Archive for accidents

The Car Accident Insurance Calculator for the United States of America

This tool that estimates how much your insurance rates will increase after an at-fault accident (per US state).

America’s Six Most Dangerous Roads

Highway in the eveningFor all of their scenic beauty and modern day accessibility, many of America’s highways have distinguished themselves as being deadly and dangerous. While many drivers today are blissfully unaware of these highways’ reputations, the fact still remains that these roadways witness numerous accidents and deaths each year. Before heading out on your own American driving adventure, you may want to know which highways are among the most dangerous and exactly why they invite such devastation to so many motorists each year.

Interstate 10 in Arizona

A 150 mile highway that runs through from Phoenix to the border of neighboring California, Interstate 10 holds one of the top spots for being among the deadliest highways in America. Surrounding by lonely desert with sparsely populated towns located few and far between along this stretch of road, this highway sees more than 85 deaths and just as many non-fatal traffic accidents each year.

Interstate 45 in the Houston Metro Area

Highways located in busy metro settings are just as deadly, as is the case with Interstate 45. This roadway traverses through Harris County and the Houston metro area, often witnessing hectic driving conditions and frequent accidents each day. In fact, the Texas Department of Transportation reports that more than 3000 traffic accidents have occurred just since 2006. Of those 3000 wrecks, more than 1900 of them involved teen drivers, proving that this highway is particularly deadly for young and inexperienced drivers who are unused to busy urban traffic. Texas motorists and state visitors injured in auto accident in San Antonio or Houston, find out quickly the value of having a good car accident attorney on retainer after driving this busy stretch of road.

Highway 550 in Colorado

Highway 550 is a short, 25 mile highway that weaves and winds throughout southwestern Colorado. However, given the inhospitable weather conditions and the fact that this mountain road has few guardrails to keep drivers safe, this highway has earned itself a reputation of being deadly and dangerous.

Highway 2 in Montana

Another mountain highway that fails to roll out the welcome mat for visitors is Highway 2 in Montana. It too lacks guardrails to keep drivers safe from steep ditches and falling rockslides. It also has few gas stations or even little towns to seek refuge in case of a mechanical breakdown or wreck. It can take rescue responders more than 15 minutes to reach motorists who experience emergencies on this road.

U.S. 431 in Alabama

An old two-lane highway that runs for 98 miles through Dothan, U.S. 431 stands out in this state as one of the most dangerous roads to travel. With its old and outdated bridges, narrow traffic lanes, and isolated location, the highway has seen more than 20 traffic accident deaths in the last 10 years.

Dalton Highway in Alaska

Hardly a highway by conventional means, Dalton Highway in Alaska travels from Fairbanks all the way to the North Slope. It was built in 1974 as a roadway for oil workers and truck drivers who, by necessity, had to travel in this region’s harsh conditions to reach workers in the northern part of the state. It is now open to the public for travel; however, given its constant frozen conditions and the icy weather than ravages this road, only the bravest of drivers seem willing to drive on this highway.

These roads stand out as among the deadliest and most dangerous in America. Knowing where they are located and what dangers you could face can help you plan your transcontinental travel itinerary accordingly.

Freelance author, artist, auto-enthusiast and lover of the open road, Molly Pearce addresses the topics of travel, the law, and automobiles in her work. She shares this post to provide readers with valuable info on the state of U.S. roadways and what victims should do whether they are injured in auto accident in San Antonio, Montana, or Alaska.

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GM Recall – Ignition Switch Dangers

General Motors has made an announcement that it will be recalling approximately 1.37 million cars that were made between 2004 and 2007. The recall is based on a faulty ignition switch that can randomly turn the car off while it is in use. This recall is in addition to the 778,000 cars recalled earlier in February with the same problem.

The recall includes the following vehicles from 2004-2007

• Chevy Cobalt
• Pontiac G5
• Saturn Ion
• Chevrolet HHR
• Pontiac Solstices
• Saturn Sky

General Motors (GM) has issued a statement that the ignitions in these vehicles can turn off without warning, leaving the car without power steering, power brakes, or the ability to deploy airbags.

