Instagramming photos, snapchatting, emailing and texting, these actions are all completed with the help of a smartphone. And according to the Pew Research Center, 56 percent of American adults own a smartphone. This means that these individuals are also of the driving age. Given this high percentage of smartphone ownership paired with American’s high car ownership rates, there’s a good chance that many of these individuals have participated in texting while driving at some point in time.
Given the pervasive influence technology now has on most people’s lives, it now seems that it has become a relevant issue when debating the severity of texting and driving vs. drinking and driving. This debate is a daily concern because both activities have greatly impacted the amount of car accidents, ranging from minor fender benders to serious car accidents involving fatalities. While drinking and driving has been banned by all 50 U.S. states, there has not been a law for texting and driving that extends to every state.
Texting Vs. Drinking Alcohol – Which is More Dangerous While Driving?
The imbalance in the way that national laws treat these two behaviors has sparked ongoing debate about which one is worse. While both are extremely dangerous and ill-advised while operating a vehicle, it can actually be determined through studies and statistics that texting and driving may be more dangerous to the individual driver, their passengers and fellow drivers on the road.
Texting and driving has become a deadly activity by forcing drivers to take their eyes off the road and become focused on another highly distracting activity. This type of distracted driving has led to almost 6,000 fatalities and over half a million injuries reported in 2008 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
A study by the Transport Research Laboratory in London also examined the dangers of texting and driving vs. drinking and driving. By testing response times, the researchers found that those who texted while driving had 35 percent worse response times than those that drove without any distractions. As for those under the influence of alcohol, their response times were 12 percent worse than sober drivers. This study confirmed the belief that the risks associated with texting and driving may actually be even worse than drinking and driving.
In the end, just because one is worse than the other doesn’t mean that either one should be tolerated. It is important when driving to stay alert and practice safe driving techniques. Avoiding mixing alcohol consumption with driving, and putting your cellphone away when you are behind the wheel, are great ways to keep you, your passengers and fellow drivers at a lower risk of harm. Drinking and texting are voluntary behaviors and it’s up to you to make sound decisions when operating a vehicle. If you become a participant of these types of distracted driving, know that personal injury lawyers are always available to help you with your case.