• The driver who is texting?
  • The driver who is drunk?
  • The driver who is high on pot?
  • Or the driver who is drowsy?

Everyone knows about how fatal drunk driving can be, but this was not always the case. Our society took years to truly understand the dangers associated with drinking and driving.

Today, even more fatal accidents caused by distractions while driving have emerged. People are driving while high on several different kinds of legal and illegal drugs. Forty percent of all American teens say they have been in a car when the driver used a cell phone in a way that put people in danger, according to a Pew survey.

People have different opinions about which distracted driver is most dangerous. As attorneys practicing Personal Injury Law and Specially Auto Accidents, we believe we had the right answer, but the statistics were startling.

The statistics below have been measured by the likelihood that a particular behavior while driving will result in a car crash.

1) Drunk Driving

A drunk driver: Up to three hundred and eighty times more likely to get into an accident

A driver’s intoxication level is measured by the driver’s blood alcohol concentration aka BAC:

  • A drunk driver who has BAC of 0.15 or higher is three hundred and eighty times more likely to get into an accident compared to a normal sober driver.
  • A drunk driver who has BAC of 0.10 – 0.14 is forty-eight times more likely to get into an accident compared to a normal sober driver.
  • A drunk driver who has BAC of 0.05 to 0.09 is eleven times more likely to get into an accident compared to a normal sober driver.

2) Texting while driving –

Texting behind the wheel can cause six times the amount of accidents than driving drunk according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

So, is texting while driving more dangerous than drunk driving? The statistics show that it is a yes. Driving while texting is six times more dangerous than driving while intoxicated in the U.S.

Source: www.distracteddriveraccidents.com

3) Drowsy driving – Nearly five times as likely to crash

A sleepy driver who only slept for less than five hours the night before driving is almost five times more susceptible to be involved in a car accident than a driver who slept for eight or more hours the previous night. Precisely put:

“Compared to sleeping 8 or more hours a night,” sleeping for “Less than 5 hours [was associated with] a 4.5 times higher risk …”

4) Driving “High” (Under the Influence of Marijuana) – Twice As Likely To Crash

According to NHTSA study, Marijuana can impair a driver’s mental faculties for around three hours, with side effects on the vigilance, reaction time and coordination faculties that are most imperative while driving.

“Cannabis users who drive while intoxicated approximately double their risk of a car crash.”

 The legal implications of dangerous driving

Drinking and driving has been dangerously accepted socially, but when will driving while texting be recognized as a fatal issue?

Attorneys today, use cell phone and texting records to litigate vehicular accidents. Any evidence, if found guilty of texting, when the accident took place could be used in the lawsuit and rightfully so.

Likewise, evidence of driving high or impaired driving can also be used in litigations for retributive damages, especially in cases of accidents caused by commercial vehicles, like trucks where companies do not keep a check over drivers.

But the most imperative question in this regard is, how will the growing trend of legal marijuana and medicinal marijuana consumption impact regulations where the driver causing the crash had been under the effects of marijuana?

Today, most states have revised their rulings to replicate the present social intolerance toward drinking and driving. A very big trial decree, for instance, on a person drunk driving cannot be discharged by personal insolvency in most of the states. It is intriguing to see how those laws might need further revision as marijuana legalization continues to grow throughout our country.

Although States have variable laws and penalties to reprimand texting and driving, but it is evident that public approach to texting and driving is now changing and has started to echo the real perils of this conduct.

The legal repercussions of these latest forms of driving under the influence and while texting, however, sheds light on a very fundamental concern of how the laws might keep changing their morphs based on advancement in technology and public’s take on such rulings.  We hope however that the evolution of laws will never lag behind the knowledge in science.

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Kim Cullen
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Central Florida Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Attorney
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