Driven to Distraction: The Psychology of Drunk Driving

The warnings are there, the news too—yet many people, especially teenagers, drive drunk knowing that this could have serious consequences. It’s only when they get involved in an accident that they realize the cost of their actions. That is, however, if they live to regret it. Impairment doesn’t depend on the type of alcohol a person drank, but rather the number of glasses or shots they took within a certain period. Neither coffee nor exercise could help them sober up, but time.

Even a Second of Distraction Can Be Dangerous

Distraction is when people are engaged in a specific task—in this case, driving—and find themselves suddenly thinking or doing other things not related to that task. When the mind wanders, some people catch themselves drifting and are able to reorient back to what they’re doing. In terms of drunk driving, however, reorienting could be more difficult because of the influence of alcohol.

Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC)

BAC is the percentage of alcohol in the blood. Law enforcement use this to determine whether a driver is impaired or not. Applicable to all states, nobody should be operating a motor vehicle if with a BAC of 0.08% or higher. Depending on the level of percentage, here’s what it can do the mind and body:

  • 0.02% – Altered mood, causing the decreased ability or inability to multitask and track moving objects or anything related to visual function

  • 0.05% – Loss of small-muscle control and lowered alertness, reducing body coordination and response to emergency driving

  • 0.08% – Impaired memory, reasoning, and self-control, leading to poor perception and concentration

  • 0.10% – Slowed thinking and poor coordination, reducing the ability to stay on lane and brake whenever necessary

  • 0.15% – High loss of muscle control, causing major impairment in attention, vehicle control, and auditory and visual processing

MADD understand how drunk drinking can affect victims and their families. Join us in our move to keep roads safe and provide support to people affected by it. Visit our homepage to know how you can help.

Being a Reliable Designated Driver

Many dread being the designated driver. Sometimes, people avoid the designation, as they don’t want to have to look after friends when they get too drunk, tired, or both.

But being a designated driver is something you should be proud of, though. It means your friends trust you enough to keep them from suffering the consequences of drunk driving. The assignment, however, is not easy. There may be an occasion where you will have to wrestle your friends just get to them inside the car.

We’ve listed some of the things you need to keep in mind to become a reliable DD.

It’s a Commitment

Being the designated driver does not mean being the least drunk of the group. From the get-go, convince yourself that you have a commitment. It’ll make refusing a drink, which may lead to another, a lot easier. Get the keys from your friend and set some rules before the party begins. Always keep an eye on your friends’ alcohol consumption so you’ll know when to stop them if they are in danger.

Your Car, Your Rules

If the group is using your car, set some rules and reinforce them strictly. Set a time when everyone needs to go home. Set a condition on stopovers. Tell them that you’ll implement a no-stopover policy in case they are extremely drunk. This is to ensure that they’ll not cause a scene and their safety will not be compromised. See to it that everyone puts their seatbelts on before hitting the road.

Preparing for the Disarray

Dealing with drunk friends may require some intervention. As much as possible, do not get involved in arguments; they’re drunk and they do not understand half the things they’re saying. Always keep your emergency kit ready. This should include water, plastic bags, towels and bandages.

The most important thing you need to remember about being a designated driver is to be patient and tolerant. Do not forget to have fun. Just because you’re the designated driver doesn’t mean you won’t socialize and enjoy the night out on the town.

Read our blog posts and visit our other pages to learn more about our advocacy.

Why Donating Cars is the Ultimate Form of Charity Today

Charity literally means benevolent goodwill or love of humanity. That’s why charitable organizations focus on doing work that benefits society You can be charitable as well by donating your car to MADD.

Saving Lives, One Car at a Time

Human error is to blame in many accidents, but it’s undeniable that faulty cars is a more tragic and real reason why people die from road accidents. If you have one lying around your house, don’t wait until an emergency forces you or a loved one use it. If you do, you’re endangering them and other people on the road who don’t have to pay for such disregard.

Donated cars go to good use at MADD. Not only do they help fund our good work and help make our programs a reality, they can also work wonders on your annual tax return. It can be a tax deduction, earning you extra cash that you can use for whatever purpose.

Putting Someone in a Void of Depression

Sudden deaths are one of the most tragic events in anyone’s life. It creates a void so abruptly and crudely formed that it takes years of pain and even therapy just to get over it. Don’t be the person who put people in this bottomless pit. Determine the state of your car and ensure its good condition. If not, you can always donate it.

