Alcohol And Driving Essay

1129 words - 5 pages

Driver EducationWhat is alcohol?Alcohol, as a drug is a depressant not a stimulant, meaning it slows down the central nervous system and thus slowing communications between the brain and the body. It affects concentration, judgment and coordination; it also slows down a person’s reaction time to surprises. These affects can greatly endanger a driver who is under the influence of alcohol cause they might crash the car you know?In chemistry, an alcohol is any organic compound in which a hydroxyl group (-OH) is bound to a carbon atom of an alkyl or substituted alkyl group. The general formula for a simple acyclic alcohol is CnH2n+1OH. In common terms, the word alcohol refers to ethanol, the type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages.Ethanol is a colourless, volatile liquid with a mild odor which can be obtained by the fermentation of sugars. (Industrially, it is more commonly obtained by ethylene hydration—the reaction of ethylene with water in the presence of phosphoric acid.[1]) Ethanol is the most widely used depressant in the world, and has been for thousands of years. This sense underlies the term alcoholism (addiction to alcohol).Other alcohols are usually described with a clarifying adjective, as in isopropyl alcohol (propan-2-ol) or wood alcohol (methyl alcohol, or methanol). The suffix -ol appears in the "official" IUPAC chemical name of all alcohols.There are three major subsets of alcohols: primary (1°), secondary (2°) and tertiary (3°), based upon the number of carbon atoms the C-OH group's carbon (shown in red) is bonded to. Ethanol is a simple 'primary' alcohol. The simplest secondary alcohol is isopropyl alcohol (propan-2-ol), and a simple tertiary alcohol is tert-butyl alcohol (2-methylpropan-2-ol)StatisticsOne in five fatal car accidents in NSW occur as an effect of alcohol. Of these fatalities, 88% are male; 30% occur between the hours of 9pm and 3am on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights and 70% occur in rural areas. 17-24 year olds have the highest percentage of fatal crashes as a result of drink driving: one third, even though they only make up around one seventh of all licensed drivers. This is why restrictions on the BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) level have been placed upon Learner and Provisional drivers: L and P plate drivers are restricted to a BAC of zero. This is due to the fact that a BAC of 0.05 doubles the risk of a crash by diminishing the ability to see or locate moving lights correctly and the ability to judge distances as well as the desire to take risks increased; 0.08 increases the risk to 7 times as the ability to judge distances is severely reduced, sensitivity to red lights impaired, reactions and reflexes slowed as well as a shortened attention span; at a BAC of 0.15 the driver becomes euphoric and reckless, peripheral vision and perception of obstacles is impaired, this increases the risk of an accident to 25 times. The use of any drug increases the risk of a crash dramatically...

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