MADD long avoided the problem of distracted driving. Then Ms. Lightner formed We Save Lives. This group deals with the three Ds. That’s Drugged, Distracted, and Drunken driving.

intoxication and distraction

 Read more at We Save Lives

Intoxication and Distraction are Dangerous