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.

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.

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.

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

People always look for ways to go around 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 TIN, the car’s ID number, donation date, and statement that the charity didn’t provide goods or services for it and it’s consisted of intangible religious benefits.

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.

It’s Tax Season

Have you received your tax form from your employer yet? Which category do you fall under? Are you waiting for the last possible minute to do the taxes even though you are delaying the inevitable of giving back to the government? Did you cry when you received your W-2? Did you say, “Not again! Why do they make us relive this over and over?” Or are you part of the group that camps out by your mailbox waiting for that tax form to arrive so you can submit your taxes right away. After all, the sooner you file, the sooner you can get that brand new tablet.

We all have to file taxes. This article is to shed some light on making taxes go better, whether you owe money or are getting some back. Who couldn’t use some good news? So what is that good news? The good news is that there is a really easy tax deduction available to you.

Do you have an old car that has been lying around? The car doesn’t need to take up space. You can donate a car to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, aka MADD. Once you donate your car, you can get a receipt for the transaction and report it on your taxes. This can contribute to getting more money back or freeing up a little more money in your pocketbook.

Either way you look at it; there is money towards that new tablet…as well as extra space in the garage.

Time For A Reminder

Do you love music? Perhaps you are familiar with the timeless classic song by the Byrds called: “Turn! Turn! Turn!”?

This song teaches us there is a time and place for everything. Like a time to cry. A time to find joy. A time to sing. A time to talk. A time to drink. A time to be sober.

Maybe these aren’t the exact lyrics. But let’s consider that last part. When would be the time to drink? Well, if you choose to drink, it may be appropriate to do it within your own home, at a party or maybe at a sporting event while watching your favorite team.

What about a time to be sober then? It would definitely be a good idea to be sober while in the workplace. It would be recommended to be sober when meeting soon to be in-laws for the first time. And of course you want to be sober while driving on the road. The road can be such a safe place, but if you choose to make it a time to drink when it should be a time to be sober, that safe place can turn into a nightmare.

Let’s keep those roads safe and choose the right time to drink. Now, if you want to continue that song even more, it could say “A time to donate, a time to receive.” You can also help keep the roads safe by donating a vehicle to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). And if you share that part of your heart, it will be a time to receive good feelings. Take care and drive safe.

Simplicity Is The Best Policy

donate vehicleImagine this. You just completed a hard week at work. It was full of stress. One of your coworkers invited you to a party that weekend. This is a perfect way to release some of that stress. You get to hang out with your friends, have a good laugh and grab a drink or two. This is exactly what you need.

Now because you are responsible, you arrange for a cab to come pick you up to avoid driving while intoxicated (if you do end up drinking). So you go to the party, have the time of your life, and even watch the big game that night. Your weekend is complete. The doctor’s prescription was right on the money. Your cab gets you right on time. You get a safe trip home and don’t have to worry about driving.

This is a pretty simple situation. Think of the rewards that came of your choices. You got to party with your friends, relieve some stress and even save a life. At the very least, arranging for the ride home is saving your life. Of course it could also be saving the life of another driver as well.

It really is that simple to make a contribution in saving lives. Another simple way to contribute is to gift a vehicle to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, also known as MADD. This gift can go a long way in saving a life. Please make your life simple and stress free. You deserve the best!

Simplicity Is The Best Policy


Why We’re Here: Angie Bass and Zack Davis

August 9, 2002 was supposed to be a special day for 27-year-old Angie Bass. She was recently married and was looking forward to celebrating her honeymoon that night. On her way to drop off her son Zack at school, a drunk driver traveling at 85 miles per hour crashed into their car, leaving Angie and Zack in critical condition.  The following day, seven-year-old Zack died from his injuries.

The driver, a repeat offender with a BAC of 0.17 and also under the influence of both prescription and illicit drugs, proceeded to hit a second car before his truck came to a stop in the embankment. He was convicted of 2nd degree murder and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon.  He sustained no major injuries from the crash.

Although Angie survived her injuries, she carries the burden of physical and emotional pain every day. “There is no greater loss than the loss of a loved one,” she says, “Zack was an extraordinary child.”

Zack was a loving and fearless child, and was very smart for his age. He loved to play soccer and had dreams of becoming a fireman or artist. Angie says, “He made every single day a wonderful day to treasure and had a way of making everyone around him feel special.”

After the crash, MADD provided victim services to Angie and her family, including assistance navigating the legal system, as well as court accompaniment during the trial and supportive literature that she credits for helping her learn to cope with the tragedy.

Today, Angie and many other members of Zack’s family are still a part of MADD. They attend local MADD events like victim support groups and victim tributes. Angie continues to help spread awareness of the dangers of drunk and drugged driving by sharing her personal experience. “I would share my story a million times in the hopes of saving one life the pain that my family and I endure,” she says.