For many years, drunk driving was the main culprit that affected drivers who would end up causing crashes and deaths out on the roads. But now, over the last few years, distracted driving due to cell phones and electronic devices have also been the reason for so many crashes. As more people continually want to stay connected every second of the day, the chances of being involved in a crash with a distracted driver remains high.
Distracted driving is not just relegated to the use of electronic devices. It can be a common occurrence to see people eating, applying makeup, fiddling with the radio or trying to control a backseat full of kids while driving. In our rushed and frantic lives, maybe people are feeling that just focusing on driving is too boring. But is this new phenomenon of driving distracted worse than driving under the influence of alcohol?
Even if you are not at the state legal limit for blood alcohol concentration (BAC), you can still be a dangerous driver. At just .02 percent BAC, a driver can have trouble following things moving outside the car. A driver can also have trouble performing two tasks at the same time.
Higher levels of BAC will dramatically drop driving skills such as not noticing turn signals, staying within a lane and a delay in brake response. Alcohol is also a natural depressant that can easily cause drowsiness and blurred vision
There are three components that can be affected by distracted driving. One is visual, where you are not watching the road. Second, is manual, which is using your hands for something else besides steering. The third things is cognitive, when your mind is taken away from driving.
Texting while driving has tended to be the most common form of distracted driving. Texting takes away all three of the components that were just mentioned. Once all three of these components are missing, the driver will be in much the same condition as a drunk driver. When traveling at 55 mph, looking at a phone for five seconds is like driving with your eyes closed for an entire length of a football field.
Is driving distracted worse than driving drunk? It is too difficult to determine if one is really more dangerous than the other. The fact is, they are both dangerous and have been the cause of many accidents that have resulted in devastating injuries and deaths.