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Is distracted driving as dangerous as drunk driving?

On Behalf of | Jun 6, 2019 | Personal Injury |

Drunk drivers are a serious danger to everyone else on the road. But another threat is emerging: distracted driving. Texting and making a phone call are two of the most dangerous forms of distractions.

But are distracted drivers really as harmful as those who are under the influence of alcohol? Here is a comparison of the risks and statistics of both.

Distracted driving risks

There are three facets of distracted driving:

  • Cognitive: Not thinking about driving
  • Manual: Not having your hands on the wheel
  • Visual: Not having your eyes on the road

Many activities, including texting, are a combination of all three.

Drunk driving risks

Alcohol intoxication impairs the following driving skills:

  • Judgment: The ability to make responsible and safe decisions
  • Concentration: The ability to pay attention to multiple tasks
  • Reaction: The ability to identify, understand and resolve a situation
  • Vision and hearing: The ability to see and hear clearly
  • Comprehension: The ability to interpret signs, situations and signals

Impairment begins at just 0.02% BAC, far below the legal limit of 0.08%. Any amount of drinking before driving can be hazardous.

Danger by the numbers

Here is a comparison of the injury and casualty statistics of both types of dangerous driving:

  • Distracted driving injuries in 2015: 391,000
  • Drunk driving injuries in 2015: 290,000
  • Distracted driving deaths in 2015: 3,477
  • Drunk driving deaths in 2015: 10,265

As you can see, the outcomes are comparable.

The bottom line

The truth is that distracted driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. As you can see from the above numbers, distractions often cost more lives than drunkenness. Anyone who partakes in either type of driving is putting people like you at risk of getting hurt or dying.

If you or someone you know is a victim of a distracted or drunk driving accident, consider seeking compensation through the appropriate insurance and legal channels.

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