Is Distracted Driving More Dangerous than Drunk Driving?

To answer this question, we’ll take a look at some of the latest findings from distracted driving research and facts compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Impairments Caused by Distracted Driving

Taking a look at NHTSA data & research, a St Charles & St Louis car accident attorney discusses whether distracted driving is more dangerous than drunk driving.

Taking a look at NHTSA data & research, a St Charles & St Louis car accident attorney discusses whether distracted driving is more dangerous than drunk driving.

As the NHTSA has found, when drivers are distracted:

  • Their perception is impaired – Distracted driving can cause motorists to take their eyes off of the road for precious seconds, preventing them from seeing red lights, other vehicles and other important things in their driving environment. In fact, even when drivers are looking at the road, being distracted by, for instance, talking on a hand’s free device can lead to “inattention blindness,” which can prevent motorists from seeing up to half of the important cues in their driving environments.
  • Their reaction times are slowed down – Given that distracted drivers are usually not seeing everything they need to in order to drive safely, they tend to react slower when it’s time to apply the brakes or otherwise maneuver a vehicle to stay safe and/or prevent a collision. Some studies have indicated that the response to braking alone is slowed by about 18 percent when motorists are distracted.
  • Their judgment can be impacted as well – When motorists have already make the poor decision to split their concentration between driving and some other task, they are also usually inclined to make other poor decisions behind the wheel, such as diverting their attention further with another distraction (e.g., talking on a cellphone & eating), violating traffic laws (e.g., speeding or failing to yield to others), etc.

Distracted Driving Trends

Distracted driving is not a new phenomenon, but it has been increasing remarkably in recent years, primarily due to the pervasiveness of cellphones and other mobile devices.

In fact, transportation safety regulators expect that, while distracted driving contributes to about 23 percent of all traffic accidents in the U.S., this trend will continue to rise in the coming years. A few reasons for this include that:

  • Not every state has enacted cellphone and/or texting while driving bans.
  • Even in states with these bans, enforcement is difficult.
  • Many people believe that, while distracted driving is generally a problem, it doesn’t affect them and that they can continue to drive safely even when they are not 100 percent focused on the road.

Given that drunk driving has been on the decline in the U.S. over the past few decades, it does seem that distracted driving is more dangerous than drunk driving, as it causes the same impairments – and there seems to be no indications of a downward trend in this driving behavior.

What do you think about this info regarding distracted driving? Post your opinions on our Facebook & Google+ pages.

St Charles & St Louis Car Accident Attorney at Ryan R. Cox & Associates, LLC

If you have been hurt in a traffic accident caused by a negligent motorist, an experienced St Charles & St Louis car accident attorney at Ryan R. Cox & Associates, LLC is here for you, ready to help with your financial recovery.

You can find out more about your legal rights and what we can do to help you by contacting us today to schedule a free, no obligations initial consultation with one of our lawyers. To set up this consult, call our firm at (636) 946-6886 or toll free at (855)772-5291. You can also email us using the contact form on this page.

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Ryan R. Cox & Associates, LLC

Ryan R. Cox & Associates, LLC is a litigation law firm that represents individuals and families in serious personal injury and wrongful death claims throughout Missouri. We help people who have been injured in all types of accidents—including car or truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, slip and fall accidents, and much more. Whether your injury is something that can cause long-term issues like a brain injury or spinal cord injury, or it is something you’ll likely make a full recovery from, we are here to help.

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