Since the beginning of automotive transportation over a century ago, drunk driving has been considered one of the worst public hazards causing pain, injuries and death. However, recent innovations including smart phone technology with texting and messaging capabilities has shown law enforcement officers, other drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians that other serious hazards exist. So exactly which is more dangerous in Rhode island and Massachusetts – texting while driving or drunk driving?
Sadly, motor vehicle accidents across the united States and in RI and MA kill thousands of individuals each year. Federal and state legislators are often baffled on implementing effective laws to ensure the safety of others is protected by reducing risky driving behavior. Serious laws with heavy fines and jail time for drunk driving have been firmly in place in every state in the union for decades. While most states ban texting while driving, it is still permissible under the law in a few states including Arizona, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Montana and Texas.
Distracted Driving in Rhode Island and Massachusetts (Mass.)
Many studies including those conducted by the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) show that distracted driving, including texting and talking on smart phones is just as dangerous, if not more, as drunk driving. Even though most responsible motorists in RI and MA would never consider operating a vehicle after consuming a drink or two, many adults and teenagers admit they text while driving.
Statistics maintain by the National Safety Council (NSC) indicate that more than 100,000 vehicle accidents involving texting while driving occur every year. In a survey conducted by AT&T Wireless, three out of every four teenagers claim that “texting while driving” occurs all too commonly with them and their friends. On average, more than 3000 individuals lose their lives every year as a result of distracted driving, including while texting and speaking on their cell phones.
Drunk Driving in Rhode Island and Massachusetts
The numbers of individuals who lose their lives in drunk driving accidents every year is three times greater than those who die from texting while driving. Statistics maintained by the NHTSA show that over 10,000 individuals are killed and another 290,000 suffer serious injuries every year in alcohol-related vehicle accidents. This number is too high. However, it has decreased significantly every year in the last few decades as compared to the increasing numbers of deaths occurring from texting-related vehicle accidents.
Driving impaired on alcohol alters the driver’s judgment and perceptions. The alcohol decreases reaction time which can be fatal when operating a vehicle under the influence. The majority of deaths associated with drunk driving involve impaired motorists with a BAC (blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher.
Increasing Public Awareness in Boston and Providence RI
We all recognize that mobile technology makes life easier. We can use our smart phones to send emails, play games, talk to friends, hail cabs and a myriad of other things. However much the technology has simplified our lives, the electronic device makes it challenging to stay focused, aware and alert while operating a vehicle.
While there is a social stigma placed on those who drive drunk, texting while driving continues to be widely tolerated. In recent years, the numbers of fatalities caused by drunk driving has decreased significantly by over 28 percent. However, in that same time, accidents related to texting while driving or talking on a cell phone while driving has risen substantially to more than 650 percent.
Even though texting while driving and other distracted behaviors continue to rise in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, public awareness of the problem is slow to follow. While nearly all of us would never consider getting behind the wheel when imbibing too much alcohol, many of us take a carefree approach to neglecting existing “no texting” laws. The facts and figures are clear. Talking on cell phones and texting while driving has just as great a potential of causing an accident with injuries or death as driving drunk. However, legislators are slow to change the discrepancies of penalties against those who choose to continually perform the bad behavior texting while operating a vehicle.
If you were injured in an accident in RI and MA then contact a Rhode island or Massachusetts personal injury lawyer / attorney.
Legal Notice per Rules of Professional Responsibility: The Rhode Island Supreme Court licenses all lawyers and attorneys in the general practice of law, but does not license or certify any lawyer / attorney as an expert or specialist in any field of practice. While this firm maintains joint responsibility, most cases of this type are referred to other attorneys for principle responsibility.