How to Legally Classify Texting While Driving
Accidents that are a result of someone texting while driving have the same outcomes as those that are a result of someone driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Why, then, do defendants not receive the same legal repercussions? This article examines the potential consequences of texting while driving and how the American law treats it.
Firstly, it is important to know how many people drive distracted. These numbers should serve as a wake-up call for the public as well as food for thought in terms of the judiciary system.
Eight percent of Americans admit to driving under the influence of alcohol and three percent under the influence of drugs according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Although these percentages seem small, they amount to a large number of people: 28.7 million and 9.9 million, respectively. This, in comparison to the staggering 34% of Americans (about 100 million people) who admit they have texted while driving, begs the question, “Why is texting while driving treated so much more leniently than drunk or drugged driving?”
The Effects of Influence
Car crashes become much more likely as people drive distracted, whether that be under the influence of drugs or alcohol or staring at their phone screens. Drivers who are under the influence of alcohol are seven times more likely to die in a car crash and drugged drivers are twice as likely to be involved in a fatal crash, as compared to sober drivers.
Texting at the wheel, in comparison, makes someone 23 times more likely to crash his or her car. This high number is due to the fact that taking eyes off the road to read or respond to a text slows brake reaction times by 18%. See the texting and driving safety website for more in-depth statistics.
Perhaps the biggest discrepancy between drunk or drugged driving and driving while texting comes in the form of legal repercussions. Drunk and drugged driving cost the individual approximately $10,000 in total. Texting while driving, on the other hand, results in a ticket worth somewhere around $500. Any further charges that are pressed are separate from the driving while texting charge.
Help is Available
If you find yourself in need of professional mental health help, there are many resources available for you. Help is available to everyone for a variety of problems. If you or someone you know are suffering from addiction or have been the victim of a car accident, do not hesitate to reach out for help. As an example, Better Help is a company that offers pain online counseling and therapy. It strives to provide mental health help for those who want to avoid the stigma associated with seeking help for illnesses that cannot be readily observed. This company is also professional, affordable, and convenient. Find out more at their website.