A Brief Look At The History

In 2004, court documents show that an engineer for GM noted that during a test drive the ignition shut off in the car. While the engineer reported this issue to his superiors, it was not reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The law states that all auto manufacturers must report a safety issue to the NHTSA within five days of discovering the problem. Failure to make a report can lead to a $35 million fine to the car company,

Court documents for current cases show that GM believed it was not a true safety issue because you can still operate the car manually while it is stalled and that it could quickly be restarted if placed in neutral or in park. GM did not state the reason that the airbags were not deploying.

GM has stated that it will conduct a complete recall on these cars and begin to notify owners immediately on what to do to remain safe until they can have their ignitions changed. Included in these tips are to only have your single car key on the ring because it is believed the weight from multiple keys on a key ring is what is causing the ignitions to turn off.

What To Do If You Have Been Injured

Chicago and other cold area residents have experienced a variety of dangerous driving conditions over the last few months due to inclement weather. They do not need to add to this risk the potential of having their car turn off while they are driving and not be able to control the vehicle. Anyone driving one of these recalled vehicles must take extra precaution until the ignition is replaced. At this time, there have been 13 recorded deaths and 31 font-end accidents directly connected to this problem.

Auto accidents and personal injuries fall into an area of law that has a statute of limitations. This means you have a limited amount of time to file a claim; you won’t be allowed to file if you wait too long. If you have already experienced an ignition failure incident, you need a lawyer for a car accident in Chicago, or one in your area to discuss your rights as a victim of a defective product.

GM knew this was an issue for nearly 10 years before admitting it and making a recall. This is negligence and the negligent must be held accountable.

An experienced car accident attorney will be able to help you build a case against General Motors as well as help you with your current car accident case. Your rights as a consumer have been violated and you were injured as a result so it expected that you should receive fair compensation for your losses.

As a current events blogger, Teresa Stewart often researches topics for public service announcements. If part of the recall, it’s critical for consumers to return to the dealer as soon as possible to take advantage of the ignition solution.

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons

Family Roadtrips: Should Your Kids Still Ask Truckers to Honk?

For many years, it has been common practice when taking road trips, that kids and adults alike, will simulate an up-and-down arm movement as they pass a truck driver to get them to blow the horn. The loud, thundering sound of a big semi-truck horn has been a sense of pleasure and laughter for many children throughout the years. However, some states are cracking down on truckers for unnecessary use of horns due to accidents caused when other drivers are startled by the sound.

Heavy Traffic

During heavy traffic, police officers recommend that passengers in vehicles do not pump their arm to ask a semi-truck driver to honk the horn. Drivers in other cars may think the honking is for them, causing them to react–sometimes violently–to avoid the truck, which could then lead to an accident. Because quick maneuvers are especially dangerous to those riding motorcycles, having a driver blow the air horn unnecessarily could be especially hazardous to them.

Local Ordinances

Due to the safety hazards involved in the unnecessary blowing of horns, many localities have ordinances against doing so except as a sign of danger. According to Cofman Townsley, truck wreck attorney in Missouri, “truck drivers often contribute to truck accidents by breaking the rules of the road”.

Within some localities, truck drivers who blow horns because children or adults make a motion for them to do so could be fined. For example, the city of Kirkwood, Missouri prohibits disturbing noises. Their city ordinance Sec. 17-37(a) states that the sounding of any horn or signaling device on any vehicle on any street except as a danger warning is a violation. Other cities have restrictions related to where horns may be blown, such as away from residential areas or hospital zones. When traveling on interstates, it is often difficult to determine if a hospital or a residential zone is nearby, which is why many experts recommend not asking truckers to blow their horns needlessly.

Acceptable Times

Truckers claim that they enjoy blowing horns when asked, especially for children, but that they do use caution when doing so. Many say that they will blow the horn if there is little or no traffic, or if the vehicles are traveling on a country road with few residences. When traveling with children, it is recommended that adults explain when it is appropriate to ask a truck driver to blow their horn and when it is not in order to keep children from being disappointed. When the road is fairly empty and there can be no concern that another driver may be startled by the air horn, police officers say that it is acceptable to make the motion for the horn to blow.

Asking a trucker to blow their horn is fun for children when on road trips, but it is important that the adults in the car are aware that there may be ordinances against requesting the air horn to blow, and that there are times when it could cause a hazard on the highway.

