Difference Between Drunk vs. Distracted Driving: Which Is Worse?

Imagine driving on the interstate when the drivers in front of you suddenly come to a full stop. You are paying attention to the road and can stop without hitting them. But then you hear a crash and are suddenly pulled back in your seat, then rocketed forward, hitting the steering wheel. Your neck, back, and right leg hurt, and the pain distracts you from thinking clearly. It takes a minute before you realize that you’ve been rear-ended by a car. Behind that car was a truck driver who was speeding and wasn’t paying attention to the road. The driver was distracted and talking on the phone.

You are taken to the hospital, where they find you have a few broken bones, some torn ligaments, and pulled muscles. You’ll survive and on the road to recovery as you receive six-months of physical therapy and bed rest. While at the hospital, a police officer asks you some questions and tells you about the accident. During the discussion, you find out that the driver of the car behind you didn’t survive.

It’s a common occurrence, one that happens more and more each day. Drivers who think their text messages and phone conversations are more important than others’ lives. Many drivers don’t realize that distracted driving can be just as dangerous as driving drunk. But with the advent of new technologies, cell phones have become the latest form of distracted driving. Call a Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyer for advice.

What is Distracted Driving?

Many people believe that distracted driving involves texting and talking, but it is more complicated. Distracted driving can include any one of the following categories.

  • Visual DistractionsAre distractions that cause drivers to take their eyes off of the road.
  • Cognitive DistractionsAre distractions that cause drivers to take their thoughts away from their driving.
  • Manual DistractionsAre distractions that cause drivers to take their hands off the steering wheel or prevent their feet from being used on the brake or gas pedals.

The following are every day distracted driving activities.

  • Using your phone to talk or text
  • Applying makeup or combing your hair (grooming)
  • Eating or drinking
  • Adjusting the CD, MP3 player, stereo volume, or radio station
  • Watching videos
  • Reading paper maps or looking at the navigation system
  • Talking with passengers
  • Turning to discipline children or visually inspecting what your passengers are doing
  • Taking your eyes off the road to look at the scenery

What is Drunk Driving

Drunk driving doesn’t need to be explained, other than to say that it refers to drivers whose blood-alcohol level is above the legal limit set by law. In California, the legal alcohol limit while driving or sitting in a car with the keys in the ignition is .08% for most drivers. Lower alcohol limits apply for all taxi, limo, commercial, rideshare, or underage drivers. Furthermore, drivers can be found guilty of driving while under the influence when they have drugs in their system or cannot safely drive as cautiously as a sober person under similar circumstances. If your life has been negatively impacted by a drunk driver, call a Car Crash Lawyer Los Angeles for help.

Drunk vs. Distracted Driving Accidents

Most people know the dangers of drinking and driving and will attempt to stop their friends or loved ones from getting in their vehicles after consuming alcohol. But distracted driving, especially texting and talking, are widely accepted as safe. People believe that drinking and driving are dangerous because drunk drivers have diminished abilities to think clearly, while distracted drivers do not have that problem. Unfortunately, their assumptions are incorrect. Ask a qualified LA personal injury lawyer. They know how dangerous distracted drivers are to fellow drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly 30 people die every day in the U.S. in drunk driving accidents. In fact, approximately one-third of all traffic accident fatalities in the U.S. are attributed to drunk drivers with a BAC of .08 g/dl or higher. In 2018, drunk driving accidents claimed the lives of 10,511 drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.

The NHTSA also found that in 2018, distracted driving accounted for 2,841 deaths.

Each state’s legislatures and governors make the laws that govern distracted driving. Many states have laws restricting cell phone usage while driving, while others make all distracted driving unlawful. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), some states ban holding cell phones while driving, while others ban their use altogether for novice drivers and bus drivers.

Which One is Worse?

Both distracted driving and drunk driving are dangerous, taking lives and causing personal injury and property damage. Based on the 2018 statistics, drunk driving takes more lives, but distracted driving deaths are on the rise.

Are You Injured From Someone Else’s Negligence?

Were you injured by a drunk or distracted driver? Are your injuries causing you undue stress, pain, or financial hardship? Consider calling an experienced Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney.

M&Y Personal Injury Lawyers

Call (877) 771-8175 for a free consultation

Contact M&Y Today

Get your free consultation from California’s leading personal injury lawyers!

Get Your Free Consultation

Our professional staff is ready to evaluate your personal injury case!