Is distracted driving as dangerous as drunk driving?
Both impaired and distracted driving can lead to fatal car crashes because each causes an operator to lose focus on the task at hand.
Campaigns against drunk driving have been popular for years in both Ohio and Kentucky. With the rise of the popularity of cellphones and other mobile electronics, more and more automobile operators have become distracted while behind the wheel. This dangerous trend is linked to a number of car collisions, but is it really as dangerous as driving while under the influence of alcohol or another drug?
The statistics of distracted driving
When people get behind the wheel with a cellphone, iPod or another electronic device in hand, it can lead to accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, operating a vehicle without complete attention on the task led to 3,450 deaths and 391,000 injuries over the course of a one-year span. While teens are often viewed as the most distracted drivers, adults can also fall into this temptation because there are so many possible distractions.
The statistics of driving under the influence
Drunk driving has long held a bad reputation. Getting behind the wheel after having too much to drink led to 10,497 deaths in one year. Just over 1,000 of those deaths were children under the age of 14. Not only does drinking and driving result in a large number of deaths, but it can actually cost a lot of money. The total deaths and damage caused by crashes related to impairment resulted in $44 billion worth of damages in one year.
The risks of both
Both drinking and distractions create a lot of risks for those on the road. It is a well-known fact that driving while under the influence of a drug or alcohol can result in an inability to react to the normal changes in traffic. As a person’s blood alcohol level rises, his or her ability to make decisions and perform normal driving maneuvers decreases. While both men and women can and do drive after drinking, men are more likely to be involved in fatal crashes related to impaired driving.
Activities that take a person’s mind off of the road can have similar risks to those of drug or alcohol related impairments. Texting, for example, can cause a person to take his or her eyes off of the road and hands off of the wheel, which can make it harder for him or her to react to the changes in traffic. Even a simple daydream can reduce a driver’s ability to judge potentially dangerous traffic maneuvers.
In an effort to make Ohio and Kentucky roads safer for all motorists and passengers, it is important for both impaired and distracted driving to be eliminated. No matter the cause of an accident, it can be beneficial for anyone injured in a traffic collision to work with an attorney familiar with this type of personal injury.