We all know that driving under the influence is stupid, but what about driving while drowsy? DWD? Is that even a thing? IDK, but let’s NOT make it a thing.
Similar to driving under the influence, driving while drowsy is dangerous and impairs your ability to drive safely. You pay less attention to what’s going on around you. Your reaction time is slower. And your ability to make decisions is affected. So, please no DUIs or DWDs!
Photo by Alyssa Llamas
Let’s compare apples to apples: DUIs and DWDs. After 18 hours of being awake, your brainpower (or lack of brainpower) is similar to that of someone with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.05%. After about 24 hours of being awake, cognitive impairment is equivalent to a BAC of 0.10%. That’s higher than the legal limit (0.08%) in all states. So think again before you drive to campus after you’ve stayed up all night “studying” for an exam. Just take the shuttle to school!
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 2.5% of fatal crashes and 2% of injury crashes involve drowsy driving. In fact, these numbers are probably underestimates. Up to 5,000 or 6,000 fatal crashes each year may be caused by drowsy drivers.
Here’s what you can do to prevent drowsy driving:
- Get enough sleep! According to the National Institutes of Health, adults need 7 or 8 hours of sleep a day, while adolescents need 9 or 10 hours.
- If you have a sleep disorder, make sure to seek treatment.
- Refrain from drinking alcohol or taking sedating medications (like NyQuil) before driving.
If you’re yawning or blinking frequently, drifting from your lane, missing your exit, or have difficulty remembering the past few miles driven, then you’re probably drowsy and should not be driving. Simply turning up the radio or the AC aren’t effective ways to keep you alert. Pull over and rest for a bit or change drivers. If you’re driving a long distance, take a friend with you so you can take turns driving, help keep each other awake, and split gas money!
Photo by Alyssa Llamas
By ALYSSA LLAMAS
An LA Times article reveals singer Amy Winehouse died of alcohol poisoning, despite allegations that the singer had died from a drug overdose. Though many overlook alcohol poisoning as a major threat to health, alcohol can be lethal in high doses.
According to the article, “the coroner’s report found that Winehouse had consumed 416 milligrams per deciliter of blood. That’s above the potentially lethal dose of 400 mg per deciliter (or a blood-alcohol level of 0.4, five times the legal drunk-driving limit in the U.S.), according to the Mayo Medical Laboratories.”
Alcohol poisoning can be caused by binge drinking, drinking on an empty stomach, or low alcohol tolerance. Other risk factors can be seen here. In some non-fatal alcohol poisoning cases, people suffer from irreversible brain damage. If you think a friend has alcohol poisoning, make sure to take him/her to the hospital right away. Symptoms include vomiting, unconsciousness, seizures, and slow breathing. Also, if you think a friend has a drinking problem, make sure to get them help. Alcohol poisoning is highly preventable, so don’t let it happen to you or a loved one.
image source: brisbane times
A recent study conducted in Europe found that for regular drinkers, an extra drink increases overall cancer risk. The study does not prove that alcohol causes cancer. Alcohol is still a risk factor for cancer. This means that drinking alcohol will increase chances for cancer. Click here for the full article.
Alcohol breaks down the lining of the digestive tract and allows harmful chemicals (which can cause cancer) through. Excessive drinking can cause other health risks, such as alcohol poisoning, liver disease, stroke, cardiovascular problems, unintentional injuries, and many more.
However, many studies have linked MODERATE drinking to some possible health benefits. According to the brainiacs of Harvard, moderate amounts of alcohol raise levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL or “good cholesterol”) and higher levels of HDL can help protect against heart disease.
So what’s a moderate amount? 1-2 drinks per day for men and 1 drink per day for women. And what’s considered to be 1 drink? 1 drink = 12 oz beer (1 can) or 5 oz wine (1 glass) or 1.5 oz hard alcohol (1 shot).
This does not mean that you need to start drinking, especially if you’re not 21 yet! Here are some CONSEQUENCES OF UNDERAGE DRINKING:
- Alcohol-related car crashes
- Disruption of normal growth and sexual development
- Memory problems
Youth who start drinking before age 15 years are five times more likely to develop alcohol dependence or abuse later in life than those who begin drinking at or after age 21 years (CDC). If you want to learn more about alcohol prevention and how to get involved, then check out Stop Underage Drinking.
For those who don’t drink or are not yet of age, don’t think you need to start just to protect your heart. Healthy eating and regular exercise will suffice.