In a world where more and more people are getting behind the wheel after drinking, it’s no surprise that many of us have wondered whether texting and driving is as dangerous as drunk driving.
The truth is that both activities can lead to serious injuries and even death.
Unfortunately, however, there’s a lot of misinformation out there about how they compare. So let’s clear some of that up!
Statistically, drunk driving is more dangerous than texting and driving; however, in both instances, you are impaired or distracted from driving a motor vehicle as intended, which can have deadly consequences.
In this article, we’ll look at some statistics surrounding drunk driving vs texting and driving so you can get a better idea of how dangerous each activity is.
Drunk Driving vs Texting and Driving
It’s dangerous to drink and drive, but texting while driving can be just as hazardous. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize that.
So let’s take a look at each and see how they compare.
Drunk driving is driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or higher for most drivers. The BAC limit for commercial drivers is .04%.
If you get pulled over for driving under the influence (DUI), you may face serious legal consequences. For example, in Florida, you could pay as little as $500 or as much as $2000!
In addition, you could be sentenced to a term of at least six months in jail and have your license suspended for up to a year. The penalties vary by state, obviously, but they’re all very strict.
Despite all these measures, some drivers continue to break the law. As a matter of fact, almost 27% of car crashes around the USA are caused by drunk driving.
This is why after most collisions, all drivers are breathalyzed.
Texting and Driving
Texting and driving is when you send or read texts while operating a moving vehicle—in most, if not all, states, texting while driving is a primary offense.
Check out all state information for whether texting and driving is illegal in this article.
This means that if an officer sees you texting and driving, they can simply pull you over. If the officer believes you were distracted by your phone in any way, they can cite you for it.
Depending on your state, you could pay $25 to $500 in fines and get points added to your license.
However, people continue to break the law despite the risk of getting into an accident. A shocking 23% of all traffic accidents in the USA are caused by texting and driving as well as other cellphone-related activities.
The Effects of Drunk Driving
Alcohol affects your driving in several ways.
First, you lose some of your peripheral vision when you’re drinking. This means you’ll have trouble seeing objects in the corners of your eyes, making it difficult to spot things happening on the road.
You might also have trouble focusing on the road ahead of you or seeing traffic lights or signs in time to react safely.
Second, alcohol slows down reaction time and motor skills. So if you drink and drive, there’s a good chance you’ll have trouble reacting quickly enough if you need to avoid anything on the road.
Lastly, alcohol impairs judgment and coordination: these two things are essential when it comes to driving safely!
Without judgment, it’s hard to know whether or not it’s safe to drive home after having a few drinks; without coordination, it becomes hard for you to use your hands and feet properly while driving.
The Dangers of Texting and Driving
There are many dangers associated with texting while driving. The most obvious is that it takes your eyes off the road, which is dangerous enough.
However, there are other issues as well.
For example, when you get a text, you’ll find yourself dividing your concentration between the road and the phone. This is your number one mistake!
Even if you keep your eyes on the road, you’ll start to lose awareness of your surroundings.
Then, you’ll have to read the text, understand it, formulate a response, and actually send it. At that point, at least one hand is off the wheel (the second mistake!), which can be dangerous.
That’s why it’s crucial to put down your phone when you get behind the wheel—even if it’s just for a few seconds.
If this is a habit you’re trying to stop, check out our article on some stop texting and driving applications, which are great solutions.
So, drunk driving vs texting and driving: which is more dangerous?
Well, you’ve probably noticed that the percentage of accidents caused by drunk drivers is a little bit higher than those caused by people who text and drive.
However, does that mean one is more dangerous than the other? In some ways, yes. Nevertheless, both are extremely dangerous and can lead to serious injuries or even death.
So for now, keep yourself and your loved ones safe by avoiding both of these dangerous activities.