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Drunk driving: The psychology of drinking

There's one very easy way to eliminate all drunk driving accidents: Stop drinking. Every single one of these accidents, which are often deadly, is very preventable. If people simply did not drink, they would not have to worry about causing accidents.

After all, many of these crashes involve well-meaning people who just made a mistake. Maybe they did not realize how drunk they were. Maybe they thought they were safe to drive. Maybe they were blackout drunk and so they don't even remember making decisions they never would have made sober.

No matter the reason, they wouldn't have gotten into that accident if they hadn't drank in the first place. So why do we do it, still knowing the risks? Let's break down some of the psychology of alcohol consumption in the United States.

Impulsive actions

First, you have to consider people's general personalities. Some are very impulsive by nature. They want the "reward" of drinking, and they'll jump at the chance to get it without thinking about the long-term ramifications at all. Experts note that these individuals are more likely to engage in heavy drinking, as well.

Positive past experiences

People often spend a lot of time trying to chase the feelings and emotions they had during a past experience. Just ask people in adrenaline-fueled sports, like rock climbing or skydiving. They often talk about trying to get that adrenaline rush back, often by doing more intense stunts.

The same can be true with alcohol. If people have fun drinking with their friends in college, for instance, it may shape a subconscious perception of alcohol as something that can give them that feeling again. They'll drink more often trying to get it back, even if all other aspects of the situation have changed. Maybe now they're just drinking at the bar on their own, for instance. Those past experiences still shape what they choose to do.

Fitting in

A lot of the time, drinking is just part of the normalized social culture in the United States. People do it to fit in. A person who knows they have to drive home may never have one or two extra shots at the end of the night if they were out alone. If they're with friends and someone buys a round of shots, though, they'll still take it because they don't want to be the only person who doesn't drink. It's a social norm and they feel pressure to conform to it, no matter what they want to do.

After an accident

These are just three reasons of many that people drink, but they help shed some light on why drunk driving accidents keep happening. If you get injured in one of these accidents, make sure you know what legal options you have in Florida to seek financial compensation.

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