Everybody knows drunk driving is dangerous. As the dangers of distracted driving become more and more widely publicized, many Americans are realizing that it, too, puts their lives and the lives of others in danger when they choose to drive distracted.
Although drunk and distracted driving are both dangerous, they do not impair drivers the same way. Read on to learn more about the differences between drunk and distracted driving.
Distracted Driving is More Dangerous
It is actually more dangerous for a driver to be distracted behind the wheel than it is for him or her to be drunk behind the wheel. There are many ways a driver can be distracted, such as eating or drinking while driving, talking on the phone, using an onboard computer while driving, or attempting to keep pets or children in the vehicle under control, but one type of distracted driving is recognized as one of the most harmful to others on the roadway: text messaging while driving.
Comparing Drunk Driving to Distracted Driving
According to the Brain Injury Society, the impairment a driver faces when texting behind the wheel is equivalent to driving after consuming four beers. As drunk driving rates decline because of harsher punishments for drunk drivers, increased education about the dangers of intoxicated driving, and new, safe options like Uber and Lyft, distracted driving rates in the United States continue to climb. In 2013, 1.6 million accidents were linked to text messaging while driving – 25 percent of all traffic accidents recorded that year.
Intoxication and distraction impair drivers differently. When an individual is drunk, he or she experiences the following:
A slowed reaction time;
A decrease in visual function;
Impaired perception, which can make it difficult for the driver to maintain his or her speed, lane, or following distance; and
Difficulty performing multiple tasks at once, such as slowing to a safe turning speed while signaling.
Distracted driving impairs drivers by taking their hands, eyes, and attention off the roadway. While a drunk driver continues to focus on the task of driving, albeit performing poorly, a distracted driver totally shifts his or her attention from the task of driving for up to five seconds. Traveling at 55 miles per hour, a distracted driver can travel the full length of a football field without looking at the road.
Injured in a Car Accident? Draper Law Office can Help you Seek the Compensation you Deserve for your Damages
When a driver chooses to divert his or her attention from the roadway or drives while under the influence of alcohol or another drug, he or she is a hazard to him- or herself and everybody else on the road. If you were injured in a collision with a drunk or distracted driver, you could be entitled to receive monetary compensation for your related damages through a personal injury claim. Call (866) 767-4711 today or visit Draper Law Office online to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation in our office.