In researching this article, freelance writer LaGeris Underwood Bell learned about the potential dangers in a honking truck. However, Cofman Townsley, truck wreck attorney in Missouri is clearly aware of the possible ramifications. Being startled into an accident by a horn blowing is not all fun and games.

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All you Need to Know about Applying for an Accident Claim

Claiming compensation for a personal injury is the right of anyone that has been injured sometime in the last three years through no fault of their own, providing their injuries warranted medical attention. If you find yourself in this situation you might want to apply now to make a personal injury claim, but before you do, here are a few facts about making a claim and the law firm to chose for assistance. 

·Approximately only half of innocent victims make personal injury claims because they think it will be too costly, too stressful or take too long.  These are common misconceptions.

· The length of time your claim takes depends on if the case had to go to court or not.  Most claims are settled before they reach that stage, some claimants receiving their compensation in just a few weeks.

·Making a claim is time consuming and complicated for the inexperienced, but for specialist injury claim lawyers it is all they do every day, and they will keep the stress away from the victim.

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From Muscle Car to Wheelchair: The Ride Nobody Wants

Ms. Wheelchair Texas

From Muscle Car to Wheelchair: The Ride Nobody Wants

Nobody leaves their house in the morning assuming that they’ll experience a life-altering event by the end of the day. Sadly, statistics showing deaths from accidents prove that our assumptions are not always accurate. Luckily, not everyone involved in an auto accident meets such a tragic end, but many do end up so severely injured that they’re confined to a wheelchair or worse for the rest of their lives. Fortunately, this is not the end of an individual’s life, and those who take proactive measures can have a fulfilling, albeit different life.

Accident Statistics

Everyone who heads out on the roads faces dangers even if they’re the safest driver in the world, but those who have a love affair with their muscle cars understand that they could face additional dangers if they’re not careful with the power behind these cars. Regardless of whether an individual drives mostly for errands or just to show off their “metallic baby,” there are certain statistics they should know so they understand the dangers that they face.

While distracted driving is the most common cause of automobile-related deaths, speeding isn’t far behind. In fact, speeding is a contributing factor in one-third of all fatal auto accidents. This should be enough for individuals, regardless of how fast their muscle car is, to be careful on the streets. As mentioned, though, these accidents won’t always result in death.

Spinal cord injuries are the major reason for paraplegia or quadriplegia. Motor vehicle accidents make up 55% of all spinal cord injuries. Reasons for these accidents range from not using seat belts, being under the influence of alcohol or drugs, driver inexperience, and even fatigue.

Rebuilding a Life

Rebuilding one’s life after becoming wheelchair bound is an uphill battle, but following doctor’s orders and attending physical therapy, if prescribed, is absolutely essential. Additionally, there are all types of activities that those in wheelchairs can engage in. Many people join local groups that simply go out to dinner, movies, concerts and a plethora of other activities together. Those with an athletic side, can join wheelchair sports leagues.

Whatever reasons for a disability, it’s imperative to find a legal advocate who can help navigate the upcoming difficulties. An individual who was injured due to another person’s negligence, for instance, could receive substantial financial compensation if they speak with a personal injury attorney. These events are life changing, so it’s important for a person to seek out help whenever they can.

Difficult Transition

Following the aforementioned tips is vital in surviving mentally after being confined to a wheelchair, and this isn’t obvious anywhere more than in the difficult transition people face between a walking and a wheelchair-bound life. Many people’s initial difficulty is the stares they get in public. Some people simply don’t understand this level of existence, so they’ll often feel pity for those in wheelchairs. No one likes to be pitied, but sadly, this isn’t even the full extent of what people will face.

One of the most difficult things confronting those confined to wheelchairs is finding handicapped accessible areas. Luckily, federal law has made this much easier, but this doesn’t mean it’s necessarily easy. Many college students suddenly confined to wheelchairs, for instance, have complained about the difficulty they experience moving themselves up sometimes steep ramps carrying heavy books. Different people will face different hurdles, but for those who want to overcome their new handicap, being strong mentally can go a long way.

Counseling may help with the emotional turmoil. Initial thoughts of anger of having a world turned upside down may turn to depression. Seek psychological help while getting physical rehabilitation. In order to be successful, these therapies should go hand in hand.

