Distracted driving is exactly what it sounds like – driving while you are distracted and not paying your full attention to the process of driving. Distracted driving is common all over Michigan including on the major highways, back roads in every county and on local streets. ‘Distracted’ can come in many forms, including eating, using a cell phone, listening to your favorite jam on the radio, putting on make-up, chatting to friends, and yelling at misbehaving kids in the backseat.
In essence, anything that takes your full attention away from the road and surrounding drivers. Now that we’ve established what it is, the question remains: is it more deadly than drunk driving? You also have to wonder, who really cares which is more deadly? Dead is dead whether it’s caused by drunk driving or distracted driving.
Drunk drivers get a lot of bad press, especially in Michigan. Yes, of course they deserve the bad press. Anybody that chooses to endanger the lives of others should have lots of bad press. There are campaigns aimed at raising awareness, groups and organizations dedicated to reducing instances of intoxicated driving, and even increased police presence on the roads during holiday seasons in anticipation of increased DUIs.
What you don’t see is ongoing campaigns aimed at reducing the number of people who eat behind the wheel, or organizations like MADD advocating for bans on cell use by drivers. So why is that? Is it because distracted drivers are far less of a hazard than drunk drivers?
The answer to that is a growing ‘no’! For decades drunk driving has justifiably been at the forefront of legal debate. A huge amount of time and effort and resources have been spent raising awareness and combating the dangers of drunk driving. But now it seems that distracted driving, which is a fast growing issue here in the US, may be even more of an issue than operating while intoxicated.
Distracted driving is the cause of thousands of deaths annually.
According to the National Highway & Transportation Administration (NHTSA) distracted driving claims thousands of lives every year. For example, in 2014, 3,179 people were killed, and 431,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers. Not small or insignificant figures at all. Although they do point out that the majority of these crashes were the result of texting and driving.
In truth, there is a slow movement towards addressing the issue of distracted driving in a more proactive manner. But like so many aspects of government, the wheels are slow to turn and so efforts often do not keep up with the problem that needs addressing. Michigan State Police did introduce a public awareness campaign some time ago entitled “Get you head out of your app!” The campaign aimed to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving, specifically as it related to cell phone use, and remind motorists to keep their focus on the road.
The reason behind this ponderous swing towards making distracted driving a priority, is because the fight against drunk driving seems to be paying off, while the issue of distracted driving has only just begun. Statistics show that instances of drunk driving have declined over the last decade, while instances of distracted driving are on the rise, and getting worse with every passing year.
At The Kronzek Firm we understand that drunk driving is still a major issue, and that there are still thousands of people who make mistakes and need help handling the aftermath. So whether drunk driving or distracted driving are more or less of an issue, we know that either way, people are going to need our help. If you or a loved one are accused of drunk, or drugged driving, we are here for you. The skilled attorneys at The Kronzek Firm have spent decades successfully defending the people of Michigan who are accused of driving under the influence. Call us anytime at 866-766-5245. We are here to help you too!