3 Reasons Why Distracted Driving Is As Dangerous as Drunk Driving

August 31, 2015

An experienced Portland auto accident lawyer discusses some of the main reasons why distracted driving is considered to be as dangerous as drunk driving among safety experts.

An experienced Portland auto accident lawyer discusses some of the main reasons why distracted driving is considered to be as dangerous as drunk driving among safety experts.

While drunk driving has long been a threat to public safety on the roads, distracted driving is becoming just as prominent of an issue – especially in light of the growing use of cellphones and other mobile devices by motorists.

In fact, according to federal transportation regulators at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):

  • Distracted driving contributes to about 23 percent of all motor vehicle accidents that occur in the U.S. each year.
  • While distracted driving is a problem among motorists of all age groups, it’s particularly problematic for new teen drivers.
  • Annually, more than 3,150 people are killed by distracted drivers while about 421,000 others are hurt by these motorists.

To reveal just why distracted driving is so dangerous – and why many contend that it’s at least as dangerous as drunk driving, below, we’ll point out some of the specific ways that this behavior impairs motorists’ abilities.

Impacts of Distracted Driving on Motorists

  1. Distracted driving impairs motorists’ perception – Clearly, when drivers are distracted by anything that diverts their attention from the road, their perception of their driving environment will be impaired. What people may not realize, however, is that being distracted can also prevent them from seeing things in their driving environments even if they are looking at the road. This is the result of a phenomenon known as inattention blindness, and it can prevent motorists from seeing up to half of everything in their surroundings.Ultimately, this can mean that distracted drivers, like drunk drivers, may end up not seeing important cues, such as other vehicles brake lights, traffic signs, etc., significantly increasing the risk of collisions.
  2. It also affects their judgment and coordination – As with drunk drivers, distracted drivers tend to exhibit impaired judgment and coordination, as their abilities to make safe judgments regarding their driving environments (as well as their abilities to appropriately respond via coordinated movements) will be impaired when multitasking between driving and even just one other task.
  3. Distracted drivers have slower reaction times than drunk drivers – This fact about distracted drivers may underscore that, in some cases, these drivers may be more dangerous than drunk drivers. In fact, as researchers in Utah have discovered, distracted drivers can have “significantly” slower reaction times than impaired drivers. Again, this increases the risk of auto collisions, especially in heavier traffic or when traveling conditions are more complicated.

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Contact a Portland Auto Accident Lawyer at the Savage Law Firm

If you have been hurt in a distracted driving accident – or in any type of collision caused by a negligent driver, you can rely on a Portland auto accident lawyer at the Savage Law Firm for experienced help and aggressive legal advocacy. Since 1977, our lawyers have been devoted to providing each of our clients with personal attention, respect and the highest quality legal services.

To learn more about our legal services and what we can do for you, call us at 503-222-0200. You can also email us using the form on this page. We represent clients in communities in both Oregon and Washington from our offices in Portland and Seattle.

Categories: Distracted Driving