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Originally posted by ipsedixit
A number of factors were at play in the bizarre series of actions taken by Mr. Bryant, not the least of which was the personal situation of the Bryant marriage, Mr. Bryant's alcoholism, Mr. Bryant's high intelligence and possibly that he was under the influence of some drug or alcohol.
His front wheel was within a couple of feet of the Saab's front bumper. I knew he was too close for me to drive around him. In a millisecond, my eyes darted up to my rear-view mirror, then back to this man. I saw there were cars behind me, so I couldn't back up. I couldn't move forward. Trapped.
Alcohol blunts alertness and reduces motor co-ordination. People who drive after using alcohol can’t react as quickly when they need to. Their vision is affected, and may be blurred or doubled. Alcohol alters depth perception, making it hard to tell whether other vehicles, pedestrians or objects are close or far away.
And because alcohol affects judgment, people who drive after drinking may feel overconfident and not recognize that their driving skills are reduced. Their driving is more likely to be careless or reckless — weaving, speeding, driving off the road and, too often, crashing.
A research team from North Dakota State University concludes that alcohol impairs a person's driving ability by hindering their depth perception, the BBC reported Jan. 3.
For the research, 15 volunteers performed tasks that measured a particular type of depth perception, called motion parallax, before and after drinking alcohol. The study found that when participants were intoxicated, their ability to judge depth was impaired, hampering the ability to gauge distance.