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With holiday travel fast approaching, it’s important to be reminded to get enough sleep before getting behind the wheel. Drivers who miss between one to two hours of the recommended seven hours of sleep in a 24-hour period nearly double their risk for a crash, according to new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

And missing two to three hours of sleep more than quadruples the risk for a crash, according to the new report, published Dec. 6 from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. This is the same crash risk a person faces when driving over the legal limit for alcohol, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

“Our new research shows that a driver who has slept for less than five hours has a crash risk comparable to someone driving drunk,” David Yang, the executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, said in a statement.

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On Dec. 3, The Texas DPS released a preliminary report into the crash investigation involving an Iraan-Sheffield ISD school bus late Friday night, about one mile west of Big Spring, Texas, on Interstate-20.

According to the report, Nijimbere Eliphase, 40, of Richardson, was eastbound on I-20 driving a 2007 Freightliner tractor towing a semi-trailer in the outside lane when he observed a black passenger car slam on its brakes, at which time Eliphase veered his semi to the right to avoid a collision.

During the maneuver, the semi went out of control and crossed the center median of the four-lane divided interstate and into the westbound lanes of I-20.

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Fatal crashes caused by distracted drivers are on the rise, and that’s contributing to a spike in traffic deaths during the past two years. The United States government says 3,477, or about 10 percent, of the more than 35,000 traffic fatalities last year involved distracted drivers. That’s up 8.8 percent over 2014. Traffic deaths spiked 10.4 percent in the first six months of this year and rose 7.2 percent last year, after years of declines.

Because of the largest spike in traffic deaths seen in the past 50 years, the U.S. government wants smartphone makers to lock out most apps when someone driving a car is using the phone.

The voluntary guidelines unveiled Wednesday are designed to reduce crashes caused by drivers distracted by phones. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also wants automakers to make infotainment systems easy to pair with smartphones.

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A federal jury in Dallas on Thursday ordered Johnson & Johnson and its DePuy Orthopaedics unit to pay more than $1 billion to six plaintiffs who said they were injured by Pinnacle hip implants, a lawyer for the plaintiffs said.

The jurors found that the metal-on-metal Pinnacle hip implants were defectively designed, and that the companies did not warn consumers of the risks.

The six plaintiffs are California residents who were implanted with the hip devices and experienced tissue death, bone erosion and other injuries they attributed to design flaws.

Tennessee Bus Crash Kills 5, injures 20The driver of a Tennessee school bus crash Monday, Nov. 22, killing five children and injuring 20 others, has been charged with vehicular homicide, police said.

Johnthony Walker, 24, was charged with five counts of vehicular homicide as well as charges of reckless driving and reckless endangerment, Chattanooga Police Chief Fred Fletcher said during an overnight news conference.

At least five children were killed Monday afternoon when a school bus Walker was driving flipped on its side and wrapped around a tree in Chattanooga. There were 35 elementary school students on board.

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Whatever the cause, almost every driver knows the sinking feeling of seeing flashing blue lights in their rear-view mirror.

But not every traffic stop has to result in a ticket. Consumer protection attorney and R&T contributor Steve Lehto has a full 25 years of experience dealing with traffic tickets (some of which are his own), speaking with officers, and listening to his own clients. In his latest podcast, Lehto goes through the best ways to avoid getting ticketed.

Some of his advice is relatively well-known, like the fact that you should pull over quickly when you see the lights come on. But a lot of what he has to say isn’t as obvious. Give it a listen, and while we can’t guarantee it’ll work, following his advice will definitely help you out the next time you get pulled over.

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When distracted driving entered the national consciousness a decade ago, the problem was mainly people who made calls or sent texts from their cellphones. The solution then was to introduce new technologies to keep drivers’ hands on the wheel. Innovations since then, car Wi-Fi and a host of new apps like Snapchat, which allows motorists to post photos that record the speed of the vehicle, and the navigation app Waze even rewards drivers with points when they report traffic jams and accidents, have led to a boom in internet use in vehicles that safety experts say is contributing to a surge in highway deaths.

After steady declines over the last four decades, highway fatalities last year recorded the largest annual percentage increase in 50 years. And the numbers so far this year are even worse. In the first six months of 2016, highway deaths jumped 10.4 percent, to 17,775, from the comparable period of 2015, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating an Oct. 26 crash near Tampa that killed five people. A passenger in one car, a teenager, recorded a Snapchat video showing her vehicle traveling at 115 m.p.h. just before the collision.

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WASHINGTON — The U.S. government on Monday finalized long-delayed rules that will require “quiet cars” like electric vehicles and hybrids to emit alert sounds when they are moving at speeds of up to 18.6 miles per hour to help prevent injuries among pedestrians, cyclists and the blind.

The rules, which were required by Congress, will require automakers like Tesla Motors Inc, Nissan Motor Co and Toyota Motor Corp to add the sounds to all vehicles by September 2019. The U.S. Transportation Department said it expects the rules would prevent 2,400 injuries a year by 2020 and require the addition of alert sounds to about 530,000 2020 model vehicles.

The U.S. National Highway Transportation Department said the rules will cost the auto industry about $39 million annually because automakers will need to add an external waterproof speaker to comply. But the benefits of the reduced injuries are estimated at $250 million to $320 million annually.

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The Wiley Online Library reports approximately 30 percent of the U.S. population reports frequent short sleep. Meaning, 30 percent of the population routinely sleeps four to six hours a night without self-reported adverse consequences.

Some days we are too tired to get in our daily exercise, or other times we’re nodding off in the middle of a hectic work day. Even worse, we may not let ourselves become aware of our sleepiness because we are just caffeinating ourselves as needed to get things done. Sleep deprivation can impact many facets of our life, some we may not believe are very important – but there is one serious consequence that is not terribly forgiving: drowsy driving.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 100,000 police-reported crashes are the direct result of driver fatigue each year. This number is almost double what it was 20 years ago and is likely very conservative, given that there is no test to determine sleepiness. This results in an estimated 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries, and $12.5 billion in monetary losses.