There’s no denying that coming back from a dangerous auto accident will be difficult, but it is by no means an impossibility. Life will definitely change; there’s no getting around that. For those who press forward, however, the things they can accomplish in their life may surprise even them. Franklin D. Roosevelt, arguably one of the greatest politicians of all time, was confined to a wheelchair, attested to the fact that life in a wheelchair doesn’t have to be tragic.

Product designer Debbie Nguyen researched disabilities by spending time in a wheelchair. She also visited many rehab centers and interviewed patients for what they needed to make their day to day lives easier to maneuver. Please watch video to see the way accidents can affect lives and how to shelter from the tragedies.

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Distracted Driving: Stop the Texts to Avoid the Wrecks

The increase in handheld technologies has impacted every area of life, including driving. Everyone carries a cell phone, tablet, or other handheld device, and many people use them while they are operating a car. These devices are the cause of a significant amount of car accidents now, with some government agencies stating that they are exceeding drunk driving events.

Distracted Driving and the Law

Distracted driving has become such a serious problem that most states have enacted laws over the last couple of years directed at handheld devices. These laws prohibit texting at any time the car is in motion, and most require a hands-free device to speak on the phone. Illinois just enacted a law in 2014 that prohibits anyone from holding any device in their hand while operating a vehicle and has made doing so a Primary Law. By distinguishing this as a Primary Law, police officers can stop a vehicle if they see someone with a phone or other device in their hands without any other violations taking place.

Facts and Figures

The U.S. government has recently released statistics about distracted driving that may astonish you. These facts include:

• Almost 500,000 people were injured in a car accident that involved a distracted driver in 2012.
• Over 3,100 deaths occurred due to distracted driving.
• Sending a text takes approximately 4.6 seconds. If you are driving 55mph, this means you can travel the length of a football field without watching the road while texting.
• Over 50 percent of drivers 21 and under admit to checking texts or sending them while driving.

When Accidents Happen

If you have been involved in a car accident while the other driver was distracted, you are entitled to receive compensation for your injuries. When someone is distracted and causes an accident, not only have they broken the law, but they have just created a situation where they are completely at-fault for the accident.

It is very important to contact a personal injury attorney soon after your accident so that you can establish a claim and protect your rights as a victim. If the police did not ticket the other driver for distracted driving, the attorney can subpoena call and text records and compare them to the times of the accident. If it is discovered that there were calls or texts being placed at the time, it is an open-and-shut case for you.

Stopping the Problem

It is easy to say that the best thing that you can do is put your phone away while you are diving. The person who sent the text or made the call will understand if you do not respond right away. It is the only guaranteed safe way to operate a vehicle.

For parents who are worried about their teens when they are not in their car, an app can be installed into their phone along with a device in the car that turns the phone off automatically while the car is in motion. For parents who cannot resist the urge to use their phones while driving, this may be a great tool. The phones will not become accessible to use again until the car is shut off.

Hands-free devices and routing calls through the dashboard radio are also options. However, the latest government report also shows that hands-free devices are only slightly less distracting than holding the device itself. The best option is to just let it ring until you arrive at your destination.

Lisa Coleman shares what the law says in many states in regards to texting and driving, and the importance of refraining from cell phone use when behind the wheel. She recently read at how an injury attorney can help should an accident result from someone else’s negligence.

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5 Ways To Battle A Winter Storm In Your Car


5 Ways To Battle A Winter Storm In Your Car

If recent events that took place in Atlanta during the recent snow storm taught us anything, it is to be prepared. While this type of weather is not common in the South, it does still happen on occasion. Luckily, modern weather forecasting gives most people a chance to prepare for this type of weather a few days in advance.

All motorists should take the time and prepare their cars for battling a winter storm. This applies to all areas of the country, not just the South, which is not. Simple preparations can make a difference in surviving a storm or becoming a victim. Below are 5 must haves to battle a winter storm in your car:

1. Pack Blankets. If you know that you are going to be out driving in winter weather, it is always a good idea to have a few blankets packed in your trunk in case you find yourself stranded.

You will not be able to run your car heater for extended periods of time, and it is also dangerous to sit in an idling car for too long because of the carbon monoxide. Blankets will keep you warm while the car is off.

