Texting while driving and drunk driving are both extremely dangerous activities that can lead to accidents, injuries, and fatalities. Comparing the two can be challenging because they pose different types of risks, and the degree of impairment can vary greatly in both situations.
Texting while Driving: When you text while driving, you’re engaging in a form of distracted driving. You’re not looking at the road (visual distraction), your mind isn’t fully on navigating the vehicle (cognitive distraction), and at least one hand is not on the wheel (manual distraction). According to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed. Furthermore, according to various studies, texting while driving can increase the risk of a crash or near-crash by up to two times.
Drunk Driving: Alcohol impairs your ability to drive by slowing reaction time, impairing motor control, distorting perception of speed and distance, reducing concentration, and affecting judgment. The higher the blood alcohol concentration (BAC), the more impaired you are. According to NHTSA, almost 30 people in the United States die in drunk-driving crashes every day—that’s one person every 50 minutes.
While each of these activities is highly risky and can greatly increase the chance of accidents, it’s important to remember that they represent different types of risk and can be influenced by various factors such as the driver’s experience, the driving conditions, and the presence of other distractions or impairments. Both activities are illegal in many jurisdictions and should be avoided to ensure the safety of everyone on the road. It is always best to pull over to a safe location to text or to designate a sober driver if alcohol has been consumed.