Are Drunken Drivers Really Less Accident Prone Than Any Other Distracted Driver?

According to the CDC each day in the United States, more than 1,153 people are injured in crashes that involve a distracted driver, 31% of U.S. drivers’ ages 18-64 reported that they had read or sent text messages while driving at least once, and a published study conducted by two University of Utah psychologists have found that motorists that are distracted by cell phone use while behind the wheel are just as impaired as drunken drivers.

Frank Drews, an assistant professor of psychology and Psychology Professor David Strayer found that 80 percent of all fatal alcohol-related accidents occur between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. when drunken drivers tend to be fatigued. Average blood-alcohol levels in those accidents are twice 0.08 percent.

One statistical analysis showed cell phone users were 5.36 times more likely to get in an accident than undistracted drivers. Other studies have shown the risk is about the same as drivers with a 0.08 blood-alcohol level.

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2015-10-20T14:08:00+00:00