Facts about Drinking and Driving that Everyone should know

There is nothing wrong with having a bit of fun – meeting up with friends after work for a few drinks, catching up and simply spending time together. However, when it’s time to head home, make sure you don’t make the mistake of getting behind the wheel of a car when you’ve had a drink, regardless of how small the amount you’ve had. Let us examine some statistics and facts about drinking and driving and why it makes practical sense to be sober behind the wheels.

An Alarming Reality

In the United States alone, an average of 30 people die every day due to vehicular accidents that are caused – directly and indirectly – by drunk driving. That makes one death every 48 minutes. This is quite an alarming rate, and all because of carelessness and lack of responsibility among drivers. The mortality rates attributed to alcohol-related vehicular accidents are just as disturbing. During the year 2010, of all the deaths in the US that are caused by traffic accidents, 31% (or 10,228 deaths) is due to drunk driving.

What is being done in the face of this alarming reality? Police authorities and traffic enforcers clearly have their hands full. In 2010, a total of 1.4 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence. These arrests would have been unnecessary if only drivers are responsible enough to gain awareness about drinking and driving, and its consequences.

Repercussions and Issues Arising From Drunk Driving

Apart from death, injuries, and loss of or damage to property, there are also a number of legal repercussions faced by anyone who gets arrested for driving while intoxicated. Expect to face criminal penalties; you’ll most likely spend some jail time and be slapped with a large fine. The duration of jail time and the amount of the fines will vary from state to state.

Also, there are some states and jurisdictions that impose graver consequences. Drivers who get caught red-handed should also expect to be facing a number of administrative and civil penalties, again, depending on the DUI court or state. The driver’s license may be revoked or suspended, or he could be ordered to complete DUI diversion programs, as they do in the state of California.

At the end of the day, however, the best way to prevent any of these from happening would be to exercise caution. Do not drink and drive. Know your limits. If you know you’ve imbibed alcohol, no matter how small, it is better to be safe than sorry.

Cell Phone Use While Driving – Safety Tips

Global usage of cell phones has been increasing at an alarming pace for the past two decades or so. We have witnessed the fixed line phones being replaced to a great extend by mobile phones for personal or individual use if not exactly for business purposes.

At the same time, the way in which people (mis)use cell phones has been quite disturbing as well. No matter where they are, mobile phones use – especially in the public – is sometimes annoying for other people be it in the lift, theater, on road or while driving.

Cell phone usage while driving in particular is quite dangerous for not only the people in the car but also people on the road.

Bad side of cell phone use while driving

Studies have revealed that the distraction related accidents caused while using cell phones have actually much more than driving under moderate alcohol levels (0.08% BAC) in the blood (Read: Mobile phones and driving safety). For a person who is speaking on the mobile phone while driving, the brake onset time and recovery time increase significantly while braking force and balance of the vehicle reduce drastically.

If you are involved in texting and driving simultaneously, the consequence is even worse as many fatal accidents of even celebrities and sports personnel have taken place during texting.

In many countries, cell phone usage while driving is an act that is restricted by law and hence even if you don’t meet with an accident you can be penalized or sometimes your driving license canceled.

What if you have to use cell phone while driving?

If for some reason, you have to make or receive an important call during driving please follow the safety tips below:

  1. When you have to make a call while driving, please pull over and dial the number. Texting and punching in numbers requires you to take your eyes off the road and concentrate on the mobile keypad for a few seconds and that is good enough to cause an accident
  2. If you are using a hands free kit or bluetooth device in your car, go for the ones with voice commands enabled so that you can make or receive calls with lesser distraction
  3. Never do texting and driving simultaneously. Make a hands free call instead, if it is an unavoidable call
  4. Please note that hands free doesn’t mean that you are absolutely safe. Talking on the handsfree device can still cause accidents depending on how involved you are with the chat. As much as possible, you have to avoid phone calls during driving. By the way, several countries have already banned all types of phone usage – be it handfree or handheld. In the US itself, individual states have different set of rules and age bars on handsfree usage
  5. Please note that cell phone usage is just one of those things that causes accidents. Lighting a cigarette and putting on makeup while driving can be equally hazardous

Please remember, your life is much more valuable than a phone call, however important it is.