Archive for the ‘AAA’ Category

NTSB wants to make Hard-Core Drunk Drivers a High PriorityT

December 15, 2010

Laura Dean-Mooney national president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving MADD ignition interlocks impaired driving breathalyzer Sarah Longwell American Beverage Institute moderate social drinking DUI offenders sobriety checkpoints Cleared2Drive’s Impairment Detection Technology impaired drivingUSA Today reports The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) wants states to make drivers caught with high blood alcohol concentrations (BAC) or repeat drunk driving offenses a high priority.  Excuse me for asking, but why is the NTSB waiting until December 2009 to make this a priority?

NTSB reports that 70% of the drunk-driving accidents last year were caused by these  so-called “hard-core” drunk drivers. The term, “hard-core drunk drivers” is defined as individuals who have a second DUI offense within 10 years of their first, or who are found to have at least 0.15 percent alcohol content in their blood.

Jake Nelson, AAA’s Director of Traffic Safety says, “Hard-core drunk drivers are, in many ways, resistant to the countermeasures we’ve applied since the early ’80s”. Back in the early 1980s when Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) was founded, drunk driving accounted for 50% of road fatalities, where in 2009 it accounted for 32%, when 10,839 people were killed.  In my estimation given the amount of education we have done in the US over the past 30 years, this number is still extremely high.

“You’re seeing harsher and harsher statutes being enacted in various states across the country,” said Joanne Michaels, who directs the National Traffic Law Center. She said that district attorneys are charging drunken drivers in fatal crashes as severely as possible which don’t you think they should have been doing all along?  Didn’t most of us Americans come to the conclusion years ago that drunk driving is no accident and is 100% preventable?

Laura Dean-Mooney, national president of MADD, said, “We believe that anyone who drives drunk is a potential threat to kill or injure people” and wants federal lawmakers to require that all first-time DUI offenders get ignition interlocks. Okay, this is good, but until we start approaching this with a pro-active solution, impaired driving is not going to stop.  MADD is also is asking that Congress allocate $60 million to create and test improved ignition interlock devices to be put in all vehicles which is only going to work if you develop the right technology.  Asking people to put a tricked out breathalyzer, or a breathalyzer called something else in a lame attempt to disguise it, in their vehicle is just not going to fly.  The breathalyzer has a stigma that is just NOT going to go away – see December 14th blog.

Sarah Longwell of The American Beverage Institute said that MADD’s plans go far beyond just hard-core drunk drivers. “Rather than focusing on the hard-core population, there has been this move to target moderate social drinking,” she said. She favored graduated sanctions for offenders and mobile patrols for DUI offenders instead of sobriety checkpoints.

Honestly, until we as a society utilize technology designed specifically to recognize impairment like Cleared2Drive’s Impairment Detection Technology, drunk or impaired driving is not going away and we will continue to bury our loved ones.

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AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety Shows 17% of Fatal Car Crashes due to Drowsy Driving

January 2, 2010

study AAA Foundation Traffic Safety fatal car crashes drowsy driving Idaho State Police impaired driving dangerous on the road recovery falling asleep crashing your vehicle Cleared2Drive Good2GoA new study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety shows close to 17% of all fatal car crashes are the result of drowsy driving.  Idaho State Police Captain Lonnie Richardson said drowsy driving is as dangerous as any other distracted or impaired driving.

“Drowsy drivers are very dangerous on the road,” said Richardson. “It’s bad enough people driving down the road changing the stereo, or gawking out the window looking at the scenery, which causes the vehicle to drift off. Under those circumstances the driver can usually recover.”

But Richardson said the recovery from falling asleep is not so easy. “In a drowsy situation, someone generally falls asleep,” said Richardson. “And when they wake up they are naturally frightened. The natural reaction is to jerk right or left. When that happens, the laws of gravity and the laws of momentum are going to dictate that vehicle is generally going to roll over on them.”

Richardson said drivers should stop when they start to feel drowsy. Even a short nap can help make sure you arrive safely.  “If you find yourself at all tired, pull over, find a rest area, find a nice location where you can pull over and take a 30 minute nap,” said Richardson. “Just a 30 minute nap will refresh you enough to keep you from probably crashing your vehicle.”

The survey also showed a quarter of the respondents admit to driving during the previous month while being so tired they had difficulty keeping their eyes open.  Just as it detects impairment from drugs or alcohol, Cleared2Drive also detects impairment from sleep deprivation or extreme fatigue.  As all equally dangerous.