2. Keep a Book in the Car. While this may seem like a very strange thing to help you survive a winter storm, it is very practical. It would not be advisable to leave your car running for too long or in auxiliary power for extended amounts of time while you are stranded because it will run down the battery. This will limit your ability to listen to the radio.

Additionally, you do not want to use all of your cell phone battery posting updates. This leaves you with a lot of quiet time. Having a book to read will keep your mind off of the cold and give you something to concentrate on while you wait.

3. Charge Your Cell Phone. Make sure that before you leave, your cell phone is fully charged. All-too-often people forget about charging their phone until the reminder beeps on the device. Having a charged phone will allow you to call for help if you become immobile in the weather.

4. Have Emergency Kit in the Trunk. While you should always carry things like water, snacks, jumper cables and a jack in your trunk, you should also have road flares. A road flare will allow other motorists and rescue vehicles to find your car in a heavy snow or in the dark. It is very important, however, that you know how to use these flares and that you only use them in the event of an emergency. Take the time to read the instructions before catastrophe arrives.

This will go a long way in preventing a crash. to which there were countless occurrences in Georgia this January. In addition to the above mentioned items, storing insurance information, registration, a digital camera and the telephone number to your selected accident attorney in the glove compartment are also vital emergency tools. Undoubtedly, countless stranded motorist have already contacted their own car accident lawyer in Atlanta, GA. after their traumatic ordeal.

5. Have a Gallon of Washer Fluid in Your Trunk. Windshield washer fluid is one of the most important things your car can have during the winter. This fluid keeps windows clean and reduces or eliminates ice buildup.

Snow can quickly become dirty and slushy and when it is thrown up from the road by the tires of other cars, it can blind the driver. Having a full reservoir before you go anywhere and keeping extra washer fluid in your car can make the difference in arriving at your destination safely.

Of course, other simple things like making sure your tank is full and the radiator has antifreeze in it before you go out in a storm is also very important. Staying prepared will protect you and may even help others that are also stranded.

Jamica Bell is a freelance writer and Georgia native. She watched, along with the rest of the country, as innumerable motorist found themselves immobilized on frozen Atlanta roadways. She was inspired to contribute this article as a way to encourage drivers to always be prepared. She believes the listed must haves and  inclusion of a car accident lawyer in Atlanta, GA as a new emergency item, will make Georgia drivers a little bit wiser and more prepared than before the storm.

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Kill Joy…What Happens When A Joy Ride Becomes Vehicular Homicide

There’s not much that can come between car lovers and their vehicles, and this is showcased in the fact that many simply enjoy riding around town to show off their prized possession. Unfortunately, joyriding, or even a seemingly quiet night out on the town, can quickly turn tragic if a collision occurs. Auto collisions, even those that lead to deaths, can hardly ever be looked at as anything more than an accident. Even with this being the case, however, it’s still possible for a person to face serious charges if they’re involved in a fatal accident.

Criminal Charges

Just about any type of vehicular collision can be at least partially attributable to someone’s negligence. In traditional fender benders, it’s often as simple as looking at who violated a traffic law to decide who is at fault. This usually only results in financial obligations which are often covered by insurance. When a death occurs due to an accident, however, the repercussions can be far more serious. If it can be proven that a person’s negligence led to a fatal accident, they could actually face vehicular homicide charges.

There are certain negligent actions, such as drunk driving, that seem to make sense when having the vehicular homicide label applied. Other neglectful behaviors, though, such as texting, speeding, failure to yield and even teens having too many passengers in the vehicle, can also lead to this charge. In reality, any unlawful or negligent behavior that isn’t considered a felony can quickly lead to vehicular homicide charges if they result in the death of another person.

Potential Penalties

The penalties related to vehicular homicide, just like most other crimes on the books in America, will vary from state-to-state. In fact, all states have their own definitions of the crime. In some areas of America, for instance, the negligent act that causes an accident must be driving under the influence for a vehicular homicide charge to stick.

Some states allow for prison sentences up to 30 years for vehicular homicide charges, but sadly, these penalties aren’t always just. One study actually found that a person is more likely to get a harsh punishment if the victim of the accident is white or female. Sadly, even the race of the person being charged can play a role in the length of their sentence.

