The sobering details of driving drunk or drugged

graveyard

More than 1,000,000 Americans have been killed in vehicle crashes caused by drunk or drugged drivers over the past half a century.

According to the CDC, since 1966, more Americans were killed by drunk drivers than the total number of American soldiers killed in ALL American Wars except the Civil War.

Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk   friends_dont_friends

Drunk and drugged drivers often don’t remember the details of a crash because at BAC levels over the legal limit of 0.018 memory is impaired. Once they become sober again and are informed of the results of their actions, they can feel remorseful, especially if they kill someone or they themselves end up injured.  Convicted DUI offenders have to deal with jail time and thousands of dollars in fines, and they will need to attend a DUI course such as the ones offered by ABC Drive Safe, which could take up 8 to 72 hours of their time.  It is estimated that a first-time DUI conviction costs over $6,000 – add $40,000 if the crash results in a death

So, how do you intervene to prevent an unnecessary tragedy or your friend from getting a DUI?  Above anything else, don’t let your friends or family members drive while under the influence.  If counseling a friend, try and use a soft, calm approach at first. Suggest to them that they’ve had too much to drink and it would be better if someone else drove or if they took a taxi or ride-share.


When talking to a friend about drunk or drugged driving, be calm. You can even joke about it to make it sound like you are doing them a favor.


If you are talking to a good friend, spouse, or significant other, tell them that if they insist on driving, you are not going with them. Suggest that you will call someone for a ride, even if it is a taxi.

If it is somebody you don’t know well, speak to their friends and have them make an attempt to persuade the impaired person to hand over the keys so they do not get a DUI. Locate their keys while they are preoccupied and take them away. Most likely, they will think they’ve lost them and will be forced to find another mode of transportation. If possible, avoid embarrassing the person or being confrontational, particularly when dealing with men. This makes them appear vulnerable to alcohol and its effects and in some cases they may become combative. If all else fails and the impaired driver won’t listen, call the police to prevent a possible tragedy.

Not letting your friends and loved ones drive drunk or drugged is one of the best life decisions to make, avoiding the stress of dealing with the DUI process.


Cues Used by Law Enforcement in Recognizing a Potentially Drunk Driver

  • Problems Maintaining Proper Lane Position
  • Swerving
  • Drifting across lanes
  • Straddling a lane line
  • Weaving across lane lines
  • Turning with a wide radius
  • Almost striking a vehicle or other object

Speed and Braking Problems

  • Stopping problems (too far, too short, or too jerky)
  • Accelerating or decelerating for no obvious or apparent reason.
  • Inconsistent speed
  • Slow speed -10 mph or more under the posted speed limit.
  • Crashing into another vehicle, tree, rock, house and most anything else.

Vigilance Problems

  • Driving in opposing lanes or the wrong way on one-way street
  • Slow response to traffic signals
  • Slow or failure to respond to officer’s signals
  • Stopping in a lane for no apparent reason
  • Driving without headlights at night
  • Failure to signal or signal inconsistent with action

driving drunk can cost upwards of $10,000 dollars


Judgment Problems

  • Following too closely
  • Improper or unsafe lane change
  • Illegal or improper turn
  • Driving on other than the designated roadway
  • Stopping inappropriately in response to officer
  • Inappropriate or unusual behavior (littering, arguing, etc.)

Post Stop Cues

  • Difficulty with motor vehicle controls
  • Difficulty exiting the vehicle
  • Fumbling with driver’s license or registration
  • Repeating questions or comments
  • Swaying, lack of coordination, unsteady or  balance problems
  • Failure to signal or signal inconsistent with action

Post Stop Cues Continued

  • Leaning on the vehicle or other object
  • Slurred speech
  • Slow to respond to officer or if an officer must repeat the instructions
  • Providing incorrect information or changes answers
  • Odor of alcoholic beverage from the driver
  • Driving without headlights at night

If a driver exhibits any of these signs to a law enforcement officer, they will be scrutinized much more closely.  A trained and experienced  law enforcement officer will be able to quickly assess if a driver is intoxicated and driving under the influence. It’s not one sign that leads an officer to determine if a driver is impaired, but typically there will be several indications of impairment. But, even one sign is enough of a cause to be evaluated for intoxication.

The second the officer realizes someone is impaired from drugs or alcohol is the second a drunk or drugged driver starts the process of incarceration and hefty fines. Our Level 1 DUI courses meet the DMV and court requirements for drug and alcohol education – contact us and let us help you!

100 Deadliest Days

 

distracted_teens

Distracted Teens and the 100 Deadliest Days

 

study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, “Using Naturalistic Driving Data to Examine Teen Driver Behaviors Present in Motor Vehicle Crashes, 2007-2015”, produced important data to examine behaviors and potential contributing factors in the seconds leading up to the automobile collision. The study attempted to identify those crashes that teens are most frequently involved in as well as the distractions or competing activities that are most often being engaged in leading up to these crashes.

Distraction was a factor in nearly 6 out of 10 moderate-to-severe teen crashes studied, which is four times as many as official estimates based on police reports. According to the report, experts believe that the government statistics derived from police reports substantially underestimate the prevalence of driver distraction.

The study confirmed that nearly 60 percent of teen crashes involve distractions behind the wheel. The research also finds a disturbing trend showing that texting and social media use are on the rise amongst teen drivers.

Crashes for teen drivers increase significantly during the summer months, that are included in the “100 Deadliest Days”, that begin the count on Memorial Day.  According to the report, teens drive more during this time of year.

Over the past five years during the “100 Deadliest Days”:

  • An average of 1,022 people died each year in crashes involving teen drivers
  • The average number of deaths from crashes involving teen drivers ages 16-19 increased by 16 percent per day compared to other days of the year

Of particular interest was the increase in rear-end crashes for the teens in this study, which were associated with an increase in operating/looking at the cell phone as well as an increase in the time spent engaging in this activity. Other distractions range from eating to looking at a billboard on the side of the road to thinking about a conversation with a friend, really anything that can take a driver’s hands, eyes or mind off the road. For teens, distracted driving has been identified as a particularly large problem. The latest government statistics indicate that, in 2014, 10% of teen drivers involved in a fatal crash were reported to have been distracted at the time of the crash (NHTSA, 2016). Proportionally, this is more than any other age group.

Inexperience, overconfidence, social pressure, a tendency to underestimate risk, and to engage more often in risky behaviors are other factors confronting the teen driver. Any or all may increase the chance of young drivers engaging in distracted driving, and if they do, make it more likely that their distraction will have an unfavorable outcome

The top three distractions for teens when behind the wheel in the moments leading up to a crash:

  • Talking or attending to other passengers in the vehicle: 15 percent of crashes
  • Talking, texting or operating a cell phone: 12 percent of crashes
  • Attending to or looking at something inside the vehicle: 11 percent of crashes

The trend suggests that more research must be conducted in the area of cell phone use and whether technology can be effective in mitigating crashes that involve teens.

TeenDriving.AAA.com has a variety of tools to help prepare parents and teens for the dangerous summer driving season.  Read the full report here.