You may have heard people compare distracted driving to drunk driving, saying that these drivers face similar challenges and cause accidents for similar reasons. You may have even heard people discuss whether it’s worse to share the road with a distracted driver or a drunk driver in terms of the danger they cause.
But what about a driver that is both distracted and drunk? Say someone goes out with their friends and has too much to drink. On the way home, they get a text from a friend who stayed at the bar. They try to read it while driving. Now they’re intoxicated, they’re not looking at the road, they have only one hand on the wheel and they are a massive accident risk.
One interesting component is that even someone who is not over the legal limit of 0.08% could become far more dangerous if they’re also distracted. Someone who just has a beer or two with dinner, for instance, may have a BAC of 0.05%. They can legally drive, but that alcohol still impacts their ability to think and react clearly.
Now imagine that person with a phone in their hand, trying to read a text message without drifting over the centerline. The odds that they will cause an accident are very high. Even the slightest “buzz” from the alcohol can now be very risky. When it comes to a driver’s ability to focus, every potential thing that interferes with that focus adds up.
Unfortunately, you have to share the road with drunk and distracted drivers without knowing it. If one of them causes an accident, you may need to seek compensation for your medical bills and related costs.