How is Driving Intoxicated Similar to Texting while Driving?

The phenomenon of texting while driving, although relatively new, has quickly been established as one of the most dangerous behaviors a driver can exhibit on the road. In fact, cell phone use behind the wheel is so hazardous that studies have shown it to be on-par with a long-recognized example of reckless road behavior: Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

The Similarities Between Distracted Driving and Drunk Driving

Driving while intoxicated is one of the most risky things a person can do. Alcohol and drugs hinder vision, coordination, reaction time, and almost every other function needed to drive safely. Is it possible that texting can warrant the same effects while driving as a mind-altering substance?

Yes. As harmless as it may seem in the moment, responding to a text or even just looking at your phone can take away your focus just long enough to cause extreme injury. Texting and driving is often described as a visual, manual, and cognitive distraction — doing so takes your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel, and your mind off of driving.

Driving under the influence and driving while texting can both contribute to the following behaviors behind the wheel:

  • Not looking at the road
  • Limited reaction time (failure to break or swerve away)
  • Not looking in mirrors or blind spots / swerving in to other lanes
  • Driving too fast or too slow

Distracted Driving: The Facts

Distracted driving doesn’t just mean texting: Eating or drinking, putting on makeup, and even changing your radio station are all considered as acts of driving while distracted, and are all dangerous. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distraction was a factor in 3,166 car accident deaths in 2017.

You wouldn’t drink and drive, so don’t drive distracted — neither are worth the risk.

At Ortega, McGlashan, Hicks & Perez, PLLC, we help injury victims recover the compensation they deserve. If you have been injured, fill out our contact form or call (915) 206-5154 to schedule a free initial consultation.
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