Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is no doubt very dangerous. Having spent a large part of my professional career defending individuals accused of DUI I have seen many lives destroyed by the decisions that some chose to make. I’m here to tell you that over the last few years texting and driving has become more dangerous then DUI. Yes you heard me correctly, texting and driving is more dangerous then DUI. Distracting driving has been an issue for years with people eating, putting on makeup, listening to music or even passengers in the vehicle. There is no doubt that texting and driving takes distracted driving to a another level.
In todays society it seems that everyone has a cell phone and is always on it no matter where, including while driving. Texting and driving has become far to common and it happens everyday. I will admit that I too am unfortunately guilty of this. How many times have you received a text or email while driving and decided to just respond rather then wait. Do you really know how long your eyes are taken off the road in order to respond to or read a text? How are you able to see what is going on around you if your eyes are not focussed on the roadway?
According to the The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), texting and driving is 6x more dangerous then drinking and driving. On average, texting while driving takes a driver’s eyes off the roadway for an average of 5 seconds and thus increases the chance of an accident by almost 25%. These numbers are staggering and those 5 seconds can change your life in the blink of an eye.
In 2009 Car and Driver Magazine actually performed an experiment to see which was in fact more dangerous drinking and driving or texting and driving. http://www.caranddriver.com/features/texting-while-driving-how-dangerous-is-it The results of this test were not even close. During this experiment a test car was rigged with a red light on the dash to alert drivers when to break. Car and Driver wanted to test how long it would take a person to break when sober, legally impaired with a blood alcohol level of a .08% (legal limit in Pennsylvania) and when sending/reading a text message. A sober driver took an average of .54 seconds to break. Four feet needed to be added for a legally drunk person (BAC of .08%). Simply reading an email would add an additional 36 feet but when a person was sending a text an additional 70 feet was required before the driver could come to a complete stop. This is just outright scary and unacceptable.
There are 46 states that have bans on texting and driving but millions of people still do this everyday. Some states are even trying hold a person liable if you knowingly send someone a text that is driving and they are involved in an accident caused by looking at or responding to your message. While this is very hard to prove states are trying to do whatever they can to crack down on texting and driving. In fact, just a few months ago in Pennsylvania a Judge ruled that two individuals who were texting with a driver who killed someone as a result of texting could also be held accountable.
In no way am I making an argument that driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol is acceptable because it clearly is not. I’m simply saying that when put side by side, texting and driving and the amount of people who do this on a daily basis is very scary. Some will make the argument that when a person is driving under the influence of alcohol at least their eyes for the most part are fixated on the road. That cannot be said with texting and driving. The laws of texting and driving are still evolving but something has to be done especially with smartphones becoming more popular amongst all generations. Smartphones give us the ability to do anything we want right at our fingertips from email, texting, social media and even browsing the internet. The bottom line is whether its a text, email or even a tweet, it can wait!!!!!
Hiring the right attorney can make all the difference in the world. If you find yourself arrested for a DUI, make sure you have a capable attorney on your side. DUI attorney Zachary B. Cooper will be aggressive and fight to make sure that your rights are protected so that you and your family can move on with your lives. Call (215) 542-0800 for a free consultation.