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Factors that can slow reaction times

While most drivers feel relatively comfortable on the roads, the reality is that driving is a complex activity that requires fast reaction times. Drivers need to be able to react to potential hazards regularly.

For example, if a child steps out on the road, the driver needs to be able to hit the brakes. There are some factors that can reduce the reaction time of drivers, and thus increase the chances of accidents. Here are some important points to consider.

Alcohol and reaction times

It is unlawful to drive with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% and over. This is not arbitrary. It has been put in place to reduce accidents. One reason why so many accidents stem from impaired driving is that alcohol reduces reaction times. At just 0.08% BAC, the reaction times of drivers is said to decrease by around 120 milliseconds.

This doesn’t sound like a lot, but these milliseconds add up and 120 milliseconds is more than enough time for a vehicle to lose control and not be able to stop when necessary.


Distractions can also significantly reduce the reaction times of drivers. For instance, sending or reading a text takes around three to four seconds. These are three to four seconds in which the driver is not looking at the road and cannot react to potential hazards.

Drivers must be able to react to their surroundings. If you have been injured by a driver who was negligent or reckless, you may be able to hold them to account via a personal injury claim. Seeking legal guidance will help give you an idea about the strength of your case.


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