Driving under the Influence vs. Using a Cellphone: Which is More Dangerous?

We’ve all been guilty of answering the phone while we’re driving – or even of making a call or two ourselves. When you’re on a long drive or you’re stuck in traffic, talking to a friend can help you pass the time and make the situation more bearable.

Hopefully, we all know not to text and drive, and we definitely know not to drink and drive. But what you may not realize is that driving under the influence can be just as dangerous as texting or talking on a cellphone. Both can lead to serious accidents, causing you to have to search for DUI defense lawyers or personal injury lawyers near Phoenix.

Cell Phone Usage

You may feel like you can’t remember a time when you didn’t own a cellphone. We are all so used to having phones with us wherever we go and using them whenever we want. But the reality is that cellphones are relatively new, and we’re still figuring out how they impact our lives.

Several studies have now been conducted to determine what impact cellphone use has on driving, and the news isn’t good. One study showed that the participants who talked on a cell phone while driving were 9 percent slower to brake, were 19 percent slower in accelerating after braking, and were more likely to get into an accident. The same study found that these people also drove more slowly when talking on the phone and had about 24 percent more variation in their following distance.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has reported that more than 500,000 people are injured in accidents caused by distracted drivers, and more than 5,000 people are killed. Cellphone usage is included in distracted driving, as are other behaviors.

Texting has also proven to be deadly when done behind the wheel. One study showed that people who text and drive are 23 times more likely to get into a crash than other drivers, and the NHTSA said that texting while driving is six times more dangerous than drinking and driving.

Driving under the Influence

You know that drinking and driving is bad, but you may not realize how similar the effects of using a cellphone with driving and driving while under the influence are. The same study on cell phone use referenced above also looked at the effects of drinking and driving. It found that drivers drove only slightly more slowly than those who were driving while talking on the cellphone, and they had similar reaction times, rate of acceleration after braking, and accident rates. The drunk drivers did drive more aggressively and brake with more force.

Essentially, alcohol makes it harder for you to respond, and it impairs your ability to react appropriately. You’re either going to do too much or not enough. When you’re behind the wheel of a car, that’s a recipe for disaster. You need to be able to respond appropriately so that you do not hit any other vehicles or property and so that you don’t cause other people to hit you.

Making Good Choices

The bottom line is this: Both using a cellphone while driving and driving under the influence are dangerous, and you should avoid them both. Doing either will increase your risk of an accident, which can lead to serious injuries and serious legal trouble. You can receive a fine and citation for doing either, depending on where you live. If you are convicted of a DUI, the consequences can follow you for years. Always consult with a DUI lawyer around Arizona to fight the charges and do what you can to avoid conviction.

My AZ Lawyers can help if you’ve been charged with a DUI in Arizona. Our DUI attorneys represent clients in Phoenix, Mesa, Glendale, Tucson, and the surrounding areas. We explore every legal option for clearing you of the charges or minimizing their impact. Our goal is to help you start over quickly so that you don’t have to keep paying for your mistake long into your future. Call us today to talk with one of our DUI attorneys and to learn more about your legal rights and options.

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