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2 factors that affect driver reaction times

On Behalf of | Mar 25, 2024 | Personal Injury

Even on relatively calm roads, drivers are making multiple decisions every few seconds. This requires fast reaction times. For example, if a vehicle changes lanes suddenly, then a driver may need to react by slowing down accordingly. The potential consequence of not doing  this could be an accident. 

Without fast reaction times, vehicle collisions are much more likely. There are a number of factors which can significantly reduce the reaction times of drivers and increase the likelihood of crashes. Here are two things to consider. 


Driving distractions are anything that has the potential to take the driver’s focus off of potential hazards. Generally, distractions come in three forms; manual, cognitive and visual. Some of the most common examples of driving distractions include: 

  • Using a cell phone
  • Staring at distracting billboards
  • Being very stressed while driving 

All types of distractions significantly reduce reaction times, increasing the potential for accidents. 


Studies indicate that being under the influence of either alcohol or drugs significantly slows the reaction time of drivers. This is largely why impaired driving is illegal. Research suggests that reaction times are slowed by 120 milliseconds with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of just 0.08%. This may not sound like a lot, but it is in terms of driving at high speeds. The more alcohol and drugs a person consumes, the slower their reaction times will be. 

If you were injured in a crash caused by an impaired or distracted driver, you may be entitled to financial compensation. The more legal information you have, the better prepared your case will be.