Archive for the ‘Teenage Drivers’ Category

Cleared2Drive can Alert Parents to the Symptoms of Alcoholism

December 4, 2010

disordered thinking black-outs increased irritability treatments intervention Cleared2Drive Good2Go sober medications prevention detoxification addict parents teens peersWhen the body becomes so accustomed to alcohol that the person loses complete control over his will to control his drinking, he/she is known to have developed the condition of alcoholism. It is actually a chronic disease, which causes the body to become dependent on alcohol. One classic sign of alcoholism is that the person keeps on drinking, although he/she knows that it is causing all kinds of problems in his/her life. This problem cannot be dealt without help.

Alcoholism Physical Symptoms

The symptoms may vary or get intense as the person steps in the higher stages of alcoholism. One noticeable sign of alcoholism in men and women is a strong feeling which causes or compels the person to drink, even if he/she wishes not to. Also, the addict loses his/her ability to keep a check on the amount of alcohol he/she drinks. The person probably would drink till he/she passes out. Another one of the physical symptoms of alcoholism is the body developing a tolerance to alcohol so that it requires a high amount of it, to feel its effects.

Alcoholism Psychological Symptoms

The psychological symptoms arise when the neurological functions of the person start getting disrupt by the too much intake of alcohol. The symptoms which indicate the malfunctioning of the nervous system include alcohol dementia, short-term memory loss, confusion, disordered thinking, drinking in secret, feeling guilty post drinking, black-outs, losing interest in things which were important once, increased irritability, and feeling a strong urge to have a few pegs soon after getting up.

Treatment of Alcoholism

In most cases, people who are close to the addict help him/her realize about the problem and that he/she requires help. Depending on how grave the problem has become, different treatments for alcoholism are brought into practice. They may consist of counseling, a short period of intervention by an expert or advising a residential inpatient stay, removal of freedoms – like installation of the Cleared2Drive system which will only permit them to drive when completely sober. The treatment plan may consist of detoxification and dealing with the withdrawal symptoms, counseling, medications, coping with psychological problems and preventing complications.

Know that early intervention is the best way to prevent the development of alcoholism, especially in teens. Parents must always be on their toes about the lifestyle that their kids are beginning to lead. Their influence and that of peers and media are some very important elements when it comes to prevent alcoholism. Parents must also watch out for signs and symptoms in their kids which are indicators of alcohol problem. These may include losing interest in studies or hobbies, disturbance in relationships with friends and family, poor performance in studies, mood changes, abnormal behaviors, etc. Installation of a Cleared2Drive system is also a way to raise the red flag.  If all of a sudden your child can no longer start their vehicle, this should alert parents that there some sort of abuse issue with their child.

Parents can keep their kids from getting into alcoholism by setting good examples with their own alcohol use. Having an open discussion with them and making them aware of the repercussion of drinking do provide a great deal of help in preventing alcoholism in teenagers.

How to Prevent College and Underage Binge Drinking

November 30, 2010

The best way to combat the issue of excessive college drinking is to educate college students more about the issues and consequences of drinking. As stated before, many college students will observe others and attempt to model their drinking habits after what they see their peers doing. If student B sees student A drinking excessively, he will more than likely follow the same actions. Student C will follow student B’s lead, student D will follow student C’s lead, and soon a cycle that is difficult to break out of will form.

College Drinking

In “College Drinking:  reforming a social problem”, Dowdall talks about the image of college drinking. He mentions a legendary picture of John Belushi from the 1978 movie Animal House. In that picture Belushi is wearing a sweatshirt that says “College” and holding an empty bottle of Jack Daniels. The picture, as well as the movie, represents underage college drinking as a game. It was after the release of that movie that activities such as “ pre-gaming” (drinking a lot of alcohol over a short period of time prior to going out) and drinking games became more prevalent.

An article in Alcohol Research and Health pointed to several solutions, including peer refusal and family involvement. The magazine pointed that most pressure for young adults to drink comes from peer and family, so positive reinforcements in both areas will only help the situation.

