SLOWER REACTION TIME DUE TO ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION CONTRIBUTES TO CHILD’S DEATH

Back in May and June of this year I blogged about the dangers of drinking and driving. Now, a six year old boy was run down and killed by a suspected DUI driver. According to Riverside county sheriff department spokespeople and jail records, a man suspected of fatally striking a 6-year-old boy who ran in front of his car Sunday, Sept. 15, in Temecula has been arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence of alcohol.

The boy, whose name has not been released, ran into the street from behind a parked car and was struck by driver, Bradley Amor Megginson Jr., 25, of Temecula. Despite being rushed from the scene by ambulance to a nearby hospital, the child died of his injuries.  Stopped and interviewed shortly after the crash by the police, Megginson appeared to be under the influence of alcohol which is suspected to be a factor in the auto vs. pedestrian accident.

Research shows that the smallest amount of alcohol consumption results in driving impairment. This impairment begins even below the legal limit for driving under the influence. In every state in the U.S. the legal limit for  drunk driving is a .08 blood alcohol concentration (BAC). At .08 BAC, drivers are 11 times more likely to have a single-vehicle crash than drivers with no alcohol in their system.  Furthermore, at .02 blood alcohol concentration, people demonstrate loss of judgment, decline in visual functions, experience a decline in the ability to perform two tasks simultaneously and their ability to track a moving object is detrimentally affected.

Though just one drink may be under the legal limit, the almost unnoticeable subtle changes to the driver’s perception, motor skills and reaction time, may in an emergency situation have disastrous and deadly consequence.

 

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Mark Kitrick says:

    This is a very important statement. We believe we can react and respond appropriately if we are not “drunk” so we still drive or operate machinery when we drink and feel what we are doing is appropriate. This provides a false sense of security and we are not aware of how our reaction times and other important response mechanisms simply are not as sharp or acute as they would be otherwise. Consequently, it is critical to not drink and drive at all. However, if we do, we must be aware of the realities set forth in the blog and act accordingly, such as driving slower than usual or paying even more attention in order to try and be as alert as we would be if we did not drink any alcohol.

    Mark Kitrick

  2. Jeff Boyd says:

    Every day any driver may only be a few feet, and therefore a few fractions of a second, from a serious collision. We all survive that because of our attention, our perception, and our reaction time. Alcohol decreases all of those. I remember being a test subject in undergrad school in an experiment where they gradually looped us up to .10 BAC (the legal limit then) and tested us on a simulator. I was horrified to find how impaired I was although still “legal.” Most of will drive after minor alcohol intake, but we need to examine that. First, you are less in control than you think you are. Second, just because you get away with it most of the time doesn’t mean it is a good idea. Third, why? Have a designated driver, or just make better plans – ride with someone, walk to where you are going, take a taxi or bus. ITS NOT WORTH IT TO RISK HURTING ANYONE!

    Jeff Boyd

Leave A Reply





*