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Texting and Teen Drivers

Almost half of U.S. teens admit to texting while driving.

A national survey of U.S. teens 16 years or older revealed that 44.5% had texted while driving at least once in the previous month. When compared to teens who did not text when behind the wheel, texters were more likely to drink and drive, ride with a drinking driver, and fail to use a seatbelt. Because this study was based on self-reported data it may underestimate the prevalence of driving while texting.

PositiveTip: Parents, supervision of your teen drivers is probably the most effective prevention strategy to risky driving.

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Distracted Driving: a Dubious Win

Distracted diving is almost the equivalent of driving drunk.

Drivers in the U.S. are more likely to be distracted by cell phones, texting or email than their European counterparts, according to a MMWR article. Almost 70% of U.S. respondents indicated they had talked on their cell phones while driving, while only about 20% of drivers in the U.K. reported the same.

PositiveTip: Put that smartphone out of reach (trunk/boot?) while driving!

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Is Multitasking a Myth?

Attempting two tasks that require the same type of thinking causes one to suffer.

Think you are really good at multitasking? Think again! Researchers tested students' ability to memorize letters and perform math calculations at the same time. The 25% of the students who did the best on the test were the least likely to actually multitask in life. Contrary to these findings, 70% of these students thought that they performed above average in multitasking.

PositiveTip: Focus on one task at a time. In most cases, you will be more efficient.

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Caregivers Play Key Role in Senior's Driving

More than a third of those with diagnosed dementia continue to drive.

Austrian researchers have reported that the impressions of caregivers topped all other reasons to end the driving privileges of the elderly with dementia. More than 93% of those who stopped driving did so because caregivers thought the risks were unacceptable. They also found that more than 33% of patients with clinically diagnosed dementia continued to drive.

PositiveTip: The impressions of caregivers play a significant role in highway safety.

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Pot and Driving Don't Mix

Risk of motor vehicle accidents raised by acute marijuana use.

A British meta-analysis of nine oberservational studies involving more than 49,000 participants revealed that driving under the influence of cannabis (marijuana) nearly doubles the risk of motor vehicle accidents compared to unimpaired driving. Acute cannabis consumption was determined by toxicologic analysis of whole blood or by self-reporting.

PositiveTip: Driving while under the influence of any mind-numbing substance--including marijuana--substantially raises the risk of accidents.

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Don't Mix Alcohol and Energy Drinks

Mixing alcohol and energy drinks increases binge drinking, sexual indiscretion and drunk driving.

The common practice among youth and young adults of mixing energy drinks with alcoholic beverages increases the risk of binge drinking by 300 per cent. It also doubles the risk of being taken advantage of sexually, of taking sexual advantage of someone else, and doubles the likelihood of riding with a driver under the influence.

PositiveTip: Choose alternative non-alcoholic drinks over alcoholic and caffeinated beverages. They don’t carry these dangerous risks!

 

 

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Every Doctor Should Asks Patients about Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is becoming a large problem on the highways.

A major medical journal has weighed in heavily on the dangers of texting and talking on the cell phone while driving. The author urges all physicians to educate their patients that distracted driving is roughly equivalent to driving drunk. All those who think they can drive without incident while distracted, including every teen driver, should watch a graphic British public service announcement about this issue.

PositiveTip: Pull over if you have to fool with your phone or text while driving. This simple step could save your life!

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Do Your Kids Ride with Drinking Drivers?

More than 25% of American kids have ridden at least in the last 30 days with a drinking driver.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports from their national survey of risky behavior, that during the 30 days before the survey, 28.3% of students nationwide had ridden one or more times in a car or other vehicle driven by someone who had been drinking alcohol.

PositiveTip: Talk to your kids about riding in a car with someone who has been drinking--and know who they will be with. It could be mean the difference between life and death.

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What is Drowsy Driving?

Sleepiness and driving is as deadly as alcohol and driving.

Most people are aware of the dangers of drinking and driving, but often don't realize that sleepiness and driving a vehicle can be just as fatal. Sleepiness, like alcohol, slows reaction time, decreases awareness, impairs judgement and increases your risk of an accident. For information on how to drive alert and arrive alive visit DrowsyDriving.org.

PositiveTip: When you are driving and get sleepy, pull off the road for the safety of you and others!

Did You Miss the Clown on a Unicycle?

On January 26, 2010 the U.S. Department of Transportation issued regulations prohibiting bus or truck drivers from sending text messages while operating commercial vehicles. Those who choose to ignore these rules may be subject to a whopping fine of up to $2750.00. An increasing number of states are banning texting while driving as well. Remember the Texas bus driver who plowed into stopped traffic while texting? It was all caught on video!Texting at wheel.