Other research concurs that parental reinforcement will help with the problem. Buffalo News reported that parents need to start teaching their kids about alcohol misuse and abuse at a young age. Alcohol is a legal psychoactive drug that affects parts of the brain, and drinking while the brain is still developing could lead to physiologic and psychological damage. Parents also need to teach teens about “alcohol over dosage,” which include signs such as vomiting, cold and clammy skin, shallow breathing and unresponsiveness.

College students learn by observing. By instilling good values and morals in a young adult before they leave for college, there is a better chance the student will handle alcohol responsibly. But let’s not be blind or hide our head in the sand.  If you even think that your child might be drinking, start drinking, or could succumb to peer influence to drink, then installation of a Cleared2Drive would certainly be wise.

For college students two of the best ways to help prevent excessive drinking are parental involvement and peer guidance.  For parents, installation of a Cleared2Drive System provides the much appreciated Peace of Mind.

How to Prevent A Drowsy Driving Accident or Fatality

November 29, 2010

AAA Foundation for Traffic Society findings show that more than 40% of drivers have fallen asleep while on the road.

drowsy driving accident investigation road trip UHP fatality AAA fatigued driving accidents Cleared2Drive Good2GoAlmost half of the traffic fatalities on Utah County highways this year have been the result of drowsy driving.

“We’re mystified and really quite frustrated,” said Lt. Al Christianson with the Utah Highway Patrol, adding that last year, the county had only seven fatalities all year. “This year we’ve already had 23, and the year’s not over yet.”

Three of the six fatigued driving accidents that resulted in fatalities were on Interstate 15, two were on U.S. 6 and one was on U.S. 89. In each case, Christianson said, the drivers didn’t think they were quite as tired as they were. He pointed to a triple fatality in September, when a family’s van rolled on I-15 near Santaquin. They were returning to Provo after a long trip.  “They’re within 20 miles of their destination when their driver falls asleep, and they die,” he said.

What’s even scarier is the number of near-misses. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Society released findings showing that more than 40 percent of drivers have fallen asleep while on the road. That’s two out of every five drivers, or about 164,000 of the approximately 400,000 drivers on I-15 in Utah County on a daily basis.

The frightening aspect of driving while tired is that anyone could fall victim to it and not realize it at the time. While in the past there had been no device or technology to measure exhaustion, there is a new technology now available called the Cleared2Drive System that measures impairment even from fatigue or sleep deprivation.   Many people don’t realize how tired they are when they get into their car, or they overestimate their ability to remain alert but the Cleared2Drive System can and will prevent them from being able to start their vehicle.

But if the statistics tell drivers anything, it’s that they need to evaluate before a road trip if they are awake enough to make it and be willing to pull over if they’re not; UHP has even put road signs along I-15 encouraging drowsy drivers to exit.  Springville resident Jack Angus said when he starts running over the rumble strips on the freeway he’s too tired, and he’ll pull off at the next exit and catch a quick nap or switch drivers if someone else is in the car.  “I would never take a chance,” he said. “That’s worse than driving drunk or something.”

It’s at least on equal footing; a person who has been awake for 24 hours has the equivalent mental state and reaction time as a person with a blood alcohol content of .10.  Police officers are trained now to watch for drowsy drivers and are no longer accepting “I’m just tired” as a reason for unsafe driving.

Police officers can cite people for drowsy driving, although it is difficult to prove. They look for poor driving patterns like swerving or not staying in their lanes, but most often they realize a driver is too tired only during an accident investigation. People should avoid traveling too late at night or allowing all the passengers in their car to fall asleep instead of relying on temporary fixes.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

November 25, 2010

From all of us here at Cleared2Drive, we hope you have wonderful Thanksgiving!

Cleared2Drive how to stop impaired driving how to stop drunk driving how to stop drowsy driving

Given that this is the most traveled weekend in the entire year, please be extra careful not to drive while tired or after you have celebrated with family and friends.

