Distracted Driving vs. Drunk Driving: Which is More Dangerous?

Driving while drunk and driving while distracted are two of the most dangerous things a person can do while operating a motor vehicle. April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and today on the blog, we take a look and compare drunk and distracted driving to find out which is the most dangerous.

Texting & Driving vs. Drunk Driving

According to the Brain Injury Society, both distraction and drunk driving can impair a driver’s motor skills, causing them to not be able to brake is time, follow another vehicle too closely, or accidentally weave into oncoming traffic.

Research shows that people who are driving and texting at the same time have about a 23 percent higher chance of causing an accident – that statistic is the equivalent of drinking four beers and then getting behind the wheel of a vehicle.

  • According to 2011 data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there was a 25 percent decrease in the number of drunk driving wrongful deaths from 2005 to 2011. The rate of drunk driving, although still high, has been steadily decreasing for some time.
  • Distracted driving, on the other hand, is on a steady rise. From 2002 through 2011, there was a 22 percent increase in the number of fatalities associated with distracted driving.
  • Distracted driving is also currently associated with 25 percent of all driving accidents that occur in the United States.

The Brain Injury Society further indicates that the most dangerous aspect about texting and driving is that the eyes of the driver are taken off the road. The average person takes their eyes off the road for a total of 23 seconds to dial or respond to a text message.

Other Distracted Driving Statistics

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are thousands of wrongful deaths every year in the United States that are the direct result of distracted driving accidents:

  • There were a total of 3,154 people who were killed in distracted driving accidents in the United States in 2013.
  • In 2013, nearly one in every five motor vehicle accidents involved someone who was driving distracted at the time of the accident.
  • If someone gets a text message and they are traveling at a speed of 55 miles per hour, their eyes are taken off the road for a distance long enough to cover a football field.
  • Drivers ages 20 and younger have the highest proportion of distraction-related fatal accidents.

Contact An Experienced Auto Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident involving a drunk driver or distracted driver, contact Thomas J. Henry. Our injury attorneys are available 24/7, nights and weekends to evaluate your claim. Call today for a free case consultation.

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