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If you’re driving down the highway, do you think there is ever a circumstance when it’s safe or smart to close your eyes for five seconds?

Of course you don’t. Keeping your eyes on the road is one of the first things we all learn about safe driving. So why would anyone ever think it is okay to text when behind the wheel, or do anything else that takes your attention from driving?

It takes about five seconds, on average, to read or send a text. Not a lot of time. But, in that span of time, with your eyes on your phone and not on the road, a vehicle traveling 55 miles per hour can travel the length of a football field. In that instant, over that distance, a life can be taken—maybe even yours. Distracted driving killed 3,477 people on America’s roads in 2015.

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Utah is moving toward adopting the nation’s strictest drunken-driving law under a measure to be signed by Gov. Gary Herbert.

The legislation lowers the standard from the current 0.08 blood-alcohol content level — used nationwide —  to 0.05 BAC. The drop means someone could be considered legally too drunk to drive after as little as a single strong drink, depending on their weight and tolerance.

“We’re not asking for Prohibition,” Herbert said during a Thursday press conference. “We’re hoping people take this as a cautionary note.”

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A report out of Arizona said Uber has suspended its self-driving car operations after one of its vehicles was involved in a crash.

The accident left one of the company’s driverless Volvos on its side, but fortunately led to no serious injuries.

A picture of the crash scene shows two other damaged cars sitting next to the Volvo, one of which has smashed windows and particularly bad dent marks, suggesting the accident happened at some speed.

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By collision standards, the March incident involving a Tesla Model X and a Phoenix police motorcycle officer barely qualified for a police report.

The officer, who was in front of the Tesla, stopped for a traffic signal, police said. After also stopping briefly, the Tesla began creeping forward, prompting the officer to jump off his motorcycle and move away. The officer later estimated the car was moving at about three miles per hour, police said. There were no injuries or damage.

But the driver’s allegation that his Tesla was in self-driving Autopilot mode when it tapped the motorcycle opens the door to questions in the emerging and still-murky legal realm of automated and driver-assisted vehicles.

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It’s something that many of us have experienced while driving, though we may not like to admit it.

It’s called a microsleep, a brief state of drowsy unconsciousness that can happen even if your eyes remain open.

Drowsy driving kills. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drowsy driving caused 824 deaths in 2015, the last year for which figures are available.

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Does the immigration status of someone injured in a car accident prohibit the person from filing a lawsuit to recover for damages?

No.

The United States Constitution guarantees all “persons” due process, regardless of immigration status. That means that both documented and undocumented immigrants may file lawsuits after they are injured in car accidents. While the Texas Supreme Court has not directly ruled on this issue, it is bound by the federal Constitution.

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Texting-while-drivingA Washington state measure to ban holding a phone while driving passed in the House a day after a similar measure passed in the Senate.

House Bill 1371 received a 52-45 vote in the Democratic-controlled House Tuesday.

Democratic Rep. Jessyn Farrell, the sponsor of the bill, said the measure is about safety and updating the current law “so that police officers can enforce this.”

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Have you ever thought about the possibility that daylight saving time might actually be dangerous? When the clocks spring forward and fall back each year, although only by an hour, research suggests it may take days to adjust to the time difference.

And during that adjustment period, there is a spike in car crashes, especially after we spring forward and lose an hour of sleep, as of recent. Some police departments say there’s about a 10 percent increase in crashes just after the time change and there’s even evidence that figure might be much higher.

Researchers at the University of Colorado at Boulder studied the daylight saving time period (from March to November) for 10 years and discovered there was a 17 percent increase in traffic incident-related deaths the Monday after the springtime change. Traffic fatalities all that week were also higher than average. Some of the effects can be attributed to lower visibility (the fact that it’s earlier, and therefore darker, than drivers are accustomed to), but most of the accidents, experts say, are because people are struggling to stay awake behind the wheel.

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march-12-2017-cleburne-wreck-2CLEBURNE – An East Texas woman died and a passenger in her vehicle was critically injured early Sunday when their van collided with an 18-wheeler early Sunday, police said.

The wreck occurred shortly after 1:30 a.m. on Farm Road 1434 at U.S. 67.

The victim was identified as Honey Reavis, 30, of Nacogdoches. She was pronounced dead at 1:47 a.m, according to the Tarrant County medical examiner’s website.

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BENBROOK – Two people were killed after a semi-truck collided with a pickup in Benbrook that shut down Interstate 20 in both directions Friday afternoon.

The accident happened around 2:30 p.m. Friday in the 7600 block of SW Loop 820 along I-20. Police say both of the vehicles were going westbound when they crashed near the 429A exit.

Two people were pronounced dead at the scene. A third person was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

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