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

When you think of the most dangerous form of driving, you typically think of drunken driving. But, today’s digital world has created a slew of new dangers – including those that you may never expect. In fact, texting while driving has quickly become one of the more dangerous actions behind the wheel – and one you may even be doing yourself.

What is Distracted Driving?

A driver is going down the road. They see that the light is turning yellow ahead and the vehicle in front of them is stopping. Therefore, they start braking too. Suddenly their vehicle lurches forward from being rear-ended. When the driver comes to, they assume that an aggressive driver or drunk driver has hit them, but in reality, it is a teenager still holding onto their phone. They were texting their friends and not paying attention to the lights or the vehicles in front of them – creating a crash.

These types of accidents are much more common than drivers realize and are forms of distracted driving. Distracted driving includes more than just texting behind the wheel – and it is important that people understand the various forms of distracted driving.

Some of the more commonly cited types of distracted driving include:

  • Texting
  • Using a phone
  • Talking to passengers
  • Eating or drinking
  • Grooming
  • Reading
  • Using a navigation system
  • Watching a video
  • Looking at something on the side of the road
  • Adjusting a radio

Is Distracted Driving More Dangerous than Drunk Driving?

In a study conducted in 2006, they compared drivers under the influence of alcohol and those using a cell phone. They had drivers simulate the effects to see the likelihood of errors and crashes. The results were quite interesting. Drivers that are distracted took longer to brake, were speeding, used less braking force, and had more accidents than drunk drivers.

Overall, the studies that have been conducted in the past have shown that texting drivers pose a greater risk for accident than drivers that are under the influence and that younger drivers are more likely to drive distracted than older ones – which accounts for a large majority of the vehicles on the road today.

Can Distractions Be Avoided?

In today’s high-tech climate, some feel that distractions are impossible. After all, vehicles come with built in Bluetooth technology, and cell phones offer apps that are meant to improve driving. With all of these distractions available, how are drivers expected to ignore them?

In reality, you can avoid these distractions just by being a responsible driver. Some things you can do include:

  • Putting your phone away and on silent so that you do not hear text messages and other notifications.
  • Not using hands-free devices – which are just as dangerous and handheld devices.
  • Setting your navigation before driving; that way you aren’t trying to set it while driving.
  • Avoiding conversations with your passengers.
  • Eating or drinking before you get in the car.

Were You Injured by a Distracted Driver? Contact an Attorney

If you were injured by a distracted driver, contact Horn Law about your accident. We can assist you with your injury case and hold the irresponsible driver accountable. Call us at 816-795-7500 to schedule a consultation or fill out an online contact form with your questions.