Distracted drivers are as dangerous as drunk drivers

For years, we have known that drunk drivers present one of the biggest threats on the road. But now that texting is prevalent throughout society, drunk driving now has a rival. Some studies suggest that texting while driving is actually just as dangerous as driving while impaired.

You may already know that drivers who text behind the wheel and drivers who are intoxicated display similar driving behaviors. To find out how texting while driving compares with drunk driving, read further.

How are texting while driving and drunk driving similar?

When you consider how it affects a person's ability to drive safely, texting while driving is like getting behind the wheel after drinking four beers. In general, texting and being drunk can cause a driver to be distracted, follow too closely, use the brakes erratically and fail in other ways to operate a vehicle safely. Furthermore, studies have shown that people who text and drive are 23 percent more likely to crash.

Drunk driving has declined, but the frequency of accidents hasn't.

Several years ago, studies suggested that the rate of drunk driving had declined across the country. Unfortunately, this did not cause an overall decrease in accidents because texting while driving was on the rise. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that texting while driving contributes to 25 percent of all accidents each year.

Victims of distracted driving accidents have legal options.

Texting while driving is prohibited by law in Louisiana, but you may not have to look far to see someone breaking the law. If you suffer injuries due to a distracted driver's negligence, you may be entitled to significantly more compensation than what the insurance company initially offers you. Before accepting that initial offer, talk to a personal injury attorney about your options.

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