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 Multi-year study finds 'hotspots' of ammonia over world's major agricultural areas
17.03.2017 | University of Maryland

nachricht Diabetes Drug May Improve Bone Fat-induced Defects of Fracture Healing
17.03.2017 | Deutsches Institut für Ernährungsforschung Potsdam-Rehbrücke

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: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Transport of molecular motors into cilia

28.03.2017 | Life Sciences

A novel hybrid UAV that may change the way people operate drones

28.03.2017 | Information Technology

NASA spacecraft investigate clues in radiation belts

28.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>