​Distracted Driving vs. Drunk Driving Statistics

Personal Injuries

At some point, you probably saw an ad campaign, billboard, or commercial about drunk driving. These shocking advertisements want to deter people from getting behind the wheel while intoxicated.

Over the years, warnings about the dangers of distracted driving have replaced many of these ads. Catching every instance of drunk or distracted driving is almost impossible. As driving distractions increase, primarily due to technology, distracted drivers may outnumber intoxicated drivers.

Even checking a quick text can put you at risk, as taking your attention off the road only briefly can lead to a serious auto accident. When a car accident injures you, the aftermath can leave you frightened, confused, in pain, and behind on bills.

Maybe you cannot work as you face expensive medical bills and emotional pain and suffering. Hiring an experienced car accident lawyer can help take the pressure off your shoulders, allowing you to focus on the most important thing – your health and wellbeing. Read further to discover what you should know about distracted vs. drunk driving.

What Is Distracted Driving?

drunk driving statisticDistracted driving is any activity that takes your attention off the road. Driving is an act that demands a motorist’s full attention. When a driver pulls their attention away from the road, it is considered a distraction and can lead to a severe or fatal accident.

When a motorist is distracted, it constitutes an act of negligence that may result in an auto accident. Avoiding any action that requires even a fraction of your attention when you get behind the wheel is paramount to ensuring the safety of yourself and others in your vehicle.

The most cited culprits of distracted driving include:

  • Using a smartphone, including texting
  • Eating and drinking
  • Fidgeting with the radio, AC or other dashboard controls
  • Your passengers, children or pets
  • Grooming or applying makeup

When a driver gets behind the wheel, their hands, eyes, and mind should remain focused on navigating the road for complete safety. Driver distractions fall into four categories: manual distractions, visual distractions, cognitive distractions, and auditory distractions, as follows:

  • Manual distractions include anything that requires you to take your hands off the wheel, like texting or changing the radio station.
  • Visual distractions include turning your head to talk to a passenger or tending to your child.
  • Cognitive distractions happen when the driver becomes preoccupied with their thoughts, lets their mind wander, or becomes preoccupied with strong emotions.
  • Auditory distractions occur when listening to music or having conversations among passengers cause the driver to take their attention off the road.

Because drivers have less awareness when distracted, it can reduce their ability to react to changes in the road or with other drivers and ultimately lead to an accident.

What is Drunk Driving?

Drunk driving is the illegal act of driving a vehicle after a person has consumed too much alcohol. The legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit in South Carolina is 0.08 percent.  Drivers under the age of 21 can be charged with driving under the influence (DUI) if they have a BAC of 0.02 percent.

Consuming ample amounts of alcohol can impair a motorist’s ability to drive, make it difficult for them to react to changing road conditions, and reduce their ability to concentrate or control their vehicle. Many accidents involving drunk or intoxicated drivers lead to serious injuries and substantial property damage.

Severe injuries sustained by car accident victims in collisions involving drunk drivers often include disfigurement, paralysis, brain damage, and in some cases, even death. The penalties for drunk driving are strict due to the extreme number of traffic accidents and fatalities caused by drunk driving.

A drunk driver who causes an accident that results in injuries may face license suspension/ revocation, vehicle impoundment, alcohol abuse evaluation, mandatory alcohol abuse treatment programs, or imprisonment in jail. Drunk driving in South Carolina is a felony. Penalties for drunk driving are typically much steeper than those for distracted driving; however, recent statistics prove that distracted driving is becoming just as dangerous as getting behind the wheel while under the influence.

Common Injuries After a Car Accident

When you’ve been involved in an auto accident where you sustained injuries, those injuries should be your first concern. Even if your injuries seem minor after a car accident, seek a medical evaluation from your healthcare provider.

Some of the most common injuries car accident victims suffer after a crash include:

  • Broken bones
  • Whiplash
  • Burns
  • Bruises, cuts and lacerations
  • Head, neck, or spinal injuries
  • Internal bleeding
  • Paralysis, nerve, or organ damage
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Scarring or disfigurement
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Wrongful death

If you or a loved one suffered an injury because of another person’s negligent driving, you may be entitled to seek compensation for any injuries, property damage, and other losses. Our lawyers can help estimate the value of your claim and fight to recover financial compensation for all economic and non-economic losses in your case.

Get in Touch With One of Our Car Accident Attorneys Today

Incidents of drunk or distracted driving happen almost daily. If you were involved in an accident with a negligent, drunk, or distracted driver, speak with an experienced car accident lawyer. Our lawyers at Hughey Law Firm are prepared to discuss your legal options and help you get the care and financial compensation you need to get your life back on track after an accident.

How much will my car accident settlement be worth?

Every case is unique, so no typical or average settlement applies to car accident cases. One of our experienced car accident lawyers can help determine how much your case is worth and fight for the compensation you need to recover.

Will I have to go to court for my car accident claim?

Most auto accident claims settle out of court through negotiation with an insurance company. However, when the insurance company refuses to pay the full value of your claim, our attorneys are prepared to argue your case in court.

The other driver’s insurance company is offering me a settlement; why shouldn’t I accept?

Once you accept a settlement from the at-fault driver’s insurance company, it is final. The insurance company will then not be responsible for any additional injuries, medical bills, or property damage bills. Be wary of a settlement offer that comes too soon; this is a common tactic that insurance companies use to pressure accident victims to accept less than what they need to cover the cost of their losses. An auto accident lawyer can help you determine the value of your claim and negotiate with the insurance company for full and fair compensation.

What types of damages can I collect after a car accident?

The unique factors of your case will determine the forms of compensation you may be eligible to recover after a car accident. Some examples of the damages you may recover after a car crash include financial compensation for medical expenses (past, present and future related to the incident), lost wages, loss of future earning potential, property damage, or emotional pain and suffering.

Why should I hire a lawyer after a car accident?

Insurance companies want to make a profit by paying accident victims less than they deserve. By hiring an auto accident lawyer, you will signal to the insurance company that you mean business.

Our attorneys at Hughey Law Firm handle every step of the claims process on your behalf. Maximize your chances of receiving full and fair compensation for your losses by hiring a seasoned car accident lawyer like ours who will fight for you and your rights.