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Fort Walton BeachLegal Blog

How you can avoid a car accident

The car accident news stories are daunting. Every night, you can find plenty of examples of people getting into accidents they never expected. These are people just like you. They crash while driving to work, to school or to the grocery store. They never thought it would happen to them, but then they end up in the hospital.

You want to avoid it at all costs, but can you? The news stories make it feel impossible, as if you just have to hope you're lucky. While there is an element of luck to it, there are also a few things you can do to increase your odds of avoiding an accident.

Don't trust memories; they change

You feel like you can trust your memories. They seem solid. They seem accurate. If you recount a past event to someone else, you trust what you're telling them.

But should you? Probably not as much as you think. After all, scientists have found that memories usually change over time, essentially getting rewritten and created by the brain based off of a lot of different information. Your memory can be wrong and still feel convincingly right.

Which is worse, drunk driving or distracted driving?

Drunk driving and distracted driving share a lot of characteristics. In both cases, the driver cannot fully concentrate on driving safely. In both cases, they can cause accidents that could otherwise have been avoided easily. In both cases, too, other people can suffer serious injuries or even lose their lives.

But which one is worse?

Drunk driving: The psychology of drinking

There's one very easy way to eliminate all drunk driving accidents: Stop drinking. Every single one of these accidents, which are often deadly, is very preventable. If people simply did not drink, they would not have to worry about causing accidents.

After all, many of these crashes involve well-meaning people who just made a mistake. Maybe they did not realize how drunk they were. Maybe they thought they were safe to drive. Maybe they were blackout drunk and so they don't even remember making decisions they never would have made sober.

Brain injuries change family dynamics

Brain injuries do not just impact you. They impact your entire family. The dynamics change, the relationships change and these changes can be very drastic. They strain relationships and sometimes lead to divorce.

Perhaps you got into a car accident on the way home from work. A driver ran a red light while texting. It resulted in a devastating crash and your head hit the window. You woke up a few days later with a serious brain injury. Doctors said that you almost didn't make it.

Inattentive drivers cause more accidents

Don't text and drive. Just don't. Nothing that you need to text to a friend or coworker or family member is worth causing a car accident. You never think it's going to happen to you. When it does, it's guaranteed that you'll regret causing the wreck to send a meaningless text message to someone who probably didn't read it right away, anyway.

Maybe you don't text and drive. You get it. You've seen far too many accidents caused by distracted drivers.

5 important facts about drunk driving accidents

Drunk driving continues to be a serious issue in the United States, year after year. These crashes took 10,874 lives in 2017, for instance. That was a drop of 1.1 percent from 2016, when another 10,996 people lost their lives.

Maybe you lost a loved one in a DUI accident, so you know only too well how common it is. You understand how drunk drivers never think it will happen to them until it does. You know all about the emotional and economic impact such a loss can have on a family.

What should you do if someone is going to drive drunk?

You're out with friends when one member of your group says that they're going to leave. They drove to the bar, while you took a cab. They claim that it's fine for them to drive, drinking a cup of water at the bar before they go.

You know that it's not true. You watched them drink more than you, and you know you're well over the legal limit. They're definitely too drunk to drive, and they're putting everyone at risk by getting behind the wheel. What should you do? Here are a few steps you can take, though this can be a potentially difficult situation:

Florida has always been a leader in drug courts

For many years, drug cases were simply treated as criminal cases. If you broke the law, you went to jail. That's the same punishment used for many other criminal actions, with the hope that those who went to jail would then change their ways when they got out. Jail could also act as a deterrent if people knew they could go and wanted to avoid it.

However, it quickly became clear that drug crimes were often something of a different nature. Was jail really the best option? Was it wise to treat these cases like other criminal cases?

How you can do your part to make the roads safer

The roads are only as safe as the worst driver.

It's an unfortunate reality. Say you have 10 cars on a stretch of highway. Nine of those drivers can observe the speed limit and drive safely. If the third driver is speeding, changing lanes without using a turn signal and texting while driving, though, they can easily cause a multi-car crash. Suddenly, despite the fact that most of the drivers were very safe, half of them are on the way to the hospital.

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