Distracted Driving: Is It Worse than Drunk Driving?

Now that everyone is attached at the hip to their cell phones, we’ve been hearing a lot about how dangerous it is to text while driving. But the reality is that texting alone is not the problem. You can be distracted just looking at a text message or just talking on the phone, even if you are talking on a hands-free head set. Even hearing your phone ring can distract you while you’re driving. Eating and talking to friends while driving can also make you distracted.

While many people may think that drinking and driving is the worst driving offense you can make, driving while distracted can be just as bad. Both can result in devastating consequences, and both can leave you needing to call an attorney around Arizona.
Drunk Driving

How Distracted Driving Affects You

Distracted driving can affect you in many ways, including:

  • Cognitive Impairment – You can’t concentrate on driving if your mind is on your texts or your conversation.
  • Visual Impairment – If you’re looking at your phone or your sandwich, you aren’t looking at the road.
  • Physical Impairment – Texting requires you to take your hands off the wheel, even if you do it one-handed.
  • You may not think this is worse than being drunk, which makes it hard for you to focus, to see clearly, or to respond quickly no matter what you do. At least you can put down your phone and get back all your faculties. But most people don’t realize just how dangerous distracted driving can be, so they keep on with these behaviors too long and put everyone around them at risk.

    Consequences of Distracted Driving

    You can easily get into an accident if you are driving while distracted, whether that’s from texting, calling, eating, or something else. Distracted driving can result in everything from a small fender bender to a major accident involving multiple cars and fatalities.

    Drinking and driving can result in the same consequences, though the circumstances often differ. For example, studies find that most accidents involving drunk drivers happen between the hours of 12 a.m. and 3 a.m., and most happen on a weekend. In contract, most accidents involving distracted drivers happen during the weekdays and happen between the hours of 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. More men are found to be at fault in drunken driving accidents, while more women are found to text and drive. Those involved in distracted driving accidents are also usually much younger than those involved in drunken driving accidents.

    Legal Consequences of Distracted Driving

    If you are in an accident because you were texting and driving, don’t expect a judge to take it easy on you. No one is going to care that you “are usually so good at texting and driving” or that “everyone else does it.” You can face serious consequences for both distracted driving and for driving under the influence. Depending on the circumstances, consequences may include:

  • Fines and penalties
  • Loss of driving privileges
  • Increased insurance rates
  • Criminal charges
  • Jail time
  • Community service
  • Probation
  • If you are in an accident because of your drinking or your distracted driving, your consequences will be worse. If someone is injured or kill, you can expect even stiffer penalties. If you have previous charges, you can also expect to have more serious consequences.

    The personal and legal consequences to drinking and driving and to distracted driving are too severe to ever do either. You already know that you shouldn’t drink and drive, but you should make a vow to stop talking or texting on your phone while you’re driving also. You need to put your full attention on the road, as well as both eyes and hands to the job of driving the car. Your safety and the safety of everyone around you depends on it.

    If you are charged after an accident, the attorneys at My AZ Lawyers may be able to help you. Our DUI defense lawyers and criminal traffic lawyers will explore every legal option to help you avoid conviction, including getting the charges dropped or reduce. Even with reduced charges, the consequences will be lessened and you will able to move on more quickly after the accident. We represent clients in Mesa, Glenda, Tucson, and the Phoenix area. Contact us today to talk with one of our DUI defense attorneys or another attorney.

    My AZ Lawyers

    Mesa Location:
    1731 West Baseline Rd., Suite #100
    Mesa, AZ 85202
    Office: (480) 448-9800

    Glendale Location:
    20325 N 51st Avenue Suite #134, Building 5
    Glendale, AZ 85308
    Office: (602) 509-0955

    Tucson Location:
    2 East Congress St., Suite #900-6A
    Tucson, AZ 85701
    Office: (520) 441-1450

    Avondale Location:
    12725 W. Indian School Rd., Ste E, #101
    Avondale, AZ 85392

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