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Safe driving discussion for parents and teens

When Texas teenagers approach driving age, parents worry. Talking to teens about driving safety today can involve many topics, including what the National Safety Council's senior director of public relations calls the dangerous Ds: drugged, distracted and drowsy driving.

Most high schools in the country have some students who use drugs or alcohol, and that does include prescription drugs. Even if a teen doesn't use any drugs or drink alcohol, he or she might have friends who do. NSC says parents should remind their teenagers that riding with a drunk or drugged driver is as dangerous as being a drunk or drugged driver.

Where do pedestrian crashes usually occur?

When a pedestrian is hit by a car, the pedestrian can be seriously injured or killed by the impact. Although catastrophic incidents like this are usually unpredictable, there are some pedestrian crash trends that can be used to help promote awareness for risky situations and potentially help prevent some future crashes from occurring. When examining pedestrian crash trends, people usually want to know where this type of crash usually occurs.

Pedestrian crashes often occur in urban areas

Plans for Volvos to detect drunk driving behaviors

Starting in 2020, Volvo drivers in Texas and around the country will be able to purchase vehicles that do not go faster than 112 miles per hour, and over the next few years, the cars will come with additional safety technology to prevent accidents that result from drunk driving. Volvo made both announcements in March. The company said it is focused on seeing that accidents do not happen at all rather than on mitigating their severity.

With the use of sensors and cameras, the cars will monitor behaviors that suggest the driver may be intoxicated and take action. Failing to steer or closing eyes for a long period of team, weaving and very slow reaction time will all prompt action from the car. This could include stopping safely and parking.

Do you know the three types of distracted driving?

Most of us are aware of different acts of distracted driving such as eating, texting or talking to a passenger while driving. Yet, did you know that there are three different classifications for these distractions? Each distraction takes away one or more of your senses’ focus off driving.

  • Cognitive distractions take your brain off the road to focus on work, family or personal matters. It’s often difficult to keep your mind from wandering to serious life issues but be aware of the danger in over-focusing on these things.

Risk Institute provides insight on distracted driving trends

Residents of Texas should know that a nationwide effort by The Risk Institute at Ohio State University is underway to study and reduce distracted driving. It has enlisted the help of companies, researchers and government entities. In coordination with the observance of Distracted Driving Awareness Month, which is every April, The Risk Institute has released the findings of some of its studies.

Distracted Driving Awareness Month was started by the National Safety Council as a way to help motorists recognize the danger of distracted driving. Every year in the US, distracted driving crashes lead to 9 fatalities and 100 cases of injury. Use of cell phones and in-vehicle technology like dashboard touchscreens and voice command is behind many of these accidents.

NHTSA ignores pleas to mandate safety tech for large trucks

Truck safety groups have long been advocating for the use of forward collision warning and mitigation systems. Truckers in Texas should know that these features can alert them to any impending crashes with stationary or slow-moving objects. Combined with automatic emergency braking, which apply the brakes when drivers fail to do so in time, the system can prevent possibly thousands of rear-end accidents.

The National Transportation Safety Board has recommended that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the federal regulatory agency that sets guidelines for truckers, mandate the use of forward collision warning systems on all heavy trucks. It has recommended this on at least 10 different occasions since the 1990s, yet NHTSA has not proposed any regulation along these lines. Critics are accusing NHTSA for a culpable failure to act.

AAA warns against drowsy driving after daylight saving time

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is cautioning drivers about the effects of losing one hour of sleep in the wake of daylight saving time. In Texas, as elsewhere, many accidents arise because drivers do not get the recommended seven hours of sleep each night. AAA states that missing one or two hours in a 24-hour period can actually double a driver's risk for getting into an accident.

Moreover, AAA says that people who sleep for only five hours in the previous 24 hours will drive like they're intoxicated by alcohol. In a AAA survey, 3 in 10 respondents admitted to driving at least once during the previous month in a condition where they had trouble keeping their eyes open despite the fact that 95 percent of respondents recognized how unsafe and unacceptable it is to drive while drowsy.

Can you prevent a drunk driving accident?

You know how dangerous drunk driving is and you constantly warn your children about the consequences. You and your kids know to never get behind the wheel while intoxicated, but other people are not as smart. While you may take every precaution to prevent drunk driving from your end, you cannot control what other people do. You and your kids could still be at risk of getting into an accident caused by a drunk driver.

However, there are extra safety steps you can take to keep you and your kids safe from drunk drivers on the road. You cannot control everything, but you can make sure you are as safe as possible.

Help your teen driver avoid drinking and driving

When your teen is just starting to drive, it’s important to go over the essentials with them. Proper driving habits and defensive driving strategies are important aspects to cover with a new driver.

However, it’s also important to have a plan for your teen in case they are ever in a situation they need to leave without driving. For instance, if he or she has been drinking. Here’s how to help your teen make positive choices around driving:

Opioid abuse and fatal car crashes

A recent U.S. study illuminated some noteworthy facts about two-car car crashes that lead to fatalities. The study showed how this nation's opioid epidemic is having far-reaching consequences. According to the study, at-fault drivers were twice as likely to test positive for opioids than their victims. Failure to stay in the proper lane was the most common deadly error committed by drugged drivers. Because each avoidable fatal crash creates enormous expense for society, public officials have little choice but to vigorously address the ongoing epidemic of drugged driving.

Driver negligence is a huge factor contributing to and causing fatal road accidents in modern life. When negligence is combined with substance use, the resultant automotive accidents can be particularly gruesome. Whether a person uses legal or illicit drugs before hitting the road, driver impairment can turn any highway into a veritable death trap for unsuspecting victims.

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