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The 4 Ds of dangerous driving

Hazards abound on the roadway. There’s road construction, weather conditions, debris, potholes and more to deal with every time you get in the car. In addition to contending with those, of course, you also have to pay attention to other drivers, obey the rules of the road watch your speed, and drive defensively.

In spite of your best efforts, your safety on the road could be compromised by other drivers’ poor choices and bad behaviors. Among the most dangerous of bad driving behaviors are what experts call the “four Ds.”

Drunk driving

We all know that drunk driving is wrong. In spite of that knowledge, thousands of drivers a day get behind the wheel while intoxicated. A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report reveals that a drunk driver (with a blood alcohol content of .08, the legal level of intoxication in every state) is up to 300 times as likely to crash than a completely sober driver.

Distracted driving

Driving while distracted has reached epidemic levels. An estimated 481,000 people are using their phones to text or talk behind the wheel at any given time around the country according to the NHTSA. An estimated one of out every 10 car accidents in America is distraction-related, resulting in about 400,000 injuries and nearly 4,000 deaths.

Drowsy driving

Driving while fatigued is nearly as hazardous as drunk driving. According to the CDC, fatigued drivers cause approximately 72,000 crashes annually, resulting in about 44,000 injuries and upwards of 800 deaths. Drowsy driving car crashes are likely seriously underreported, though, and the fatality rate could be as high as 6,000 people per year.

Drugged driving

As more states legalize marijuana for medicinal or recreational use, more drivers are under the influence of that and other drugs. Drugged driving is dangerous driving, whether the substance is a prescription medication, an over-the-counter remedy, or a street drug.