Drunk driving Term Paper

This essay has a total of 1122 words and 5 pages.

drunk driving

Every 22 minutes, someone will die in an alcohol-related traffic accident. Although you
probably think that it could never happen to you, experts say everyone has a 40% chance of
being in a crash involving alcohol use sometime in their life. According to a Gallup
survey, funded by State Farm, of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), drunken driving is
our No. 1 highway safety problem. Through education, increased law enforcement and stiffer
penalties, the number of alcohol-related traffic accidents can be reduced.

Since the early 1980's, there has been a substantial decline in drinking and driving and
in the number of alcohol-related deaths and injuries on the roads. However, drinking and
driving remains one of the main causes of death and injury. Between 1993 and 1996
casualties in drink drive accidents had begun to rise again, but in 1997 this trend again
went into reverse and there were further falls in the number of casualties.

In 1997, there were an estimated 540 deaths and over 16,000 injuries involving illegal
blood alcohol levels. Around half of the casualties were to people other than the drinking
drivers themselves. There were probably an additional 250 people killed in accidents
involving drivers and riders with raised blood alcohol levels but still below the current
legal limit. Altogether, therefore, around one in five road deaths are alcohol related.

The average blood alcohol content among fatally injured rdrinking drivers is 17%. Almost
half of fatally injured drinking drivers have a BAC of .2% over (which is twice the legal
limit in most jurisdictions). High BAC drivers tend to be male, aged 25-35, and have a
history of DWI convictions.

Alcohol affects your driving skills in many ways. After drinking, the brain works
inefficiently, taking longer to receive messages from the eye; processing information
becomes more difficult and instructions to the muscles are delayed. Alcohol can slow down
reaction time by 10 to 30%. It also reduces ability to perform two or more tasks at the
same time.

Alcohol reduces the ability to see distant objects and night vision can be reduced by 25%.
Blurred and double vision can also occur. Ability to perceive what is happening at the
roadside is weakened and loss of peripheral vision could be crucial.

Even when sober, young drivers and riders are more accident prone than older, more
experienced drivers. Their lower tolerance to alcohol further increases their accident
risk. The vulnerability of a young person to the effects of alcohol is shown by the lower
average blood alcohol levels of young drink driving offenders compared with older
offenders. The same pattern is found in drivers who are killed. For young people accident
risk increases after one drink, after two it doubles and after five it can have increased
10 times.

Some people wonder who are the ones who usually drink and drive. Well the answer is that
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