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Alcohol and vehicles: A deadly mix

Speed is a major factor in accidents, and alcohol delays your reaction time. Mixing these two can have serious, even fatal, results. To appreciate more fully why you should never drink and ride, consider these factors.

  • Review the information about reaction times and stopping distances.
  • Use three seconds as a typical reaction time, and suppose that alcohol doubles your reaction time. If you’re traveling at 30 mph:
    • Normally, you travel 132 feet (3 sec. x 44 ft./sec.) during the time it takes you to see an obstacle and then begin to slow down or maneuver.
    • Under the influence, you travel 264 feet—approaching the length of a football field.
  • When you do react, your speed, diminished judgment, and impaired physical condition further complicate a critical response.
    • The faster your speed, the longer the braking distance.
    • During a hard brake, your impaired condition could cause you to lose control of the vehicle.
  • Under normal circumstances, you usually can handle hazardous situations before they become problems. If you were under the influence of alcohol, your vehicle’s speed creates grave consequences to such problems.