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Stay Focused: The Three Types of Driving Distractions You Need to Know

Drunk driving is an alarming issue. It ranks as one of the most dangerous actions one can undertake on the road. The risk of causing harm to oneself or others escalates significantly when driving under the influence, as the probability of an accident increases sharply.

Statistics reveal that in 2016, 28% of all traffic-related fatalities in the U.S. were due to drunk driving. This highlights the extreme risks associated with drunk driving, a concern shared by the vast majority of Americans, with 94% acknowledging it as a serious safety issue.

However, drunk driving is not the only perilous behavior on the road. There are several other actions that can be equally, if not more, hazardous.

Driving While Texting

Texting while driving, simply put, is one of the most dangerous things you can do while behind the wheel.

In fact, research says texting while driving is at least twice as dangerous as drunk driving. One study from the University of Connecticut said that using a phone to text can be four to six times as distracting as being under the influence of alcohol at lower levels of intoxication. So much of your brain is occupied when you’re texting that there’s little room for processing the thousands of signals and stimuli coming from what’s in front of and all around you.

Driving While Drowsy

Texting while driving is bad, but so is falling asleep behind the wheel.

Research has shown that driving while drowsy can be just as debilitating as drunk driving. In fact, there are a lot of similarities between driving while intoxicated and driving while sleepy, such as slower reflexes, increased response times, and lower awareness of what’s going on around you.

It’s so dangerous that one out of every six deaths from car accidents come from drowsy driving. In fact, studies have shown that driving after being awake for extended periods of time can be several times more dangerous than driving after having two drinks.

If you’re sleepy, don’t get behind the wheel.

Driving While Using Hands-Free Technology

Virtually every new car, truck, or SUV produced today has the ability to let you talk on your phone without using your hands. This development was applauded by safety advocates as being a less dangerous way to use your phone - but it’s still very dangerous.

It goes back to your brain’s ability to focus and process. Studies have shown that using a hands-free device is still as distracting as texting or driving drunk. To that point, one study from the University of Utah found that when compared to hands-free drivers, drivers with a 0.08 BAC level actually drove better than people using hands-free technology and talking on the phone.

Moral of the Story: Don’t Drive Impaired

Driving while impaired - whether it’s because you’re intoxicated or you’re distracted - results in tens of thousands of injuries and fatalities each year. Your brain simply can’t do everything at once. It has to prioritize, and if you inhibit its ability to do its job, then bad things will result

So, don’t drink and then drive. Don’t drive while intoxicated at any level. Don’t text while driving. Don’t step behind the wheel of a car when you’re sleepy or drowsy. And don’t use your phone at all while driving if you can help it - even if it’s hands-free.

If we all did these things, the roads would be much safer for all of us.

At Wettermark Keith, we provide legal consultation and service to those who have been seriously injured at the hands of another, especially while on the road. If you have been a victim of a motor vehicle accident, contact our personal injury lawyers for a free consultation.

Frequently Asked Questions

exting while driving significantly reduces your attention on the road. Research suggests it can be at least twice as risky as driving under the influence of alcohol, with some studies indicating it could be up to six times more distracting.

Driving while fatigued can impair your abilities similarly to drunk driving. It slows your reflexes, increases response times, and diminishes your awareness, significantly raising the risk of accidents.

Despite being a step forward in driving technology, hands-free devices still pose significant risks. They can be as distracting as texting or drunk driving, as they still divert your attention from the road.

To minimize distractions, use your cell phone only for emergencies, avoid eating or multitasking while driving, limit in-car activities and the number of passengers, and always take breaks if you feel drowsy.

Ready to work together? Contact us today for a free consultation.


If you or a loved one have been injured and think you might have a case, call us now for a free consultation.