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The deadly impact of impaired and distracted driving

Over the recent holiday season, many of our readers in Connecticut likely saw news reports about how dangerous drunk driving can be. As a recent article noted, impaired driving is certainly a major concern, as it has been for decades. In fact, as the recent article noted, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that approximately 28 people die in America each day due to car accidents that involve impaired driving.

What is it about drinking alcohol that makes it so dangerous to get behind the wheel of a vehicle - be it a passenger car or a semi-truck? According to the recent article, once a person's blood alcohol content rises above the legal limit of .08 percent, a person can experience impairment to their hearing and vision, a loss of balance and decreased muscle coordination. It is pretty obvious that all of those functions need to be top-notch when operating a motor vehicle.

But, there is another deadly activity plaguing our roadways besides drunk driving: distracted driving. For the most part, this involves drivers who are using their "smartphones" while they are driving. Texting and driving, sending email messages, taking phone calls and even using the internet while driving are all major concerns. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that approximately 660,000 people drive and use a cellphone at the same time every day.

Impaired and distracted driving can cause truck accidents and car accidents that can have a devastating impact on an individual or family. Drivers who engage in these types of dangerous activities and then cause an accident need to be held accountable.

Source: The Daily Journal, "Prevent impaired/distracted driving," Dec. 29, 2017

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