Reduced Reaction Times Caused by Intoxication
Drinking and driving reduces a driver’s reaction time significantly. In the event of an unexpected situation on the road, such as when another vehicle is in their path or coming around a corner, a drunk driver might not react at all, resulting in a serious collision.
During spring break, the reduced reaction times caused by intoxication can be compounded by driver distractions more than usual. Spring breakers often drive with their friends to different party hotspots, so the average car can be full of partying people. If the driver has had a drink and they are talking with their friends in the car, then their ability to react to traffic changes and hazards on the road can be entirely eliminated.
Worsened Motor Skills Lead to Crashes
Drunk drivers can struggle to drive in a straight line due to their worsened coordination and motor skills, caused by the effects of alcohol. The effects of worsened motor skills are especially prominent when a drunk driver is attempting to navigate a curved road because the lack of coordination makes it harder for them to precisely follow the intended path. Even pulling into a parking space can be a challenge for an intoxicated motorist.
Increased Spring Break Traffic Hazards
Spring break can create a dangerous combination of hazards because there will likely be more drivers overall and more drunk drivers than usual. A large influx of people traveling during spring break can lead to an increased number of cars on the road, meaning it is more likely for an accident to occur due to overcrowding. Drunk drivers on the roads also inherently make it even more dangerous for other motorists because drunk drivers are unpredictable due to worsened reaction times and motor skills. Together, these factors sharply increase the risk of a crash during spring break in a vacation area or college town.
Stay Safe During Spring Break
To stay safe during spring break, drivers should be alert and aware of their surroundings. Drivers should stay within the speed limit, give other drivers plenty of space to maneuver if needed, and be prepared to maneuver away from drivers who appear to be intoxicated. If possible, avoid driving during peak hours such as late in the evening or very early morning, when there are more likely to be intoxicated drivers on the roads.
If an intoxicated driver is encountered on the road, allow them to pass and do not attempt to engage with them. When it is safe to do so, pull over well away from the road, such as into a parking lot, and report the drunk driver to the police. Your call could be what prevents a drunk driving accident that would’ve sent someone to the hospital or worse.