Safe and Healthy Driving Begins With Sobriety
It’s clear that people don’t take driving seriously enough. Between texting, making phone calls, fiddling with the radio, and raging at other drivers, our focus is too easily diverted from the road on a regular basis. What many don’t realize, however, is that our own health may be the greatest factor in how safely we drive. Getting proper sleep, eating right, and avoiding driving while sick are three ways to ensure our health does not compromise our safety on the road.
But the most obvious health risk and threat to safe driving is the use of drugs or alcohol while behind the wheel.
Your Brain on Weed
Marijuana is considered to be the least harmful of the major drugs, but the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s claim that all forms of drugged driving are dangerous has merit, even when it comes to marijuana. While the effects of driving high on marijuana aren’t as severe as the effects of cocaine or sedatives, the risks are significant enough to qualify stoned driving as dangerous.
Studies have shown that the likelihood of being involved in an accident is greater after marijuana is smoked or ingested. Another study found that THC, an indicator of marijuana consumption, is one of the most frequent substances detected in suspected impaired drivers. This shouldn’t come as a surprise. As the CDC notes, effects of marijuana include slowed reaction time and decision making, impaired coordination and distorted perception, and difficulty problem solving.
While it’s tempting to shrug off the effects of increasingly legal marijuana on driving, people must know that it’s likely to make them more tired, impair motor function, and result in a driver posing a greater risk when behind the wheel.
Cocaine Is No Joke
Fortunately, people tend to take harder drugs more seriously when it comes to driving safety. Still, that doesn’t stop people from abusing cocaine and driving while under its influence.
We know that side effects of cocaine use can include nervousness, tremors, aggression, anxiety, and irritability. These effects have a significant impact on a driver’s mental state, making the driver dangerous if controlling a vehicle.
The alertness, increased reaction time, and decreased fatigue associated with cocaine use may be beneficial to driving in limited doses, but the risk of negative side effects and even cardiac arrest or death increase with use. Any perceived benefit is far outweighed by the potentially fatal consequences of driving while high on cocaine.
Sedatives Are the Greatest Risk to Driving Safety
There are no activities, aside perhaps from driving blackout drunk or closing your eyes as you hit the accelerator, that are more dangerous than using powerful sedatives and driving a vehicle. Sedatives slow brain activity as well as the respiratory and nervous systems, a combination that qualifies as a car crash waiting to happen.
Prescriptions for sedatives continue to rise, according to CBS, and powerful street drugs that serve as even more powerful sedatives are becoming increasingly abused. Unsurprisingly, this abuse has resulted in an increase in opioid-related car-crash fatalities.
Sedatives have the potential to kill you on their own, and willingly choosing to drive while under their influence is perhaps the most dangerous decision a driver can make. Many have paid with their lives, and have taken others’ lives with them, as a result of such a massive error in judgment.
Cars are getting heavier, and more and more vehicles weigh in at over 4,000 pounds these days. Powerful engines are evolving to accommodate this increased tonnage, which means that cars are faster and heavier than ever. Yet, drivers seem to be increasingly reckless despite car crashes posing a notoriously high risk to human life. When a driver combines drug abuse with driving, the effects are predictably disastrous.
Of course, car accidents happen, if you’ve recently been involved in a collision, Critical Car Care can help you with your repair needs for any vehicle. Call us now at 661 943-0629 to learn more about our full-service auto repair and get a FREE computerized repair quote.
(Photo via Pixabay)