Brain Study Reveals Drunk Drivers Unlikely to Care About Mistakes Made on the Road
Texas residents might be surprised by a recent study that reveals alcohol-impaired individuals that get behind the wheel of a car aren't likely to care about the mistakes they make-even if it means it might harm someone if an auto accident occurs.
In the study conducted at the University of Missouri, three groups of individuals aged 21 to 35 were given a computerized task that was designed to elicit mistakes on the behalf of the participants. The three groups consisted of the following:
- Group one consumed enough alcohol to set their blood level right below the .08 legal driving limit
- Group two consumed a placebo beverage in which they did not know whether there was alcohol
- Group three consumed beverages without alcohol
Researchers found that those consuming alcohol were just as likely as those that were sober to realize when they had made a mistake. However, the alcohol-impaired individuals felt reportedly "less negative" upon making mistakes. The individuals who had not consumed alcohol would slow down after making a mistake and take the appropriate action to proactively prevent the mistake from happening again.
There is a part of the human brain that is responsible for monitoring behavior. In a sober situation, when no alcohol has been consumed, the activity in this part of the brain will increase if a mistake is made. It will send a notification to other parts of the brain that something has gone wrong.
The participants consuming alcohol not only exhibited a lack of care when they made a mistake, but they did not slow down or act more carefully or cautiously as they continued with the task.
Not everyone is surprised by these findings. Trauma surgeons say that sometimes up to 50 percent of patients from traffic accidents were injured in an accident where alcohol was involved.