How We feel is Not Really How We Feel
Generally speaking, we often know how we feel, although it may be difficult to express it clearly. We often come across someone who claims to know how we feel. You know what I mean. You explain to someone what’s happening and they say “I know how you feel.” Well, not exactly. There are times we don’t even know how we feel or that what we may feel is not really accurate. Yes, if this sounds confusing, you are not alone. However, when it comes to drinking alcohol, it pretty much sums it up.
Alcohol is a depressant and in smaller doses, alcohol can increase your heart rate, your aggression, and even have an effect with impulsiveness. However, with larger doses, alcohol will typically cause some form of sluggishness, possible disorientation, and slower reaction times. Larger amounts of alcohol can also decrease your mental sharpness, blood pressure, and heart rate.
So, do you know what really happens after you drink, even a small amount of alcohol? First off, you’re having a good time and the alcohol relaxes you to a point you may not realize how it’s affecting you. Typically, if your alcohol reading reaches .02% of the blood-alcohol levels, you’re in a happy place. Typical effects would be some loss of judgment, body slightly warmer, an altered mood and a little more relaxed. So now you may be wondering how this affects your ability to drive. Your visual functions begin to decline, such as tracking moving targets, plus it becomes more difficult to perform two tasks at the same time. The problem is you’re not aware of this because of how you feel, because you’re feeling fine.
So, what happens when you reach .05% of the blood-alcohol levels? Your behaviour is exaggerated, you may have a difficult time focusing your vision on specific areas, physical and mental judgment is affected, plus your alertness may be lowered. And while driving, you could have reduced coordination, have a difficult time steering and the response time for emergency situations would be greatly reduced. But you may not realize this since you’re only feeling happy and relaxed. Without realizing your inner feelings, it will stop you from operating a vehicle safely.
This really means you need a plan before you drink. That’s because the way you feel after drinking won’t give you enough information to make a logical choice. You still think you’re fine to drive because your judgement, coordination and decision-making are impaired. It’s a good thing Not Your Child Corp is around with their single-use breathalyzers.
Including a single-use breathalyzer from Not Your Child Corp should be part of your plan before you start drinking any alcohol. It’s too late to think about it after you’ve been drinking because after drinking starts, you’re feeling fine and happy, without realizing you’re unable to operate a vehicle safely. No one wants to have serious implications based on the fact you felt fine, but in reality many of your driving skills were impaired because even the slightest amount of alcohol can make a difference. Do the smart thing. Plan ahead and make sober decisions. That’s when you’re feeling yourself.
Scott Marshall has spent over 30 years promoting road safety in many jurisdictions. He has been a road safety journalist since 2005. Scott was also an on-air judge on the Discovery Network’s Canada’s Worst Driver during their first 3 seasons on the air. Not YourChildCorp. is proud to have Scott @Safedriver as a frequent contributor, his insights are irreplaceable.