Is Texting and Driving As Dangerous As Drinking and Driving?

Nov 3, 2020

Our South Carolina Car Accident Attorney Explains

It is an established fact that drinking and driving is one of the primary causes of fatal car accidents each year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drunk driving is responsible for 29 deaths in the U.S. each day. Drunk driving costs exceed $44 billion annually.

Distracted driving is another major cause of car accidents involving injuries and deaths. We do not know exactly how many people die or suffer injuries in distracted driving accidents each year. However, estimates suggest the numbers are high. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that in 2015, 10 percent of fatal crashes and 15 percent of crashes resulting in injuries were caused by distracted driving.

The reasons why distracted driving is dangerous are obvious. Your attention should be on the road while operating an extremely heavy machine moving at high speeds. If you are traveling at 55 miles per hour, and take your eyes off the road for only five seconds, you cover the length of a football field. Within the five seconds your eyes are off the road, you may collide into other motorists as well as bicyclists or pedestrians.

Let’s be clear: Drunk driving and distracted driving are extremely dangerous activities that put you and other people at risk. It doesn’t matter whether one activity is more dangerous than the other. You should avoid doing both. Distracted driving and drunk driving make you:

  • Less able to respond to hazards
  • Less attentive
  • More likely to engage in dangerous driving habits

Avoid the following activities while driving:

  • Eating
  • Grooming
  • Text messaging
  • Checking email, alerts or news
  • Messing with the radio
  • Using a GPS or infotainment system
  • Talking to other passengers

Just focus on driving and nothing else. Consider how quickly a hazard could appear in front of your vehicle, such as wildlife, a massive pothole, a car accident involving another vehicle, another object, or an object falling off another vehicle. You would need to be able to respond very quickly to avoid suffering serious harm.

Distracted Driving May Have Consequences

You may be liable for damages if you strike another person while driving distracted. Skilled personal injury attorneys may be able to determine whether a person was sending text messages or posting on social media at the time of a collision. There could be additional penalties for causing an injury or death due to distracted driving.

Texting and driving against South Carolina state law. You could face penalties if a police officer pulls you over.

Hit By a Distracted Driver? Our South Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Can Explain Your Legal Options

The Law Offices of F. Craig Wilkerson Jr. has experience helping victims of car accidents and pedestrian accidents. To learn more about filing an accident claim in South Carolina, give us a call and set up a free consultation. You can reach us by dialing (803) 324-7200 or by using the contact form on our site.