Valley Healthcare
Driving Impaired: A Human Choice

The statistics for impaired driving are staggering: crashes involving alcohol cost $37 billion annually. Over 10,000 people died in drunk driving incidents in 2010. More than 30% of fatal crashes on weekends involve alcohol. Driving impaired doesn’t only involve alcohol – over the counter and prescription medicine has a negative effect on driving, slowing down decision making and reactions.

And things we don’t normally associate with driving impaired, such as texting and phone calls while driving, significantly decrease reaction times. Impaired driving comes down to a human decision that takes place long before a driver gets behind the wheel. For texting and phone calls, it’s as easy as putting a smartphone on silent.

There are urban myths like taking a cold shower or a warm cup of coffee to get sober quicker. But the best way to prevent driving impaired is to not drive at all. Whether taking a cab, having a designated driver, or turning your phone off, it is up to people to make a decision to not drive when impaired or distracted. One wrong decision can last a lifetime.


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