4 Substances That May Impair Your Response Time While Driving

Driving

Did you know that drunk drivers cause more than one in four car accident fatalities? An average of 28% of deaths every year could have been avoided if someone had handed their keys to a sober driver.

But in reality, many of these drivers thought they were just fine. They didn’t realize their reflex times were delayed or that their brains weren’t keeping up with their movements. 

No one plans to get behind the wheel while a little out of it and cause a wreck, but it happens. You think you’re sober or that your medicine isn’t going to affect your driving. 

The scary truth is that many substances can interfere with your response time. Before taking anything other than your average meals and beverages, check out these things that could keep you from being on top of your game while driving.

1. Alcohol

The most common substance for under-the-influence driving is alcohol. Personal injury cases involving DUI crashes often deal with significant injuries or fatalities. 

These accidents can ruin the lives of the victims and the person at fault. A DUI charge alongside serious personal injury usually involves jail time. In serious cases, like that of the football player who killed a woman when he was driving over 150 mph while drunk, the punishment is manslaughter and the end of life as you knew it.

Before you get behind the wheel after drinking anything, ask yourself if you’re prepared to face the consequences if you’re in an accident and ticketed for a DUI.

2. Benzodiazepines

Ben-what? 

Benzodiazepines are a class of drugs used for conditions that suppress nerve activity, like anxiety, insomnia, and seizures. They work by interfering with the neurotransmitters in the brain that tell you to stay alert.

For those with anxiety, this can be a great thing. You’re over-alert, worrying about every little thing. Benzodiazepines let you live your life somewhat normally without the extra sensitivity that comes with too many reactions.

However, you don’t get to choose which nerves to “chill out” and which ones to keep active. So, when you’re driving, those reduced senses can translate to slowed reaction time and increased accident risks.

If you’ve been given a new medication, check the instructions to make sure it’s not a benzodiazepine. They’re used for a variety of conditions, such as:

  • sedation before surgeries or procedures
  • general anesthetics
  • muscle relaxants
  • anxiety, depression, and panic attacks
  • nausea and vomiting
  • alcohol or drug withdrawal

Be careful about assuming the meds you’ve been prescribed are harmless. Read the packet that comes with them, and don’t drive if they have a warning about operating machinery. 

3. Cannabis

Ahhh, marijuana, the most recent hot-button topic in the news all across the country. 

While cannabis may be legal in your area, driving under the influence of weed is not. The laws are similar to those of alcohol possession. You can have it in your car (if you have a medical marijuana card or recreational weed is legal), but the driver can’t have access to it.

Studies show that weed impairs your reaction time. It may mess with your judgment and hinder motor coordination. The higher your blood THC levels, the more impaired your driving ability becomes.

This fact is exceedingly scary when you realize that marijuana is the most-used illicit drug out there. Driving with THC in your blood makes you twice as likely to cause a fatal car accident.

Treat weed like alcohol. If you can legally buy it, consume it at home, and never drive under the influence. If you do, and you cause a wreck, the consequences are similar or worse than if you had been driving drunk.

4. Barbiturates

Some people need a little extra help relaxing, so their doctors prescribe barbiturates. First developed back in 1864, the medication was primarily used as a sleeping pill.

Over the years, barbiturates were used for less innocent purposes, such as hypnotism, “truth serums,” and lethal injection executions.

Today, the drugs are rarely prescribed because of the prevalence of safer alternatives in the form of benzodiazepines (see above). Occasionally, patients need this strong medication to help with significant conditions like seizures, skull trauma, migraines, and alcohol withdrawal.

Driving when you’re using barbiturates is extremely dangerous. If your health requires you to take these drugs, consider parking your car until you aren’t taking them anymore.


Conclusion

Driving requires all your focus to ensure you’re staying on the road and keeping everyone around you safe. These four substances impair your ability to respond to hazards and increase the likelihood that you’ll be in a dangerous car accident.

Did you know that drunk drivers cause more than one in four car accident fatalities? An average of 28% of deaths every year could have been avoided if someone had handed their keys to a sober driver.

But in reality, many of these drivers thought they were just fine. They didn’t realize their reflex times were delayed or that their brains weren’t keeping up with their movements. 

No one plans to get behind the wheel while a little out of it and cause a wreck, but it happens. You think you’re sober or that your medicine isn’t going to affect your driving. 

The scary truth is that many substances can interfere with your response time. Before taking anything other than your average meals and beverages, check out these things that could keep you from being on top of your game while driving.

1. Alcohol

The most common substance for under-the-influence driving is alcohol. Personal injury cases involving DUI crashes often deal with significant injuries or fatalities. 

These accidents can ruin the lives of the victims and the person at fault. A DUI charge alongside serious personal injury usually involves jail time. In serious cases, like that of the football player who killed a woman when he was driving over 150 mph while drunk, the punishment is manslaughter and the end of life as you knew it.

Before you get behind the wheel after drinking anything, ask yourself if you’re prepared to face the consequences if you’re in an accident and ticketed for a DUI.

2. Benzodiazepines

Ben-what? 

Benzodiazepines are a class of drugs used for conditions that suppress nerve activity, like anxiety, insomnia, and seizures. They work by interfering with the neurotransmitters in the brain that tell you to stay alert.

For those with anxiety, this can be a great thing. You’re over-alert, worrying about every little thing. Benzodiazepines let you live your life somewhat normally without the extra sensitivity that comes with too many reactions.

However, you don’t get to choose which nerves to “chill out” and which ones to keep active. So, when you’re driving, those reduced senses can translate to slowed reaction time and increased accident risks.

If you’ve been given a new medication, check the instructions to make sure it’s not a benzodiazepine. They’re used for a variety of conditions, such as:

  • sedation before surgeries or procedures
  • general anesthetics
  • muscle relaxants
  • anxiety, depression, and panic attacks
  • nausea and vomiting
  • alcohol or drug withdrawal

Be careful about assuming the meds you’ve been prescribed are harmless. Read the packet that comes with them, and don’t drive if they have a warning about operating machinery. 

3. Cannabis

Ahhh, marijuana, the most recent hot-button topic in the news all across the country. 

While cannabis may be legal in your area, driving under the influence of weed is not. The laws are similar to those of alcohol possession. You can have it in your car (if you have a medical marijuana card or recreational weed is legal), but the driver can’t have access to it.

Studies show that weed impairs your reaction time. It may mess with your judgment and hinder motor coordination. The higher your blood THC levels, the more impaired your driving ability becomes.

This fact is exceedingly scary when you realize that marijuana is the most-used illicit drug out there. Driving with THC in your blood makes you twice as likely to cause a fatal car accident.

Treat weed like alcohol. If you can legally buy it, consume it at home, and never drive under the influence. If you do, and you cause a wreck, the consequences are similar or worse than if you had been driving drunk.

4. Barbiturates

Some people need a little extra help relaxing, so their doctors prescribe barbiturates. First developed back in 1864, the medication was primarily used as a sleeping pill.

Over the years, barbiturates were used for less innocent purposes, such as hypnotism, “truth serums,” and lethal injection executions.

Today, the drugs are rarely prescribed because of the prevalence of safer alternatives in the form of benzodiazepines (see above). Occasionally, patients need this strong medication to help with significant conditions like seizures, skull trauma, migraines, and alcohol withdrawal.

Driving when you’re using barbiturates is extremely dangerous. If your health requires you to take these drugs, consider parking your car until you aren’t taking them anymore.


Conclusion

Driving requires all your focus to ensure you’re staying on the road and keeping everyone around you safe. These four substances impair your ability to respond to hazards and increase the likelihood that you’ll be in a dangerous car accident.

By hassanjaved176

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