Road accidents take more than 30,000 lives each year and put millions in hospital beds in critical condition. MADD urges anyone with an old or faulty car to donate it as soon as possible. Doing so could save a life.

Contact us and let us help you donate your car with ease.


Tax Deduction and Other Advantages Car Donation Has Over Car Selling

You have an old car parked in the garage. It still works and is somewhat in good condition, but you’re already using a new one. Now you’re thinking about how to dispose of it. Selling seems the first choice, but there is another option you can consider – donate the vehicle.

Getting Significant Tax Deduction

It may seem absurd at first. Why would you just give away something you’ve spent hundreds of dollars on? Donating a car has its advantages, though. For one, you can get tax deductions off of it, and an opportunity to legally deduct significant amounts on your tax doesn’t come often. If a foundation uses the vehicle for charitable purposes, you can subtract the fair market value of the car to your dues.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has instituted some changes that strictly regulates how much you can deduct on your taxes for donating a car. Before this change, donors could submit the full value or blue book of the vehicle. As this is lopsided, the IRS recently made changes so that now you can only claim the amount for which the car was sold.

Clearing Off Unnecessary Things

Aside from writing off a few numbers on your tax return, donating a car has other advantages you can benefit from. For one, this helps you get rid of something you don’t want or can’t use anymore. Instead of letting the old car sit and occupy space in the garage, it is better if you just take it somewhere else.

Some might suggest repairing the vehicle. It’s plausible, but not logical. Used cars may have little-to-no trade-in value, which makes it irrational to spend on repairs. You can sell it for a fraction of the original amount; however, keep in mind that you have to pay income tax for selling a car.

Helping Those Who are in Need

Another benefit of car donation, and probably the most important of all, is that you get to help people in need. There is no better reward in getting rid of your old car than knowing that your donation is doing good. Donating a car can give you a sense of personal satisfaction and pride in making a difference.

Car donations have a lot of upsides not just for the donor, but for those who are in need, as well. Here at MADD, we gladly accept car donations to effectively perform charitable works. Our process is as simple as filling out the basic form or calling. We’ll tow your vehicle at no cost and then send you a donation receipt. Contact us now and start making a difference and be an instrument in rebuilding lives.


Knowing Your Rights as a DUI Victim

DUI accidents aren’t as accidental as they are viewed. Getting behind the wheel of a car when They’re preventable if only intoxicated and impaired is a choice.drivers knew know the consequences of their actions. More than 10,000 people in the United States die each year due to car crashes caused by drugged and drunk driving.

While some were lucky enough to escape death, they may be suffering from painful injuries that could change their lives forever. Victims of crashes caused by someone driving under the influence (DUI) might find it difficult to perform daily tasks, or might need medical care for the rest of their lives. Apart from physical and emotional trauma, they could also burden family members with costly hospital bills and continuous therapy care.

If you are a victim of a DUI crash, you have many rights to help you receive the necessary compensation.

The Right to Recover Damages

Drunk drivers have to face criminal and civil charges, which are punishable by fines and jail time. You have the right to recover damages that will help pay medical bills, property damage, and loss of income. In addition, the driver may not be the only one to face legal charges. You could also hold the party that served alcohol to the driver, if necessary.

The Right to Other Compensation

As the surviving spouse and dependent, you have the right to demand compensation if the accident caused wrongful death or lifelong complications to your loved one. The court may also give you the right to receive restitution, meaning the drunk driver has to pay for economic damages. These include lawyer fees and the income you lose when you have to miss work to take care of your children.

At MADD, we focus on providing support to DUI victims and their families. We help rebuild lives affected by drunk driving through programs that make the public informed about their rights. Browse through our homepage to find out more how you can help us.

Why Adolescents Take the Risks of Drunk Driving?

As parents and as loved ones, it’s always plagued our minds why teens seem susceptible to taking risks. Many times, it’s kept us up at night, thinking about worst case scenarios while our kids are on their way to a night of partying.

Most parents would rather keep them inside the house and endure their children’s hatred. Given the number of drunkdriving incidents in the United States everyyear, they think it’s a fair sacrifice for the sleepless nights of endless worrying. Because kids, it seems, gravitate towards reckless behavior.

