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Setting a bad example for teen drivers has severe consequences.
It appears that scaring drivers in bathrooms is the new “in” thing, as the UK Department of Transport has launched a new campaign called “Pub Loo Shocker” to remind drivers drinking and driving could lead to fatal accidents.
According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), New Year’s Day is the year’s deadliest day for alcohol-related fatalities.
Despite teen drinking and driving decreasing better than 50 percent in the last decade, teens still commit the offense roughly 2.4 million times per month.
Everyone should take note of this: Swedish company Autoliv is developing an in-car breathalyzer that works automatically to keep drivers from taking intoxicated trips.
You’d think that with all of the public service announcements, all of the shocking statistics and all of the cringe-worthy footage you can find on YouTube, drivers would think twice about getting behind the wheel drunk. Does it surprise you that almost 12,000 people are still killed annually from alcohol-related accidents? Just as surprising is a new study out by the Department of Transportation that shows that one in five drivers admit to driving within two hours of drinking.
The study comes up with some pretty revealing facts. This includes that the total number of drinking/driving trips in the past month is estimated to be at 85.5 million (this is up from 73.7 million in 2004) and it reverses a trend that has been on a decline since 1995. It also found that four out of five people see drunk driving as a major threat to the safety of themselves and their family.
Other stats pulled from the study were that eight percent of people accepted a ride with someone who they thought was too drunk to drive, and of those, 24 percent of males aged 21-24 were more at risk of riding with a drunk driver. Other facts to note were that drivers who drink were three times as likely as drivers who don’t to ride with someone they thought had consumed too much alcohol. For non-drivers who drink, they were eight times as likely to do so.
Sadly, this survey found that eight percent of all drivers (approximately 17 million people) have driven drunk at least once in the past year. For those caught driving under the influence in the past two years, about 1 percent of those were aged 16 or older, with five percent of men 21-24 years of age arrested. When questioned about curbing drinking and driving, 63 percent say that alcohol interlocks in vehicles would be very effective at helping to stop this behavior.
[Source: Consumer Reports]
The government is cracking down on people who drink and drive with an auto industry program that is in process of developing an in-car device that detects drunken drivers. This tool will be installed in all new vehicles, and is set to receive a six-fold increase in the annual funding.
The Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety program’s budget receives $2 million per year, but is set to increase to $12 million for the next five years. This in-car device will automatically sniff the driver’s breath or use a light beam to test the alcohol content of tissue, in effect preventing a drunk driver from starting the vehicle.
The installation of such a device could potentially save thousands. Based on 2008 stats, almost 12,000 people died in alcohol-impaired car crashes. This tool wouldn’t be mandatory, but the safety advantages would be a definite asset to the list of new car perks. Thirteen automakers are already onboard with the project, who are sure that drivers will want to voluntarily add the mechanism to their vehicles as an added safety measure. Having one of these devices installed would hopefully mean that drivers would pay lower insurance rates.
Susan Ferguson, program director for Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety, is optimistic about the new device and suggests that it could save 8,000 to 9,000 lives per year. “I think it is equivalent to the next seat belt,” she said. “It could make a huge difference in highway safety.”
Would you ever consider adding this alcohol-detecting device in your new car? Leave your comments below.
We guess that the standards “Don’t make me come back there” or “If you don’t shut up, I will turn this car around” just aren’t cutting it anymore. Drivers need some new empty threats, because a study has found that kids fighting in the back of a vehicle can impair the driver’s skills as much as alcohol consumed to the legal driving limit.
The study, which was conducted by the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) found that that when kids were kicking and screaming in the back of the car, drivers’ reactions times slowed by an average of 13%. That’s the percentage of drivers who had drunk the 80mg/100ml legal limit for alcohol (maybe they needed a couple of drinks to drown out all the crying and screaming). The delay in reaction added four meters (around 13 feet) to stopping distances when traveling at highway speeds.
And kids fighting also had some other effects on driving skills. Research found that back-seat squabbles led to 40 percent more instances of hard braking, and increased stress levels by nearly a third. And when you put these two factors together, you’ve got a car accident in the making.
Senior TRL researcher Dr Nick Reed said: “There was a noticeable impairment to driving caused simply by the noise of arguing children. Precautions should be taken.” We’re guessing that one of those precautions could include doing this.
[Source: Ride Lust]