Drunk Driving Prevention

People drive even though they are intoxicated because they believe that they are immune to accidents despite their impairment. But this is simply not true, not to mention that this kind of thinking is just reckless.

Drunk driving has become a nationwide threat, as it has claimed the lives of nearly 10,000 Americans and injured another 350,000 in 2011. These ridiculously high numbers prove that drunk driving is a legitimate problem, and we can only count on certain societal aspects to solve it.

The most vital aspect is the law and its enforcement. If there are laws against drunk driving and if there are authorities that effectively enforce these laws, drunk driving can be minimized.

It is important to note that Driving While Intoxicated, also known as DWI, is already considered an offense. Those who drive with a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or higher may face various penalties, including substantial fines, license suspensions, probations, ignition interlock installations, and even jail times.

The website of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® also mentions that those who have been injured in drunk driving accidents may pursue legal actions against the drunk drivers.

With all the legal problems associated with drunk driving, why does drunk driving continue to be a problem? Again, it is about enforcement. Local authorities should give the impression that they are serious in deterring this reckless driving behavior. They can do this by doing the following:

  • Making or improving drunk driving laws
  • Increasing the severity of DWI penalties
  • Increasing police visibility
  • Setting up check points on strategic locations
  • Encouraging drunk driving awareness programs

Sometimes, it is not about the strict enforcement of the law but the mindset of the people. By having drunk driving awareness programs, people will be more knowledgeable of the dangers of drunk driving, not only to themselves, but also to innocent motorists and bystanders that they may take with them to the hospital, or worse, to the grave.

To eradicate this nationwide threat, we should eradicate the confidence of drunk drivers in hitting the road. This can be done by everything mentioned above – increase the chances of arrest and let them know that even if they don’t get arrested, they may still be involved in a car accident.

read more

Truck Driver Error, One of the Major Causes of Truck Accidents

A study conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) says that truck accidents are more due to errors committed by drivers of semi-trucks (also called 18-wheelers or big rigs). This is opposed to the results of a number of surveys which rather say that drivers of passenger cars are the ones more at fault in majority of road accidents involving trucks. The FMCSA, which is a separate administration within the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), has the primary mission of enforcing laws that will reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities involving commercial motor vehicles (CMV), such as large trucks and buses.

The most common truck driver errors that have been identified by the FMCSA include: driver fatigue; overspeeding or driving too fast for road conditions; drivers impaired due to use of prescription or over-the-counter-drugs; unfamiliarity with the road; lack of experience in operating a semi-truck; lack of focus on the road; distracted driving; improper attachment of trailer; failure to check “no-zone” areas or blind spots; failure to make sure that truck brakes are in good working condition; and, depowering of the front brakes to lessen wear and tear of tires and breaks and so save on operating costs. All these errors lead to many other things that directly affect the capability of truck drivers to react to danger correctly and on time.

It is common knowledge that semi-trucks pose a serious risk to other drivers due to their enormous size and heavy weight. Thus, if a driver does not possess the required skills to operate a truck safely or commits an error that results in an accident, fatalities and people sustaining severe injuries are not remote possibilities.

In 2013, records from the Highway Loss Data Institute, a non-profit research organization, showed 3,500 fatal large truck accidents. These accidents resulted to the death of 570 truck drivers, while the remaining count involved drivers of smaller vehicles, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Injuries, on the other hand, exceed more than a hundred thousand.

About half a million truck accidents occur every year, leaving so many victims and their families burdened with emotional and physical pains, and in financial difficulties. No one wants an accident to occur, inluding the truck driver who may be at fault in the accident; however, due to the injuries or death of victims, erring truck drivers should only be made to face justice as well as compensate their victims for all damages resulting from injuries.

Dealing with the aftermath of a truck accident can be difficult, if not seemingly impossible. Fortunately, with the help of a Tucson motor vehicle accident attorney, a victim may not only be able to get the justice you are seeking, but also the financial compensation he/she needs to cope with the aftermath of the accident.

read more

Early Warning Device for Traumatic Brain Injury in Car Accidents

A teenager recently developed a system for a science fair that would calculate the possibility and intensity of traumatic brain injury in the aftermath of a car accident.

In the International Science and Engineering Fair held in Phoenix, Arizona, 16-year-old Justin Krell who lives in Plankinton, South Dakota, presented the prototype for a system that would track a person’s head movement at the time of a car accident. This would enable the calculation of the possibility of concussion. The system is called HardHit, and uses an accelerometer, infrared proximity sensor and microcontroller which together provide the data to measure the forces that impinged on a car passenger at the time of impact.

The system is based on the Arduino system which stores the information in a MicroSD card. The data can be used by medical care professionals to help in the diagnosis of possible traumatic brain injury such as concussion. HardHit is an in-vehicle device which is currently placed directly behind where the driver’s head would be. The system is still being improved to make the information available to first responders as well as for compatibility with other onboard systems such as OnStar from General Motors.

read more