Drunk driving has been a concern on the road for many, many years. And it’s difficult to dispute the fact that drinking impairs our ability to drive. But as smartphones become more and more popular, a new risk has started to arise – texting and driving. And though many people will still debate, it’s really quite difficult to dispute the fact that texting impairs our ability to drive too. This is why distracted driving fines are being increased regularly. But this leads us to the question, which is worse: texting while driving vs. drunk driving?
By the end of this article, you will not only know your distracted/drunk driving facts, but you’ll also have a better insight into to the legal differences between drunk driving and distracted driving. So take a look below!
Texting while driving vs. drunk driving – What the Statistics Say
Okay, so before we jump into the legal difference between the two, why don’t we start with some facts. This will help us to answer our question, “is texting and driving as bad as drunk driving?”
Texting while driving – the statistics:
• At any given time of day, it’s estimated that over 660, 000 drivers are using their phone behind the wheel.
• Texting while driving causes over 1.6 million vehicle accidents each year.
• 390, 000 people get injured each year due to texting and driving accidents.
• Every time you answer a text message, you are distracted for approximately 5 seconds. That’s enough time to drive the length of a football field!
• Teenage drivers are four times more likely than adults to become injured in a texting related accident.
• In 2015, distracted driving killed over 3,477 people. It caused another 391, 000 injuries.
Drinking while driving – the statistics:
• It’s estimated that there are over 300, 000 drunk drivers on the road each day. Only 2800 of them get arrested.
• 28 people die every day (in the US alone) because of drunk drivers. That’s one death every 51 minutes. That’s almost 10, 000 deaths per year.
• A person gets injured in a drunk driving accident every two minutes.
• An average drunk driver has driven under the influence over 80 times before first arrest.
So now we can answer our original question. Which is worse – texting while driving vs. drunk driving? To date, drunk driving still kills more people every year than texting and driving. It also causes worse injuries, which means that it causes more damages, too. But there is still no disputing the fact that texting and driving is a deadly game. And 1.6 million distracted driving accidents is no laughing matter – it is serious. And we need to start paying attention. DO NOT text and drive! What will happen if you do? Now let’s take a look at the legal differences between drinking and texting while driving.
Texting while driving vs. drinking and drinking – What the law has to say (in Colorado)
Texting while driving – the law:
Did you know that texting and driving fines in Colorado have recently increased? In 2017 a new bill passed that increased the fine for distracted driving from $50 to $300. The number of points on a driver’s licence was also increased from one to four. Once you reach a certain number of points (based on age), you can have your licence revoked. If someone dies in a texting related accident, the perpetrator can be charged with vehicular homicide or manslaughter. This will result in jail time.
Drinking while driving – the law:
Texting while driving vs. drunk driving – what are the laws for drunk driving?
In Colorado, the legal BAC limit for drivers over 21 years of age is 0.08 percent. For those under 21, the legal limit is 0.02 percent. If you’re caught drinking while driving, the DMV has a legal right to suspend your licence. In addition, you can receive a fine and gain points on your licence. For a first time DUI offender, licences can be revoked for 9 months. In addition, a minimum fine of $600 to $1000 is charged. Depending on the situation, you could also receive up to 1 year of jail time, or up to 96 hours of community service. DUI laws may vary based on age, but one thing always remains the same – there is a zero tolerance policy.
Like texting while driving, if you kill someone in a drunk driving accident, you can be criminally charged. Jail time is a likelihood. Even if you are found innocent, you’ll still likely face the cost of a high settlement– so here’s hoping you have good insurance!
What Should I Do?
What should you do if you have obtained an injury in a DUI or texting accident? Call a Personal Injury Attorney. If you have been injured in a preventable accident, or if someone you love has lost their life over a DUI/texting related accident, you have the right to fight back. A personal injury attorney can help you to gather evidence and build your case. In return, you can get the compensation you deserve.
So which is worse – texting while driving vs. drunk driving? The truth is, they are both dangerous. Choosing one is like picking the worse of two evils. Way too many people get injured and killed each year over accidents that could have been prevented. And we need to start taking note. Please don’t drink and drive. And if you need to text, pull over to the side of the road. Don’t put yourself or others in danger. And if you have been injured in a distracted driving or DUI related accident, call 719 Pain today. We can put you in touch with a Personal Injury Attorney that can help you fight for your right to compensation, and a physician to help with your injuries.