Distracted driving can be more dangerous than impaired driving, statistics and research show. Although it may be a surprising concept, the reality is much different and it’s stark. It’s easy to assume consuming alcohol or taking drugs will impair a driver’s ability far more than any distraction, whether it’s eating, changing media, reading email, or texting. But statistics prove otherwise.
Why Distracted Driving can be More Dangerous than Impaired Driving
So, exactly why is distracted driving more dangerous than impaired driving? Well, there are a few explanations. First, drunk driving is on the decline across the country. Though impaired driving remains one of the leading causes of car crashes, accidents caused by an inebriated driver occur less frequently as those caused by distracted driving. Second, driving impaired is something everyone recognizes as morally wrong, but we generally feel completely different about texting and driving or reading and sending email.
For decades, drunk driving has been at the forefront of debate. Stricter laws have been passed across the nation leading to a decrease in drunk driving accidents. However, a new driving threat is quickly taking its place. That threat is texting while driving – and many say that it is actually more dangerous than drunk driving. —Brain Injury Society.org
Third, even impaired drivers try to pay attention to the road. After all, most are cognizant of the fact they shouldn’t be driving in the first place. At least impaired drivers will likely make an effort to stay safe. On the other hand, texting, emailing, and other smartphone interactions are something we do regularly every day. Also, beause of the quick delivery of emails or texts, people expect a quick response. We’ve been conditioned to expect to receive and send information immediately. So, it’s easier to get distracted by routine and expectations and take attention away from the road. Yet another reason distracted driving is more dangerous than impaired driving is because it’s so ubiquitous. Simply stand on any street corner and you’ll witness driver after driver using their phones, eating, applying makeup, and engaging in other distracting behaviors. In a study conducted in 2009, Car and Driver magazine discovered some remarkable facts. Their tests found distracted driving is more dangerous than impaired driving, using a deserted air strip. When driving 70 miles per hour, an unimpaired or sober driver will take just .54 seconds to brake for a red light. However, the results from other driver behaviors produce much different results:
- Legally impaired at .08 added 4 feet
- Reading email added 36 feet
- Texting added nearly twice the distance — 70 feet
Just three years ago, in 2013, 10 percent of all roadway auto accidents resulting in 3,154 deaths involved distracted driving. Moreover, another 424,000 drivers and passengers were injured due to distracted driving. A National Safety Council survey of 2,409 participants reveals among drivers of all ages, an astounding 74 percent indicated using Facebook while behind the wheel. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics show distracted driving is more dangerous than impaired driving is more data from the. The CDC reports every day in the United States, 1,161 injuries and 8 fatalities result from distracted driving. That’s compared to 28 daily deaths involving impaired drivers. This is due to the fact the percentage of drivers using cell phones continues to increase, while drunk driving is on the decline. Wow! That’s worth repeating! The CDC reports every day in the United States, 1,161 injuries and 8 fatalities result from distracted driving. That’s compared to 28 daily deaths involving impaired drivers. Tests conducted by UK-based Transport Research Laboratory involving drivers between the ages of 17 and 24 years old found distracted drivers have a 35 percent slower reaction time than impaired drivers, who are compromised by 12 percent, compared to sober drivers. Additionally, drivers who text are at 23 percent more risk for causing auto collisions, the equivalent to drivers who consume four beers and get behind the wheel. The fact is simply distracted driving is dangerous driving and it’s unnecessarily causing injuries and fatalities on our roadways. If you or a loved one has been involved in an auto accident as the result of distracted or impaired driving, you need to speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Contact Vititoe Law Group to for a free evaluation of you case. It’s important to understand your legal rights and whether or not if you are entitled to compensation. Don’t wait because there are time limitations to file a claim.