Texting while driving can be as bad as driving while impaired

On Behalf of | Oct 7, 2022 | Auto Accidents

To be clear, impaired driving is extremely dangerous. But, that is universally accepted. What is not so universally accepted is the dangers of texting and driving.

How dangerous can it really be?

If you are driving at 55 mph, you travel the length of a football field every five seconds. If you are looking at your phone during that time instead of at the road, that means you have ignored a huge number of risks, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Indeed, some studies say that texting and driving reduces your reaction time so much that it is the same as drinking four beers in an hour, which for most, is enough to become drunk.

Part of the reason for this is the hangover effect. The hangover effect refers to the recovery time it takes for you to refocus on driving after checking your phone. The hangover effect is up to 27 seconds, according to AAA. And, in case you think being at a red light or stop sign makes a difference, it does not.

Is it really that common?

According to the NHTSA, texting while driving is one of the leading causes of motor vehicle accidents in the United States. According to a AAA survey, about 40% of respondents admitted to texting and driving within the prior month. This was after nearly 100% of respondents said that they believed texting and driving was serious or profoundly serious threat to their own safety. The disconnect is real, and most are guilty of it.

What happens if a distracted driver hits me?

At this point, most states and cities have laws against distracted driving, including texting and driving. This can affect you in a car accident because it may mean that you can skip the negligence stage of a personal injury lawsuit. If someone is texting and driving, and a car accident occurs, a judge may find that driver is de facto negligent. Indeed, in some states and cities, that is the law. And, you may be able to get punitive damages as well.