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Today in our Tuesday Blog: Even The Short Trips Matter.

Even The Short Trips Matter.

So, here’s the scenario. You were out drinking and having a good time. You only have a 5-minute drive home. You can even take the back streets so no one will really notice. It’s only a 5-minute drive, so no big deal, right? Wrong. It doesn’t take very long for something bad to happen. Whether it happens to you, or another road user, it still happens to you.

Most people know driving impaired is illegal and dangerous but may not know exactly why. The moment you complete just one alcoholic drink, your reaction time, judgment, perception, and decision-making abilities have changed. These are all cognitive skills you need behind the wheel, even if that trip is just 5 minutes.

Within those 5 minutes, your judgment can change for your ability to make a turn, especially if there is a parked vehicle just around the corner. Hitting that parked vehicle can be very real. This includes side-swiping the vehicle. Driving on the wrong side of the road or doing a slight weaving as you travel down the street is also real. You may not think you’re driving any different than a sober driver, but that’s because your judgment is impaired. Drivers who are impaired tend to drive slower so they won’t draw attention to themselves. Wrong. You just did.

If you can’t see well enough to miss a parked car, how would you see pedestrians walking out? I’m not necessarily saying you’re drunk; I’m saying you are impaired. A standard dictionary definition of impaired is as follows; – to make worse by lessening strength, value, quantity, or quality; to damage. Your thought process and decision-making ability are impaired, so even driving those 5 minutes still is never a good idea. It’s still an impairment. You owe yourself much more than that. And if you get caught by the police, you will still be charged, even though it was just a short trip.

Instead of taking that risk, why not find another way to get home? Call a friend or family member. Take a taxi or Uber. There are alternative ways to get home, even if it is such a short drive. Those who take that chance and drive this short trip often do not feel impaired. The problem is that your impairment affects your decision-making ability to determine if you are impaired or sober. You need a plan, even if you are a 5-minute drive from home.

The first plan is to determine if you are safe and legal to drive your vehicle. This needs to be done before heading to your vehicle. Our friends at Not Your Child Corp have the answer for you. They offer individual and single-use breathalyzers you can use. They are quick to use and accurate. Having one with you each time you feel you may be consuming alcohol is a good plan. Keep one in your vehicle at all times and bring it with you when you leave the vehicle.

Seeing the breathalyzer throughout the night will be a constant reminder of your responsibility to get home safely and legally and to ensure other people you come across, get to do the same thing. Make a breathalyzer from Not Your Child Corp the new normal, even for short 


Scott Corner Blogs

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.

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