Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital
Prevent Motor Vehicle Accidents
Be Safe: Prevent Motor Vehicle Accidents: Eliminate drinking and driving
Alcohol causes drivers to become easily distracted and affects their reaction time. In 2013, 456 people were killed in Missouri in alcohol-related traffic incidents. Here are some tips on ways to protect yourself and your family:
- Choose not to drink and drive and help others do the same:
- Before drinking, designate a nondrinking driver or call a taxi.
- If out drinking, get a ride home or call a taxi.
- If staying in and hosting, don't let friends drink and drive. Offer to call them a taxi or stay at your home.
- Drink responsibly. Drinking slowly allows the body to process the alcohol and helps you to stay more in control.
- Buckle up every time, no matter how short the trip. Encourage all passengers in the car to buckle up. Seat belts increase survival and prevent serious injury by 50 percent in accidents where drinking and driving was a factor.
So how much is too much? Blood alcohol content (BAC) measures the amount of alcohol that has been absorbed into the blood stream.
MYTH: Anyone can measure their blood alcohol content (BAC) by the number of alcoholic beverages they have drunk/consumed.
FALSE: The measure of BAC will change based on the height, weight, and gender of the drinker, how fast the person drinks the alcohol, how fast the drinker’s body absorbs the alcohol, the food in the person’s stomach, and the type of alcohol consumed.
MYTH: Eating a big meal before drinking will keep you sober.
FALSE: Drinking on a full stomach will only delay the absorption of alcohol into the body, not prevent it. Time is the only way to reduce BAC in the body.
If you have any questions or would like to talk with someone about your drinking behavior, contact your VA Primary Care provider and/or the Truman VA Behavioral Health Service at 573-814-6000.
For additional information see the following links:
Traffic Safety Facts-Alcohol Impaired Driving: http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/812102.pdf
The ABC’s of BAC: http://www.nhtsa.gov/links/sid/ABCsBACWeb/page2.htm
Alcohol Myths and Facts: http://www.uwstout.edu/counsel/aod/myths_facts.cfm
Be Safe and enjoy the 4th of July!!