Although most Americans recognize the inherent dangers of drunk driving, they still engage in a driving activity that studies show to be even riskier. A study by Car and Driver magazine showed that texting and driving is significantly more dangerous than driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
By equipping a vehicle with a red light to tell drivers when they should brake, the study examined how long it took drivers to react when sober, legally intoxicated (0.08 BAC), reading email and sending a text message. The results showed that texting is clearly the biggest detractor from a driver’s ability to respond to quick changes while driving, causing the driver to take an additional 70 feet to brake than a sober driver not distracted by a cell phone.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has reported similar findings, stating that operating a motor vehicle while texting is six times more hazardous than driving drunk. When drivers send or receive texts, it takes their eyes away from the road for 4.6 seconds on average. Although this might not seem like a long time, it is the equivalent of driving the length of a football field for a car going 55 miles per hour.
This dangerous activity results in thousands of deaths each year, and in fact is the leading cause of accidents and deaths among teenage drivers. Every year, 3,000 people die and 330,000 are injured as a result of accidents due to texting and driving. It is reported as a factor in more than one million crashes and 16 percent of fatal accidents annually across the U.S.
When drivers text while operating a motor vehicle, they not only put their own lives at risk, but also the lives of everyone else on the road. Because of their delayed response times, distracted drivers are far more likely to rear-end other vehicles when traffic slows. They may also swerve or veer into other lanes or the shoulder, endangering both other motorists and pedestrians.
After a serious accident caused by texting and driving, be sure to speak with a skilled auto accident attorney in the Lake County area. You may be able to seek compensation to cover medical bills, loss of wages and more.