Study Finds Even One Drink Can Negatively Affect Older Drivers

older driver one drinkDriving a vehicle is a skill that over time we never fully master, but it is something that we tend to get better at as we learn and make more decisions. As such, most people would agree that someone with 30 years of driving experience would generally be considered more trustworthy behind the wheel of a vehicle than someone with 30 days of experience. Not to mention, most people if given the choice would get into a vehicle with a 60-year-old driver who has had one drink before doing the same with a driver who is 25 years old.

According to the conclusions drawn by a recent study, that may not turn out to be a wise decision in many cases. Researchers have found that older drivers can see their performance behind the wheel suffer after just one alcoholic drink where younger drivers may not see the same drop in driving performance. A link to an article discussing the study can be found here and a link to the study’s abstract can be found here, and these results are being met with a high level of surprise.

Researchers at the University of Florida completed the study. They tested the driving capabilities of 36 people who were between the ages of 25 and 35. They did the same with 36 drivers who were between the ages of 55 and 70 and then compared the scores between the two groups and to establish their baseline capabilities. The subjects were then tested again. One group was given a placebo drink, another was given a moderately strong drink and the third group a strong drink. None of the drinks were strong enough to lead to a BAC of more than 0.08. The placebo led to a BAC of 0, the moderate drink led to a BAC of 0.40 and the strong drink led to a BAC of 0.65.

What the researchers found was that regardless of the drink that was given to the younger driving group, their performance overall did not suffer in the driving simulator. However, the older group of drivers did see their performance suffer even if they consumed the ‘weaker’ of the two alcoholic drinks that were administered. These results have led to a call for additional study on what could be happening here, as none of the subjects in the study would be considered legally drunk by federal standards.

However, the presence of any amount of alcohol in a person’s system could be considered relevant if that person causes a car accident that leads to injuries or fatalities depending on the situation. That’s why people need to simply avoid drinking if they are going to be operating a vehicle at any point in the near future. Those who do not could find themselves dealing with serious legal problems and doing so quickly. If you or someone you love has been injured or worse in a crash caused by a negligent driver, contact the Alaska accident lawyers at Barber and Associates, LLC today to schedule a free initial consultation.

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