- Alcohol affects perceptual-motor skills required for safe driving and has been demonstrated to result in poorer steering control and choice of higher driving speeds
- Young drivers are generally not aware of the dangerous effects of alcohol on driving performance
- Because of this lack of awareness, they fail to compensate for the negative effects by driving more careful, choosing a lower speed or investing more effort in the driving task
- Which results in a dramatically increased accident risk
Because especially young and inexperienced drivers are unaware of the negative effects of alcohol on driving and they tend to overestimate their driving skills, a simulation of the effects of alcohol in a driving simulator can be an eye opener for this group, hopefully resulting in refraining from drinking while driving. For that purpose, we have developed an alcohol simulation to be unsed in the driving simulator.
This consists of a drive of 3 parts:
- 6 minutes driving as you normally do (baseline measurement)
- Instruction effects of alcohol on driving performance
- 6 minutes simulation of effects of alcohol, DUI or driving under the influence, on brake-reactiontime, steering behaviour, and effects on visual perception (effect measurement)
During the drive, there are a number of scenarios with unexpected events, like a dog that crosses the road and requires a brake reaction, cars that drive off suddenly, people near a school crossing the road, etc. This requires brake reactions and a good steering ability. During the alcohol simulation the effects of alcohol on brake reaction time, steering ability and visual perception (blurred vision) are simulated in a very convincing way.
After that, a computer printout is generated. It shows in a graphical way the effects of alcohol on accidents, driving off the road and driving on the wrong lane.
This training clearly shows the effects of alcohol on driving behaviour and improves the awareness of the effects of alcohol on young drivers.
For more information on the effects of alcohol on driving performance and traffic safety see:
- effects of alcohol on driving performance
- drinking while driving
- DUI and driver impairment
- accident risk of young drivers