Is Texting and Driving More Dangerous Than Drunk Driving?

is texting and driving more dangerous than drunk driving

The prevalence of cell phones in public is a societal reality that we have become accustomed too. Cell phones are not confined to a single generation or group as over 96% of people in America own cell phones. While our phones are now just an extension of ourselves, they have created new problems for those on the road that we had not seen before.

As phone technology has improved exponentially in the last 20 years, so has the correlation between cell phone usage and car accidents. By now, it is common knowledge that driving while using your cell phone is dangerous, against the motor vehicle code, and can result in a ticket or car accident. California just is one of many states to adopt distracted driving laws.

Some states have even taken it a step further and begun prohibiting many forms of  distracted traveling. In fact, Hawaii even passed a distracted pedestrian law to limit the frequency of accidents caused by distraction.  

Research now shows that texting while driving is actually more dangerous than driving drunk. This may be shocking as drinking and driving is far less socially acceptable than texting, but the fact remains: texting while driving carries a higher risk of causing a serious or fatal car crash than drinking and driving. 

Dangers of Texting While Driving

In the last several years, researchers have been exploring and studying the dangers of texting and driving. While taking your eyes off the road in any fashion is dangerous, can it really be that much more dangerous than being drunk driving? Yes! The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (‘NHTSA’) concluded that texting and driving is actually 6x more dangerous than drinking and driving. 

Additionally, the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis found that texting causes over 2,600 deaths and 330,000 injuries per year. Moreover, taking into account the full definition of distracted driving, NHTSA reported that 3,166 people were killed in 2017 in vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers. 

Sadly, texting and driving has replaced driving while intoxicated as the number one cause of accidents and deaths of teenage drivers. A driver who is texting is 23x more likely to be involved in an auto collision than someone who isn’t texting. 

Simply put, texting and driving puts you, your family, and those around you at extreme risk of an accident, injury or death. It can be very easy to pick up your phone to send or reply to a text message, however by doing so, you are more dangerous than the drunk drivers on the road.

How can you help prevent distracted driving?

The best messengers that teenagers have to get them to stop texting and driving are their peers. While parents can lead by example, friends encouraging each other not to drive while distracted can be one of the best preventive techniques. By also following this advice themselves, teens can not only keep themselves and their friends safer, but everyone on the road. 

For more resources on how to reduce texting and driving accidents, teenagers can look into their local Students Against Destructive Decisions chapter. They can also make sure to remind their friends, family, and neighbors about the dangers of distracted driving and encourage drivers to stop being distracted drivers.

While peers are a great resource, parents must lead by example. As we grow older, most of us find ourselves in moments where we think “wow, I am turning into my parents.” Since teens will typically mimic what their parents do, either consciously or subconsciously, parents must start the process by not engaging in distracted driving themselves. Additionally, parents should discuss with their young driver the responsibilities and dangers that come with driving—not only to protect themselves, but others on the road as well. 

Educators and employers can also play a role in helping to prevent distracted driving. Asking students to commit to distraction-free driving, setting school policies against the use of phones in the parking lot, or setting a company policy against texting and driving while on company property is a good way to encourage your colleges to stop texting and driving. 

Hurt in a Texting Car Accident? Find a San Diego Car Accident Attorney Near You

Texting and driving can cause serious harm as this form of distracted driving is one of the main causes of rear-end collisions. While the worst form, any type of distraction while driving makes the road more dangerous for everyone. Unfortunately, many drivers don’t realize the dangers of distracted driving until it’s too late. 

If you were involved in a texting car accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. A car accident attorney may be able to help you by conducting an investigation to determine who was at fault in the accident and possibly if the other driver was texting when they caused the accident

Many people wonder if they actually need an attorney, but there is nothing wrong with getting a free consultation to figure out your options. We are here to help.

We offer free and friendly advice for you to see if hiring a lawyer is the right decision. Please feel free to give us a call today at (858) 812-2096, fill out our form online, or email us at to discuss your case.   

Photo by Hassan OUAJBIR.