Texting: Just As Dangerous As Alcohol Behind The Wheel?


Drunk and drugged drivers get a lot of criticism for being the most dangerous obstacles to safety on the roads today. Which, if we are going to be entirely honest, isn’t too far from the truth. But as it turns out, there are other drivers who may pose even more of a threat than the average intoxicated driver. And to make it even less believable, they are completely sober! Yes, right here in Michigan. Don’t think that’s possible? Check this out…


Current statistics show that anyone texting behind the wheel is 23% more likely to end up in a collision that someone who doesn’t text while driving. In fact, certain statistics actually make drunk driving appear less dangerous than texting while driving! In fact, a test conducted by Car and Driver that compared instances of drunk driving to instances of texting while driving found that drunk drivers actually have better reaction times that drivers who are texting a friend or reading their email. Scared? Good. You should be!


Texting and driving” was outlawed some time ago in Michigan, although there is no statewide law prohibiting the use of cell phones for making or receiving calls while driving. Michigan has allowed each municipality to create and enforce their own cell phone use laws. This means that the laws governing cell phone use by drivers changes from city to city, township to township and county by county. For example, in Detroit it’s illegal to use a cell phone for texting or calling while driving, while in Lansing it’s only illegal to text while driving – talking is still legal.


According to Michigan’s texting laws, drivers may not “read, manually type, or send a text message on a wireless 2-way communication device that is located in the person’s hand or in the person’s lap, including a wireless telephone used in cellular telephone service or personal communication service, while operating a motor vehicle that is moving on a highway or street in this state.”


Using a cell phone to call 911 while driving isn’t illegal!


Obviously, there are a few exceptions to this rule, however they are few and far between. The exceptions were designed specifically to allow people to deal with emergencies, like reporting a traffic accident or a crime in progress. Anyone calling 911 to report a traffic crash, a crime that is underway, or another emergency is exempt from criminal charges.


Don’t misunderstand. We are not saying that drunk driving isn’t a bad idea, or that drinking and driving isn’t as awful as some other options. Because it is. Drunk driving can be deadly and we  encourage all of our readers to avoid driving after drinking any amount of alcohol. The point that we are trying to make here is that most of us are guilty of doing something that makes us even more dangerous to ourselves and those around us than the average drunk driver. It is a sobering thought, if you’ll pardon the pun.


We all know how dangerous drunk driving can be. Getting arrested for a DUI will cost you plenty in time, money, inconvenience, embarrassment, reputation, and attorney fees.  However, with that in mind, we encourage you to also put your cell phones in your glove box, your purse, your briefcase, or even in your trunk if you think it’ll help with the temptation. Drinking before driving may be widely known as dangerous, but many people still don’t realize how dangerous cell phone use can be when combined with a moving vehicle. So please stay safe and make smart choices when you are on the roadways in Michigan – both with your alcohol consumption, and with your cell phone use.


However, if you make a mistake, whether it involves alcohol or your cell phone, please contact us immediately. The sooner you have an experienced attorney on your side protecting your rights and defending you, the sooner this issue can be dealt with and you can resume normal life. An attorney is always on call at the Kronzek Firm, standing by to take your call. Call us at 866-766-5245. Our drunk driving defense team has handled thousands of alcohol and drug related driving cases over the past quarter century. We are here to help you.


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