Rural vs. Urban Teen Drug Use

November 24, 2010

Cleared2Drive National Survey on Drug Use and Health University of Kentucky College of Medicine JAMA Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine teen substance abuse illicit drug use impaired drivingWe at Cleared2Drive recently came across some slightly surprising new data suggests that where a teen lives may influence whether or not they abuse prescription drugs. The 2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health that was just released November 1, 2010 showed that teens living in rural areas are 26% more likely to use prescription drugs for non-medical uses than are urban teens. This report was summarized by the University of Kentucky College of Medicine in the JAMA Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.

All of us at Cleared2Drive know that prescription drug abuse has skyrocketed in our country in the last 15 years, increasing 212% among teens from 1992 to 2003 as we hear it everyday from our customers. With prescription drugs being prescribed more and more by doctors, teens find it easy to gain access to their choice of drugs in family members’ medicine cabinets, or buying them from friends which is why families are turning to Cleared2Drive as a solution to keeping their kids from driving under the influence of anything – not just alcohol.

The interesting finding in the study is that teens in rural areas are significantly more likely to abuse prescription drugs than urban teens, while illicit drug abuse rates are the same for both urban and rural youth. There will need to be more research on the habits of rural youth to determine why the prescription abuse is more prevalent among them. Maybe these teens have more time on their hands, or are less educated on the risks of prescription drug abuse, or feel they are less likely to get caught by law enforcement.

Dangers of Prescription Drug Abuse

Prescription drugs that are used non-medically are often considered gateway drugs. Teens that experiment with prescription drugs, even occasionally, are statistically more likely to use illicit drugs as they get older. They are also more likely to smoke, drink, and get caught up with gambling and other impulsive activities.

Just because a teen lives in a rural area, however, doesn’t mean that they are necessarily going to use prescription drugs. There are some factors that the study found that greatly decrease even rural teens’ likelihood of using drugs. First of all, living in a two parent household reduces the risk by 32%. Attending school, effectively treating health and mental health problems, and having parental involvement also decreases the risk of substance abuse among these teens. In fact, all teens and pre-teens benefit greatly from positive parental interactions. Parents don’t often take their role seriously enough, but parents still hold a lot of power in their teens’ lives, attitudes, and behaviors. Families that spend quality time together, wherever they live, have teens that are less likely to do drugs, smoke, or drink. That’s why things like eating dinner together at least a few nights a week makes a world of difference for teens, but unfortunately to have true Peace of Mind, the only way for parents to be confidential that their child is ALWAYS driving sober, is to a Cleared2Drive System installed.

Australia must have oodles and oodles of money!

November 23, 2010

Cleared2Drive Australia impact consequences of dangerous driving impaired driving drunk driving doctor emergency hospital tragedy police ambulance

All of us here at Cleared2Drive have been wondering since we read about the new $50 million center Victoria’s Transport Accident Commission (TAC) is planning to establish to teach teenagers about the  impact and consequences of dangerous driving,  “Do you really need to spend $50 million on a building to accomplish that?”

The facility is designed to have learner drivers speak with victims of road trauma and emergency workers and use simulators which replicate drunk driving.  Premier John Brumby says young drivers will be offered incentives to attend the center, such as free driving lessons. “It will confront young people with the experience of the police, of the ambulance, of the emergency services worker who deal every day with the aftermath of road accidents and road tragedy,” he said.

I just can’t believe that they think an incentive of “free driving lessons ” is an enticement to any teenager anywhere in the world.”  Come on, lets be honest here . . . Teenagers don’t want more driving lessons!  We adults should know that most teenagers  believe they already know it all!

Maybe they would be better off to spend the $50millon on alerting parents of know it all teenagers as to what can really be done to prevent impaired driving, like having a Cleared2Drive unit installed on the family vehicle.

AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety report shows that the number of sleepy drivers is higher than thought.ay

November 19, 2010

Cleared2Drive impaired driving technology sleepy driver impaired driver drowsy driving study report AAA vehicle crash leading cause of death asleep at the wheel National Highway Traffic Safety Administration alcohol drugs slow reaction timeCleared2Drive notes the importance of the following study and hopes that the public will see the importance of educating people as to the dangers of Drowsy Driving.

According to the study, “Asleep at the Wheel: The Prevalence and Impact of Drowsy Driving,” 41 percent of respondents say they have fallen asleep at the wheel, with one in 10 admitting to it in the past year. The figures combined with a new analysis of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration crash data estimates that 16.5 percent of fatal crashes involve a driver who is drowsy. The numbers are higher than previously estimated, which suggests that instances driver fatigue may be rising.

“When you are behind the wheel of a car, being sleepy is very dangerous. Sleepiness decreases awareness, slows reaction time, and impairs judgment, just like drugs or alcohol, contributing to the possibility of a crash,” said AAA Foundation President and CEO Peter Kissinger in a recent statement. “We need to change the culture so that not only will drivers recognize the dangers of driving while drowsy but will stop doing it.”

The data was derived from a telephone survey of 2,000 respondents that were 16 year old and older between May and June of 2010.

Cleared2Drive’s technology is just as effective against drowsy driving as it is against impaired driving.  Anything that would cause a person’s reaction time to be altered, will be recognized by the system and prevent that individual from being able to start their vehicle.

Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Recommends Increased Usage of Ignition Interlock Systems

November 17, 2010

Cleared2Drive alcohol-related crashes alcohol-impaired driving motor vehicle crashes traffic-related deaths CDC’s research and program Center for Disease Control CDC blood alcohol concentration (BAC) ignition interlocks programs Task Force on Community Preventive Services FBIImpaired Driving

Every day, 32 people in the United States die, in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver. This amounts to one death every 45 minutes.1 The annual cost of alcohol-related crashes totals more than $51 billion.2 But there are effective measures that can help prevent injuries and deaths from alcohol-impaired driving.

How big is the problem?

  • In 2008, 11,773 people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes, accounting for nearly one-third (32%) of all traffic-related deaths in the United States.1
  • Of the 1,347 traffic fatalities among children ages 0 to 14 years in 2008, about one out of every six (16%) involved an alcohol-impaired driver.1
  • Of the 216 child passengers ages 14 and younger who died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes in 2008, about half (99) were riding in the vehicle with the with the alcohol-impaired driver.1
  • In 2008, over 1.4 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics.3 That’s less than one percent of the 159 million self-reported episodes of alcohol-impaired driving among U.S. adults each year.4
  • Drugs other than alcohol (e.g., marijuana and cocaine) are involved in about 18% of motor vehicle driver deaths. These other drugs are often used in combination with alcohol.5

What are CDC’s research and program activities in this area?

Ignition interlock programs recommended
Ignition interlocks are installed in vehicles to prevent operation by anyone with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above a specified safe level (usually 0.02% – 0.04%). CDC reviewed the effectiveness of ignition interlocks programs to reduce alcohol-impaired driving recidivism and alcohol-related crashes.  The review, conducted on behalf of the Task Force on Community Preventive Services, drew on findings from a 2004 review conducted by Willis, Lybrand and Bellamy (Willis 2004). It concluded that ignition interlocks are associated with a median 70% reduction in re-arrest rates for alcohol-impaired driving. Based on strong evidence of the effectiveness of interlocks in reducing re-arrest rates, the Task Force recommended that ignition interlock programs be implemented. They also noted that the public health benefits of the intervention are currently limited by the small proportion of offenders who install interlocks in their vehicles. More widespread and sustained use of interlocks among this population could have a substantial impact on alcohol-related crashes.

  • Related Articles:
    Guide to Community Preventive Services. Reducing alcohol-impaired driving: ignition interlocks. [cited 2009 Nov 6]. Available at URL: www.thecommunityguide.org/mvoi/AID/ignitioninterlocks.htmlExternal Web Site Icon

    Willis C, Lybrand S, Bellamy N. Alcohol ignition interlock programmes for reducing drink driving recidivism. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2004, Issue 3.

