Last updated on October 17th, 2023
Whenever a driver displays irresponsible behavior behind the wheel, someone is bound to get hurt. Anybody who exhibits unsafe driving habits, whether it be texting, talking on a cell phone, or inebriated driving, should be punished under the law.
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident caused by a distracted driver or drunk driver, you need to contact a personal injury lawyer right away.
Our legal team is here to represent your interests. Below, we compare distracted driving versus drunk driving and which behavior may present more of a risk to other road users.
Distracted driving is anything that takes your attention away from driving. When a person is engaged in another activity, they are not giving their complete attention to traffic and other hazards on the road.
Distracted driving comes in three forms:
Any of the following activities fall under distracted driving:
As of April 4, 2023, the Ohio legislature passed a law that bans drivers from using their phones while driving. “Texting” is loosely defined, and any use of a cell phone, such as browsing the internet, streaming a video, playing a game, or browsing social media, is a violation of the law.
Although hands-free devices are an exception to this law, drivers under the age of 18 are restricted from using cell phones entirely.
A strange exception is the use of a cell phone at a stoplight. Although the new law permits it, the Department of Transportation strongly advises against it. Even using a cell phone to send a quick message at a stoplight can endanger lives. It is important to stay attentive at stoplights to ensure that all pedestrians and cyclists have crossed the road before the light turns green.
When you send a text, you take your eyes off the road for five seconds. If you are traveling at 55 miles per hour, that is the equivalent of driving the length of an entire football field.
According to a recent report, around three percent of drivers use their cell phones while operating their vehicles. In a recent year, over 3,000 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents due to distracted driving.
Below, we examine the statistics for distracted driving in Ohio over the past five years:
The numbers by county are:
These five counties account for more than one-third of the crashes in Ohio in the past five years. With these statistics, we must question if should texting and driving be treated as drunk driving or not.
If you are caught texting and driving, you may face the following penalties:
You may be able to avoid the fines and points against your license if you are willing to complete a distracted driving course.
Just as if you were drunk, using your cell phone impairs your ability to drive. Using a cell phone covers all three forms of distracted driving: your eyes will be off the road (visual distraction), your hands are off the wheel (manual distraction), and your mind is taken away from your driving (cognitive distraction).
Driving requires your full concentration. In the course of driving your typical route, you will need to make decisions in a split-second, which also requires that you have a fast reaction time. If you are fiddling with your phone, you probably won’t be able to hit your brake in time if a car stops short in front of you.
Texting is considered to be six times more dangerous than driving intoxicated. Whether you are texting or driving under the influence, you are putting yourself, your family, and others in danger.
Here are some reasons that texting is more dangerous than drunk driving:
If you were in an accident caused by another driver being distracted or intoxicated, you need the assistance of a personal injury lawyer. We may be able to gain you the compensation you deserve for your lost wages and other medical bills. Contact us today at Dyer, Garofalo, Mann & Schultz to schedule your free case evaluation.
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