Understanding behavioral, emotional profile of drunk drivers may help control problem

There has been a dramatic rise in the number of cases involving drunk driving and alcohol-related deaths across the world. With one in three deaths caused by road crashes due to high blood alcohol concentration (BAC), the United States is fighting a tough battle. Those who get a thrill in dangerous driving are actually under the influence of disrupted behavioral patterns that make them feel that what they are doing is not risky or fraught with danger.
Though the situation is harrowing, nothing much has been done to understand the behavior of these individuals and avert fatalities. A recent study by the McGill University gives new insights into the problem, suggesting that high-risk drivers are under the influence of certain emotional processes that need to be well-comprehended to bring about a positive change in their behavior.

Published in the journal PLOS ONE in April 2016, the study focused on distinct emotional and behavioral profiles of high-risk drivers. For the study, the researchers analyzed the data of a group of people aged 19–39 years in Quebec. The people were divided into four groups as per their distinct characteristics:

  1. Those who had been caught for drunk driving at two or more instances
  2. Those who had been involved in violation of traffic rules, or high-risk driving, at three or more instances, two years prior to the study
  3. Those who had been involved in both the cases above
  4. The control group, including low-risk drivers

Based on a definite behavioral and emotional profile of each group, the scientists revealed that the group comprising high-risk drivers showed greater interest in adopting prevention strategies for future incidents.

Changing behavior of offenders

To understand repeat drunk driving, the researchers monitored the driving behavior of participants in all the four groups, and then measured the level of cortisol – a stress hormone – before and after each one of them performed a tedious task.  Then, they thoroughly evaluated the participants on various parameters including: level of substance abuse, inhibition or impulsivity, reward-seeking behavior and inclination to learn from the past blunders and make wise judgments in the future.

According to the researchers, by understanding the psychological processes taking place in the minds of offenders, it can be easy to find ways to combat negative implications of risky driving. To bring a positive change in those who find great pleasure in speeding up and breaking traffic rules, it is advisable to get them engaged in thrilling activities but in a safe environment.

Drunk drivers, on the other hand, must be encouraged to do some exercise which can help them recollect the memories related to any adverse event that must’ve happened in the past due to their drunk driving. This can help an individual strategize things before plunging into activities that involve drinking and then driving under its influence. Most notably, the group that involved in both drunk driving and breaking traffic laws showed the least concern for other people, and hence, was more involved in traffic accidents.

The most interesting finding was that it is important to focus on a person’s internal motivations, rather than imposing high-level moral principles, to generate a positive behavior in regular offenders. It is also important to seek help from professionals to get on to the path of recovery. A good alcohol rehab center in Florida can help you or a loved one in your struggle to lead an alcohol-free life.

Path to recovery

Physical dependence on alcohol can lead to numerous problems related to health, family relationships and work. Over time, excessive alcohol use, both in the form of heavy or binge drinking, can give way to erratic behavior, even at public places. At present, a number of groundbreaking researches are being carried out to prevent alcohol problems and the related crime and causalities.

As per reports, approximately 17 million American adults are addicted to alcohol. However, the good news is that about one-third of those suffering from alcohol addiction do not show any symptom after treatment.

We understand the gravity of the situation, so the experts at the Florida Alcohol Addiction Helpline are willing to help. If you or your loved one is fighting addiction, we can guide you to one of the best alcohol treatment centers in Florida. You may call at our 24/7 helpline number 866-220-5381 or chat online for further information.