Pleasure-seeking mentality

According to neurobiology, during early to middle adolescence, a chemical substance called dopamine is at its most heightened level of activity, compared to any other stage in someone’s life. This substance is a neurotransmitter responsible for the “pleasure and reward” circuit of the brain. This makes most things especially “pleasurable” during this stage in life, making teens prone to seeking out and exploring dangerous and new experiences.

A teenager derives so much pleasure from the thrill of risky acts, like engaging in unprotected sex, driving beyond the speed limit and drinking alcohol, that second thoughts don’t even enter their mind. Psychologists say kids during this stage still have a very weak impulse control. They’re sensation-seeking creatures who can easily commit mistakes from the lack of regard for their safety and health.

Reception to alcohol

The structure of our brain and makeup of our bodies have an effect on how we respond to alcohol. Women, for example, are likelier to develop dependency to alcohol due to their water-to-mass ratio. Meanwhile adolescents respond differently to alcohol than adults, because their brain is still developing, in contrast to the fully-developed brain.

Adolescents are more awake and more active, but every bit as impaired. This implies even in moments of intoxication, when their mind is not functioning properly, their bodies are more predisposed to doing reckless things, like drunkdriving.

In most adults, a protective impulse kicks in they’ve had too much to drink, an impulse absent in teenagers.

Advice for parents

Contrary to many opinions, preaching is seldom effective. If you really want your kids to practice safe driving even in your absence, make them aware of the dangers if they do otherwise. Moreover, make them understand that you, as a parent, have expectations. Failing to meet these expectations will result in many unpleasant consequences. In effective parenting, communication is always key.

Join us in our mission towards safe and secure driving by calling us today.

Sobering Realities of Teenage Drunk Driving

Teenage drunk driving is a deadly combination on the road. Most teenagers lack the professional experience behind the wheel, making them already prone to crashes. Adding alcohol in the mix only worsens the situation, leading to sobering statistics related to underage drinking.

Teenagers driving under the influence are unfortunate realities. There’s no use denying the fact that a number of underage drivers find themselves intoxicated while maneuvering the wheel. In a 2011 national survey, 24% of teens admit to riding with peers under the influence.

Across the country, people aged 15 can already obtain their licenses. While the law prohibits minors from purchasing alcohol until age 21, these youthful drivers contribute to shocking DUI statistics in the US.

Statistics concerning underage DUI

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the percentage of high school students who drink and drive decreased drastically since 1991. However, nearly a million of teens drove under the influence in 2011. The CDC also adds that young drivers (ages 16-20) are more susceptible to fatal crashes when they have a blood alcohol concentration of .08%.

Teen drivers are more likely to experience fatal car crashes compared to experienced drivers due to their lack of experience. As rookies behind the wheel, teens are more prone to accidents, especially when they drive drunk.

Legal penalties of underage DUI cases

Convicted underage drivers will have their driver’s licenses suspended for a year or more. Underage drinking drivers also face fines that range from a hundred to a thousand dollars. Young drivers may also have to attend driver’s education classes while completing their community service.

Jail time depends on the state law and specific case facts. For a first offense, underage driver may face 24 hours to a year of jail time plus a probationary period of three to five years.

Detrimental effects in education and career outlook

DUI convictions take their toll on any teen’s educational and career outlook. The resulting conviction should be disclosed when applying for college, jobs, and other requests for financial aid. Failure to report will lead to loss of rights and perjury.
Responsibility plays a vital role in saving a life. Drinking underage is both deadly and illegal. There are a whole host of consequences that don’t even include car crashes. CarsforMadd supports efforts to maintain the 21 Minimum Drinking Age and save young lives as a result. To learn more about our cause, browse through our site and extend a hand.

Essential Documents When Donating a Car

Taking Your Hands off the Wheel: Important Elements in Car Donation Processes

People always look for ways to get around paying their taxes and reduce expenses. One way to achieve this is through charitable contributions, which allow you to make a legal claim for a deduction on your taxes. More than saving money, knowing that you’ve helped others gives you a good feeling.

Donating items isn’t as easy as handing it out, though, particularly items as valuable as cars. Participating in charity works is safe, although you need to make sure that you’re doing things right. First and foremost, determine if the organization is a 501(c)(3) charity.

These charities don’t distribute the cars they receive as is. They would most likely sell or auction the car and use the proceeds to fund their programs. Likewise, they can make the cars assets of the organization. They’ll use them for the transportation needs of the people and the charity when doing their programs.

