Is Texting While Driving Worse Than DUI?

In 2011, statistics showed that nearly a quarter of all car crashes involved someone using a cell phone. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, texting was six times more likely than driving drunk to cause an accident, yet the same statics showed that 77 percent of teen drivers claim it’s easy to text and drive.

If you look at the statistics for drunk driving, it’s not much better. In fact, in that same year, DUIs accounted for 31 percent of all vehicle deaths in the US. All 50 states ban drinking and driving, while only 39 states and the District of Columbia ban texting while driving.

Tests done in the UK found that texting people’s reaction times went down 35 percent, while drunk drivers only went down 12 percent. Similar tests done by Car and Driver magazine showed that a texting person’s reaction time increased tripled from the time they needed to react after getting drunk with a time of .57 sec versus 1.44 seconds.

All of these tests and statistic do indeed show that texting while driving is definitely worse than DUI, yet many states don’t enforce it as hard or with as many fines, as they do in the case of a DUI.