Staying Safe

The best way for a person to avoid the serious penalties related to this negligent homicide subcategory is to avoid the negligent behaviors that result in the charges. There are various mobile apps, for instance, that allow a person to safely receive text messages while on the road. Additionally, it’s important for a parent to ensure that their teen understands the law as it applies to teen driving and isn’t driving around in a vehicle loaded with their friends. This is viewed as negligent, and sometimes illegal, in many states.

Any death suffered during an auto accident is tragic, but the harsh reality faced by those left behind, even those who caused the accident, are traumatic. Unfortunately, even the safest drivers can sometimes end up in these situations. Anyone facing a vehicular homicide charge should immediately seek out an attorney. These charges are very serious in nature, but a skilled lawyer may be able to have the charges reduced or even thrown out due to a lack of evidence. There are various defenses and ways to go about presenting these defenses, but a person who chooses to go it alone will likely be left to the mercy of the courts. 

Writer Lisa Becker knows that no one ever means to cause a death in an auto accident, but those who do could still end up facing jail time usually reserved for hardened criminals and murderers. According to her research at, “If you or a member of your family has been charged with vehicular homicide / vehicular manslaughter / vehicular operation, you must engage the services of an experienced and committed (Minnesota) criminal defense attorney to best protect yourself in this matter” to make sure you have the best possible chance at a successful defense.

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons

More Teens Smoking Pot and Getting Behind the Wheel


More Teens Smoking Pot and Getting Behind the Wheel

Smoking pot for medical reasons has now become legal in a few states. Several other states are planning to place this legislation on their ballots in the fall. The outcry from many people is that smoking marijuana relieves their pain; therefore it should be legal to receive as a prescription.Whatever your view on this topic, the underlying circumstances of making pot legal for medical use is a rise in illegal pot use among teens.

Teens are easily influenced by the media and they are being exposed to the thought process that pot is “ok.” Their logical conclusion is: Pot is safe or the government would not allow it to be prescribed as medicine. This justifies their personal use, and it endangers them at the same time.

Increase in Use Over the Last Five Years

In the newly released Monitoring the Future Report, it has been shown that there is a significant increase in teens smoking pot over the last five years. Many teens now believe that pot is safe because it is medicinal and that since it is natural it cannot be harmful. What they do not realize is that they are risking their future each time they indulge in this recreation.

Every athletic coach and school administrator can tell you that pot is becoming a large issue again. Many sports teams over the past few years have seen star players dropped from the team because they cannot pass drug tests and many administrators admit to high suspension rates for teens caught possessing pot in school.

However, most people are not addressing the other issues that come with teens that smoke pot. Not only are kids who smoke more likely to become addicted to the substance and need treatment, they are also more likely to be convicted of Driving Under the Influence (DUI).

In states like Pennsylvania, a 2007 youth survey revealed that approximately 19 percent of the state’s 12th graders had smoked marijuana within the last thirty days. These statistics are scary numbers for parents, who may have to consult legal counsel from resources like in the event of their teen’s DUI.

A DUI conviction can change their whole life. They will start out as new adults with a felony conviction. This can impact their chances for attending the college of their choice, landing a good career, or even participating in some professions. They will have their driving privileges revoked for a period of time, face incarceration, and pay heavy fines. They will begin their adult life with high insurance rates, possibly too high to afford.

DUI and Teen Death

Adolescents have the highest rate of accidents on the road due to their inexperience. While a majority of these accidents are simple fender-benders, those related to DUI’s are often catastrophic or fatal. Fatality rates while under the influence increase 450 percent over regular teen-related accident fatalities. This is perhaps the most important reason to stress to your teen to avoid smoking pot.

Teens are just as easily influenced by their parents, and parents must step up and demand that their kids understand that smoking pot is not safe or legal outside of medical use. Explain to them that there are many medications available to people that help them medically but would harm someone else if used and that marijuana is no different than that.

Jamica Bell is a freelance writer and blogger. As the parent of high schoolers, the rise in teen pot use can be unsettling. During her research, she found to be a very helpful in demonstrating just how prevalent driving under the influence can be, regardless of if the offense is marijuana or alcohol.

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