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Think Distracted Driving is All About Texting? Think Again

Automobile accident deaths last year in the United States were estimated to be greater than 40,000, the highest total in nearly a decade.  A recent study by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) on distracted driving calls the problem an “epidemic”.  Yet not much is being done to combat the issue, especially considering the combination of cell phone use and automobile operation is increasingly encouraged by new automaker technology.

Most people think that texting while driving is the problem and eliminating hands-on texting behind the wheel is the solution.  Texting while driving is certainly dangerous, and the frequency at which teens text combined with the number of teen driver fatalities each year indicates that teen driver texting is tough to dispute.  But texting is not the only dangerous distraction for sober drivers.

Is Voice Recognition Software the Answer to Distracted Driving?

Distracted driving leads to thousands of fatal car accidents on United States roadways every year.  Many items and activities can create distracted drivers, but without question, the most common source of distraction in vehicles is driver use of cell phones.

About a decade ago, it became a nationwide priority to reduce hands-on cell phone use while driving a car.  It was at this time that car companies began manufacturing vehicles with sophisticated Bluetooth voice recognition software designed to allow a driver to use their cell phone while still keeping their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel.

Can a Tostitos Chip Bag Help Stop Drunk Driving?

Partnered with Uber and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), Tostitos brand has made a limited edition “Party Safe” bag that can tell if someone has been drinking and will help them get home safely on Super Bowl Sunday.  The special bag comes equipped with a sensor that can detect small traces of alcohol on a person’s breath.  If any alcohol is detected, the sensor turns red in the shape of a steering wheel and displays a “Don’t Drink and Drive” message and a code for $10 off an Uber ride during or after the game.

The bag uses near-field communication technology which allows fans to tap their phone on the bag to call their Uber ride.  This innovative idea should encourage people to think twice before driving drunk on Super Bowl Sunday.  Jennifer Saenz, Frito-Lay’s chief marketing officer, said, “Our goal is to remove 25,000 cars from the roads that Sunday evening.”

Driving Drowsy is Just as Dangerous as Driving Drunk

New research released by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety shows that driving drowsy is just as risky as driving drunk, finding that the lesser the amount of sleep, the greater the risk of accident. “You cannot miss sleep and still expect to be able to safely function behind the wheel,” said David Yang, the executive director for the foundation. “Our new research shows that a driver who has slept for less than five hours has a crash risk comparable to someone driving drunk.”

Data from the National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey was used to determine just how much driving ability decreases when sleep deprivation increases. Getting even just one hour less than the recommended seven hours of nightly sleep can increase your risk of accident. Drivers who slept for less than 4 of the last 24 hours had an 11.5 percent higher risk of getting in a crash.  Drivers who slept 4-5 hours had a 4.3 percent higher risk. And those who slept 6-7 hours had a 1.3 percent higher risk. These percentages could be even greater, as data from crashes occurring between the hours of midnight and 6:00 am was not available, and other studies have shown that the effects of sleep deprivation are greatest during the early morning hours.

5 Tips for Avoiding Winter Accidents

It’s the time of year when winter ice and snow hit the Louisville, Kentucky area. With ice and snow comes plenty of wind, cold temperatures, and harsh driving conditions that can turn a relaxing afternoon or evening drive into one that’s far more perilous.

Winter car accidents account for a surprisingly large amount of traffic accidents in Kentucky. Icy roads, windy conditions, and poor visibility don’t mix well. Luckily, there are a few ways you can take extra precautions and drive defensively to avoid accidents. Here are 5 tips for avoiding winter accidents in the state of Kentucky:

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