33% of automotive accidents are caused by Drunk Drivers, what many people fail to realize is that 80% are caused by distracted drivers. Distracted driving, such as talking on the phone, texting, changing radio stations or spilling coffee contributed to a considerable amount of cases I deal with as a Seattle personal injury lawyer.
Car and Driver published a study this month indicating that text messaging while driving is even less safe than driving under the influence. The two men serving as test subjects were monitored while they drove text messaging versus after consuming alcohol. They were safely positioned on a straight airport runway.
The test measured reaction times and extra distance traveled for: reading text messages, sending text messages and driving under the influence at speeds of 35 mph as well as 70 mph. To simulate a break light- a light was mounted to the windshield which was under the control of the cars passenger.
The study indicates that reading and sending text messages reduces a person’s reaction time significantly- making it even lower than that of an inebriated individual. While intoxicated the test subjects took an average of 4 additional feet to stop the car this increased to 25.5 feet when soberly reading a text message.
The National Safety Council recently released a study indicating that text messaging alone is the cause of 28% of auto accidents. Still most individuals consider texting behind the wheel acceptable. In order to change these odds and increase traffic safety we must change the way society views this dangerous behavior. Drunk driving accounts for 33% of auto accidents because it is not looked upon well by society- through awareness we can make texting and driving as distasteful.