Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

If you booze, you lose: Even small amount of alcohol affects driving skills

19.09.2002


For most drinkers, knowing when to say when occurs a lot quicker than they think. A study by Texas A&M University’s Center for Alcohol and Drug Education Studies shows that even a small amount of alcohol - in many cases, as few as one or two beers - can seriously affect judgment and driving decisions.



The study’s bottom line: Even if you’ve consumed very little alcohol, your decision-making skills are hampered more than you realize and the results could be deadly considering that nationally, 38 percent of all traffic deaths involve alcohol. In Texas, the rate is a staggering 49 percent, which leads the nation.

In a study titled Analysis and Evaluation of the Effects of Varying Blood Alcohol Concentrations on Driving Abilities, Texas A&M researchers led by Dr. Maurice Dennis tested 19 men and women of various ages and ethnic backgrounds performing driving skills at different blood alcohol concentrations (BACs).


Dennis and his team measured blood alcohol concentration throughout the driving test. Impaired driving skills were expected by those drivers who had reached illegal BACs, but the surprising results came from drivers who had small amounts of alcohol in their systems.

"In Texas and 20 other states, the blood alcohol concentration level to be legally intoxicated is .08," Dennis says. "But we found that persons who registered a .04 - one-half the amount it takes to be legally intoxicated - had significant impairment in their driving abilities.

"In a nutshell, what it means is you don’t have to be staggering, fall-down drunk to have driving problems if you’ve drinking. A very small amount can affect your driving ability and especially the decisions you make while driving. A person may think to himself or herself, ’I’ve only had a couple of beers so I can drive okay,’ but their judgment can be severely affected and they don’t even know it."

The study will be published in the next issue of The Chronicle of the American Driver and Traffic Safety Education Association. Helping to administer the driving tests were representatives from the Texas Department of Public Safety

Dennis says it doesn’t take much alcohol for many people to reach that dangerous .04 level. For a 150-pound man, it can be reached in as little as 1-2 beers, or just one beer for a 120-pound woman.

"Our tests showed that at .04, again one-half the level of legal intoxication, drivers had trouble with such skills as skid control, crash simulation and other maneuvering tests through stationary cones," Dennis adds.

The driving tests were conducted during daylight hours, Dennis said, where vision is sharper than nighttime driving. "And you have to remember that most people drink and drive at night and fatigue can further hamper driving skills," he notes.

Dennis said the test results have been recorded on a 12-minute VHS tape and is available statewide for driver education courses and law enforcement agencies.


Dennis study was funded by the Texas Department of Transportation.

Contact: Keith Randall, Office of University Relations, (979) 845-4644.

Keith Randall | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.tamu.edu/

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

nachricht Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>