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How to spot a drunk driver

With the holidays around the corner, Texans are gearing up to attend family get-togethers and holiday parties. At these gatherings, holiday cheer often comes in liquid form, whether it is eggnog, wine or a few beers. There is nothing wrong with celebrating with friends and family. However, some drivers may have a few too many and then decide to get behind the wheel.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, each day in the U.S., 29 people die in alcohol-related vehicle accident, which is the equivalent of one person every 50 minutes. Even if you drink responsibly at a holiday function, you may be sharing the road with someone who has consumed too much alcohol. Here are some signs of an impaired driver.

How to help your elderly parents renew their driver's license

Austin, Texas, is known for being a haven for the young and hip, but more people 65 and older live in the Austin area than people ages 18 to 24.

The Austin Chamber of Commerce notes that Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis and Williamson counties are home to 209,690 people age 65 and older but only 200,956 people between the ages of 18 and 24.

How do the police know if someone is distracted while driving?

Many drivers who glance at their phones do not think that others can see them doing it. They also assume that the effort of quickly glancing at their phone is equivalent to that of changing the radio station or checking their car's speed. However, cell phones tend to distract drivers more frequently than these other activities and often result in an extended period of time with a driver's eyes off of the road.

Five seconds is the average time that a person looks at their phone while driving. Traveling at 55 mph, you can drive the distance of a football field during that time. In 2017 in Texas, there were over 100,000 car accidents attributed to distracted driving that resulted in 2,889 injuries and 444 fatalities.

How distracted driving fault is determined

It can be easy to get distracted while behind the wheel, as distracted driving encompasses much more than texting. One can find themselves distracted by another passenger, reaching to grab something from the back seat, watching something outside the vehicle or even attempting to choose a radio station.

Distracted driving is dangerous, and it is the cause of many accidents.  Statistics show that close to 500,000, half a million, individuals are on their phones while driving. This does not include all the other ways that one can distract themselves when they are behind the wheel. If a car whose driver was distracted strikes you, how do investigators determine that distracted driving was at fault?

Distracted driving is so much more than just texting

When we hear the phrase "distracted driving," we likely think of a driver looking down at his or her phone, reading or sending a text message. While a large portion of distracted drivers are indeed texting, there are many other activities that can be just as distracting - and just as dangerous - that don't involve text messaging.

It is true that texting in particular is inherently dangerous because it involves three distinct levels of distraction: cognitive (your mind is focusing on the content of the message), visual (your eyes move away from the road to look at the screen) and manual (your hands come off the wheel to type in a response), but this isn't to say that it is the only dangerous behind the wheel distraction.

Speeding or DUI, which is more Dangerous? You may be surprised

There is no doubt that driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol can easily be the cause of extreme injuries and even deaths out on the road. But do you think the same way when it comes to speeding? Do you think of speeding as something that is as dangerous as DUI? If not, maybe you should. Reports now find that speeding is just as dangerous as DUI.

These findings by the National Transportation Safety Board looked at a recent 10-year period and noticed that nearly the same amount of people across the country died from speeding as did from DUI related crashes. The report showed that while incidents of people driving while intoxicated has been decreasing, people are still on average driving over the speed limit by seven or eight miles per hour.

Road rage: Are you part of the problem or the solution?

If you spend any time on the streets and highways around Austin, you have encountered road rage. Maybe you've displayed some yourself. Mental health experts say it doesn't take much for some to reach the breaking point.

What triggers rage can be difficult to nail down but there is no disputing that it is commonplace. According to one study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, nearly 80 percent of drivers responding to a survey admitted to being significantly angry, aggressive or expressing rage while behind the wheel at least once in the previous 12 months. Another survey found that aggressive driving contributed to more than half of fatal crashes between 2003 and 2007.

Why schools become popular distracted driving accident sites

As the summer starts coming to a close, many Austin children are preparing to go back to school. Since there are more buses and cars occupying highways in the morning and early afternoon, there are also more chances of a distracted driving accident.

Last year, Travis County was one of the leading areas of distracted driving in Texas. If you want your child to be safe from these incidents once they have to go back to their classes, you should be aware of the potential dangers in school zones that could lead to a distracted driving accident.

Can you avoid drowsy drivers?

When Texans operate a vehicle without proper sleep, they endanger other drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. Like drinking and driving, texting, changing radio stations and other distracted driving behaviors, drowsy drivers have delayed reaction times and erratic actions.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated that drowsy drivers caused 72,000 car accidents and 800 deaths in just a one-year span. While you may safely avoid driving while tired, you are still vulnerable to other drowsy drivers on the road. Can Texans avoid drowsy drivers?

How will automated vehicles affect drunk driving?

Every day, too many people die in an alcohol-related car crash in the United States. Although there are alternatives to driving while drunk, people do it anyway. Cost could play a part in this. Not everyone can afford an Uber to get home.

Drunk driving puts your life and others at risk of injury, or death. As self-driving cars become the talk of new technology, could they be what we need to eradicate drunk driving once and for all?

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