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As you pass vehicles on the road, do you ever wonder what the lives of those inside them are like? Are they happy or sad, rich or poor or single or married? Maybe you have wondered these things, or maybe you focus on more practical questions like did that driver got enough sleep last night? Is he or she on a cell phone? Is he or she too busy looking at a GPS system to notice you?

You have probably heard that there are more and more drowsy and distracted drivers on the roadways, so you wonder these things. However, you can't forget about the impaired drivers. Whether it's 7a.m. or 7 p.m., some drivers continue to feed their addictions — and some of them drive vehicles that weigh up to 80,000 pounds and dwarf your car in size. Yes, we are talking about big rigs, and the fact that many of their drivers suffer from addictions make them a danger on the roadways.

The problem could be worse than you think

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It happens to everyone. You are running late trying to get to your destination when a car pulls out in front of you and slows to a crawl. You can feel your blood pressure rising, and it takes all your self-control to keep from using your own vehicle to push the other one out of your way. Instead, you take a deep breath and try to keep calm. Eventually, the other driver turns off, and you go on your way.

You may have control of your emotions while driving, but not every driver is able to contain the rage that builds up when faced with these inconveniences. When a driver acts on those impulses, your life may be in danger.

Aggression or road rage?

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It was this time last year when a lot a Texas drivers, perhaps including you, had to face the fact that their actions behind the wheel were dangerous. On Sept. 1, 2017, state lawmakers passed a law prohibiting drivers from texting. The law was heralded by public service announcements and campaigns outlining the dangers of taking your eyes off the road long enough to read or send a message on your mobile device.

Whether you had your own close calls with a phone in your hand or you are one of the countless Texas families who suffered injuries and loss due to someone else's distraction, you may have made a conscious decision not to text while behind the wheel. But that doesn't mean everyone else has.

How dangerous is texting?

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Most everyone has had a moment of inattention behind the wheel, whether it was while adjusting the temperature, trying to find a parking space or turning to address your children in the back seat. When you think about it, though, it's not difficult to see how a moment of distraction could end disastrously in a collision.

The reality is that negligent or reckless driving is preventable. Still, people get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol; they text and drive; or they willingly disregard the speed limits. If you have suffered injuries or lost a loved one due to a negligent driver, you may be considering the benefits of hiring an attorney to represent you in a personal injury claim or a wrongful death claim.

Dealing with insurers

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Texas readers know that drunk driving is a significant problem in the state, and it poses a serious threat to the safety and well-being of every person on the road. There is no excuse for intoxicated driving, and even a small amount of alcohol can have an effect on a driver's ability to safely operate a vehicle.

If you are the victim of an accident caused by a drunk driver, you have the right to take action and defend your interests. It is possible to hold these drivers accountable for their actions and irresponsible choices, and through a civil claim, you may be able to seek appropriate compensation for your losses, as well as your pain and suffering.

The effect of alcohol on a driver

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