One Drink is Too Much for Older Drivers: Study

One Drink is Too Much for Older Drivers: Study
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Depending on how old you are, there might be a new idea about how much is “too much” when it comes to drinking and getting behind the wheel.

For drivers between 55 and 70 years old, one alcoholic drink might already be too much. The results of a new study from the University of Florida published in the Psychopharmacology Journal suggest that drivers over 55 should abstain from drinking altogether if they plan to drive. Despite drinking little enough to remain under the 0.08 limit, drivers older than 55 exhibited adversely affected driving ability while younger drivers didn’t seem to be affected at all.

The study examined two age groups between 25 and 35 years old and between 55 and 70 years old. The evaluation measured how well participants were able to function in a three-mile drive simulated with three computer screens – one for the windshield and the other two as side-view mirrors as well as a steering wheel, gas and brake pedal. The course didn’t involve any distractions like animals crossing the road in front of the drivers.

During the first test, drivers completed the course without having anything to drink .Researchers recorded how quickly the drivers adjusted the steering wheel and how well they stayed in the center of their lane while maintaining a constant speed. A separate test that took place with the same people on a different day saw the group divided in three. One group drank enough to register a 0.065 percent BAC, another to 0.04 percent and the third drank a placebo with a negligible amount of alcohol as a control.