In this paper a review is given of an exploratory study of the effects of alcohol consumption on driving skill. The situation involved real driving on a closed stretch of road. Several variables were recorded simultaneously and analyzed with respect to a number of hypotheses about drunken driving. The four hypotheses discussed in this paper are as follows: 1) With increasing levels of blood alcohol content, performance measures tend to go through a maximum. Most of the data indicated at least trends in this general direction. 2) Ignorance about the actual amount of alcohol consumption will lead to larger differences with sober driving performance than will occur when the subject knows the amount. This effect showed up very clearly with respect to average speed, steering behavior, reaction time, and head and eye movements. 3) The effects of alcohol on driving performance will differ for night and daylight driving conditions. Although the effect predicted by this hypothesis was supported by the results, it was only found in the activity of head and eye. Large differences between the day and night driving conditions in reaction time, speed, steering, and location were practically alcohol-independent. 4) If tunnel vision is due to a neurologically peripheral blocking mechanism then shielding off parts of the visual field by external means will lead to different effects under sober than under drunken driving conditions. Since there were no interactions between the type of deterioration of the visual field and the blood alcohol level this hypothesis was not substantiated at all.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Presented at the Symposium on Psychological Aspects of Driver Behaviour, The Netherlands, 1971.
  • Corporate Authors:

    National Safety Council, Safety Research Info Serv

    425 North Michigan Avenue
    Chicago, IL  United States  60611
  • Authors:
    • Michon, J A
  • Publication Date: 1971

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 12 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00080736
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Safety Council Safety Research Info Serv
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Mar 26 1975 12:00AM