Chatting on your phone while you’re driving, or texting while driving, is known to be dangerous and the cause of many fatal and serious car accidents. Now, a new research study out of Great Britain is revealing that using your phone while you’re driving a car is more dangerous than driving drunk.
The research study was done by the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL), and the British government is reportedly relying upon this new study as support for increasing its legal punishments for people who are involved in car crashes while texting or talking on their phones.
Driving drunk less dangerous than driving while talking on your cell phone?
Considering how serious DWI (driving while intoxicated) and DUI (driving under the influence) charges can be here in the United States, punishable by both time behind bars as well as fines in criminal proceedings and serious personal injury and wrongful death civil lawsuits against the drunk driver, it is amazing to think that distracted driving caused by using a phone could ultimately be found even more serious than drunk driving — and with criminal and civil results that are as serious as DWI / DUI cases, if not more harsh in consequences.
However, if the British research findings from its independent research group and respected, and confirmed, here in the United States, then both Great Britain and the United States may be viewing phone use by drivers of cars, trucks, SUVs, minivans, and other vehicles on the road just as dangerous and potentially deadly as anyone who gets behind the wheel of a car with a blood alcohol content (BAC) in excess of the legal limit.
Scary Distracted Driving Statistics
- An estimated 421,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver, this was a nine percent increase from the estimated 387,000 people injured in 2011.
- Ten percent (10%) of all drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted.
- Drivers in their 20s make up 27 percent of the distracted drivers in fatal crashes.
- At any given daylight moment across America, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving.
- Five seconds is the average time your eyes are off the road while texting. When traveling at 55mph, that’s enough time to cover the length of a football field blindfolded.
- Headset cell phone use is not substantially safer than hand-held use.
- A quarter of teens respond to a text message once or more every time they drive.
- 20 percent of teens and 10 percent of parents admit that they have extended, multi-message text conversations while driving.
Accidents and Crashes Involving a Driver Using a Phone
For those in Indiana and Illinois who are victims of a serious car crash where a driver was using their phone at the time of the accident, there are a great many experts ready to testify on behalf of accident victims about the seriousness of distracted driving and how using a phone while driving is often the cause of serious injury accidents and wrongful death fatalities in crashes.
However, this new report goes even further as it helps to explain in terms that all of us can understand — including juries — that driving while using a phone is a very serious and dangerous thing to do.
We now know that using a phone while driving is more dangerous than driving drunk. This is a serious threat to all of us out on the American roads today.
Will the state laws change in the future to have distracted driving laws mimic those of current drunk driving laws? We’ll see.