Acknowledgement Letter

If you claim that your car’s value is over $500, charities should provide you with a contemporaneous written response. It should state your name and the Vehicle Identification Number or VIN, donation date, and statement that the charity didn’t provide goods or services in exchange for it, except for any intangible religious benefits that may derive from the donation.

Sale of Car

After the charity sold or auctioned your car for more than $500, they must provide you with a written acknowledgment within 30 days of the sale. The letter should state that your car was sold in an arm’s length transaction between unrelated parties, date of sale, gross sale proceeds, and your deduction can’t exceed the gross proceeds from the sale.

IRS Form 8283

As per the law, you should file IRS Form 8283 if the deduction for the year exceeds $500 for all non-cash gifts, particularly your car. You are to complete Section B of Form 8283, though, as the tax deduction is over $500. The charity, on the other hand, should complete a portion of the form and sign it.

Taking an old car to wrecking companies for disposal is not always the solution. There is a way to donate your vehicle to charity with as little trouble as possible. Here at Cars for MADD, we accept all types of vehicles in nearly all conditions as donation. Whether it’s a car, van, truck, RV, motorcycle, boat, or farm equipment, we are the organization you can turn to. Contact us today and let us be at your service.

How Does Alcohol Affect Driving

Alcoholic beverages have an effect on the brain and the body that leads to loss of control, whether physically or mentally.That’s why driving after drinking alcohol increase the likelihood of a tragic death in a car crash.

Alcohol Affects Driving Performance

Driving requires your full attention as you watch the road and other cars and maintain control of your vehicle. Impairment of any of your functions makes this task difficult, if not impossible to do properly.

Alcohol alters your brain’s chemical balance as it is a depressant; it affects the thoughts, actions and feelings of a person. As you increase the amount of alcohol you consume, you start to lose control of your mental and physical processes.

As your brain experiences chemical changes induced by alcohol, you begin to have trouble driving:

1. Vision impairment

2. Slower reaction time

3. Lower concentration and vigilance

4. Difficulty in multi-tasking

5. Increased drowsiness behind the wheel

6. Higher levels of risk taking and daredevil acts while driving

That’s why the safest choice is to always designate a non-drinking driver to get you home.

Raising Awareness

Despite the decreasing number of fatalities caused by drunk driving, MADD will not stop until there are No More Victims™. That’s why we make it a point to support law enforcement, raise awareness and promote technology that prevents driving under the influence as well as help families and individuals recover from a devastating crash caused by substance impaired driving.

You can do your part in helping our advocacy by donating your car, truck, van or any other vehicle gives it a new meaning and purpose that help save and change lives. Drunk driving leads to thousands of fatalities annually, injures hundreds of thousands and costs billions of dollars.

Contact us to learn more about what you can do to help.

Specific Instructions for Tax Deductions

Every good turn deserves another, but why wait for karma to influence the universe in your favor when you can do it yourself? You can give yourself a significant tax deduction when you donate your car. Most people already know that though; the real question is how. Fortunately, there’s a simple way of understanding the process; just keep reading.

Determining Value

The first thing you need to do is to find out how much the car sold for after you donated it to charity, that number will be the exact amount you’ll be able to deduct from your taxes. This is very good news for people who donate to us, since we sell our cars through an auction. There’s a potential that the value of the vehicle might get higher than you initially anticipated.

We grant drivers an automatic five hundred dollar fair market value deduction and inform the original owners when their vehicles exceed that amount. If you decide to use the fair market value as the deductible, the IRS suggests using a reputable price guide to determine the exact value based on make, model, year, and general condition.

Important Items

Don’t forget to report this deduction on line 7 of Schedule A. This is because the only way anyone can successfully claim a deduction through donation is if the total of their eligible expenses exceeds the standard amount of their filing status. This highlights the importance of itemizing everything on the tax form, to make it easier to calculate.

If the expected deduction is beyond five hundred dollars, you should complete Form 8283. If the deduction is somewhere between five hundred and one and five thousand dollars, complete Section A. If the deduction is greater than five thousand, complete Section B, and get a written appraisal as part of the documentation.

Don’t forget to make sure that the documentation you receive from us includes your name, the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), the date of the donation, and a statement describing the goods. If you need any more help regarding how to donate your car, or how to deduct it from your taxes, contact us today.