References

  1. Dept of Transportation (US), National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Traffic Safety Facts 2008: Alcohol-Impaired Driving. Washington (DC): NHTSA; 2009 [cited 2009 Nov 3]. Available at URL: http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811155.PDF
  2. Blincoe L, Seay A, Zaloshnja E, Miller T, Romano E, Luchter S, et al. The Economic Impact of Motor Vehicle Crashes, 2000. Washington (DC): Dept of Transportation (US), National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA); 2002. Available at URL: http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/staticfiles/DOT/NHTSA/Communication & Consumer Information/Articles/Associated Files/EconomicImpact2000.pdf Adobe PDF fileExternal Web Site Icon
  3. Department of Justice (US), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Crime in the United States 2008: Uniform Crime Reports. Washington (DC): FBI; 2009 [cited 2009 Nov 5]. Available at URL: http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/cius2008/data/table_29.htmlExternal Web Site Icon
  4. Quinlan KP, Brewer RD, Siegel P, Sleet DA, Mokdad AH, Shults RA, Flowers N. Alcohol-impaired driving among U.S. adults, 1993-2002. American Journal of Preventive Medicine 2005;28(4:346-350.
  5. Jones RK, Shinar D, Walsh JM. State of knowledge of drug-impaired driving. Dept of Transportation (US), National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA); 2003. Report DOT HS 809 642.

Ignition Interlock Summit Helps States in the Fight Against Drunk Driving

November 16, 2010

Last year, 10,839 people died because of alcohol-related car crashes.

Although this number declined 7.4 percent from 2008 to 2009, none of these deaths ever should have happened. And even a single death due to drunk driving is one too many.

Last week, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Centers for Disease Control met with members of the Governors Highway Safety Association for a National Ignition Interlock Summit. This was a full-day work session to help state safety professionals figure out how to get a handle on drunk driving.

Impaired driving is involved in 32 percent of all crashes on American roads. But an ignition interlock system that blocks a convicted drunk driver’s vehicle from starting when that driver is impaired can prevent many of those crashes and save lives.

In 2006, MADD launched a Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving, calling for increased use of ignition interlocks for impaired driving offenders. The Department of Transportation has been a strong supporter of this campaign, and in the last four years, interlock use has more than doubled from approximately 100,000 in 2006 to 212,000 in 2010.

But that covers only a small percentage of the 1.4 million drunk drivers arrested last year in the US.

Today, all states except Alabama and South Dakota have laws that authorize ignition interlock use for at least some offenders. Yet we know that one-third of those 1.4 million arrests involve repeat offenders, and we know that many fatal drunk driving crashes also involve repeat offenders.

 

MADD DOT NHTSA CDC Ignition interlock system impaired driving alcohol-related car crashes US Department of Transportation

Alcohol Related Traffic Fatalities per State

That’s why 13 states have passed mandatory ignition interlock laws for all drunk drivers–including first offenders.

And that’s why DOT is providing technical assistance and support to help states move toward increasing their interlock use and strengthening their laws and interlock programs.

As I said in September, when I announced the drop in drunk driving deaths, our roads are the safest they’ve ever been. But, to make America’s roads even safer, we are committed to continuing our vigorous fight against drunk driving. Ignition interlock systems are a critical part of that fight, and I urge states to make the best use of this valuable tool.

Reprinted from the US Department of Transportation

Bravo to Central Washington University!

November 10, 2010

Cleared2Drive Central Washington UniversityCentral Washington University Bans Alcohol Energy Drinks from Campus

The nine Central Washington University students who were hospitalized last month after an off-campus party had been drinking the caffeinated malt liquor “Four Loko”. According to a press release  from the University, the blood alcohol levels of hospitalized students ranged from .123 to .35. The University has now banned alcohol energy drinks from their campus.

Let’s hope that more universities and colleges follow suit!