Distracted Driving worse than Drunk Driving
Is it worth even comparing these 2 insidious problems? They both tear a trail of destruction through the American dream.
Drinking and Driving, Texting and Driving. By now, everyone not living in a hole knows the dangers of drunk driving. We have been socialized for decades to understand that, “Friends don’t let friends drive drunk”. We understand instinctually now that getting behind the wheel after a night on the town is dangerous, illegal, and can land you in jail. But now, a new film from director Werner Herzog makes the case that texting and driving is even worse.
It’s hard to argue with him. He presents a documentary of disaster that four families have endured, and shows us the horrible residual damage that endures for the survivors, the perpetrators, and the victims. One driver has to live every day of the rest of his life knowing that his urge to send a text killed two men. Another driver sent an “I love you” text just as plowed into 3 people – all 3 died.
And here’s the amazing part: while I can count on one hand the number of friends I know who have driven drunk, I can barely think of a single friend who doesn’t text while driving. We just don’t look at it the same way, or bestow it with the same gravity as if, say, we saw a friend open a can of beer behind the wheel. Yet it’s the same thing. And it’s time to put an end to this.
Health Street takes pride when we respond to accidents and providing breath alcohol tests and drug tests on the scene, because we feel like we can help prevent accidents. But we have been frustrated by our inability to help in the larger fight against inexcusable highway destruction due to distracted driving. Until now.
We have just kicked off a strategic initiative that ties our work to help stop drunk driving to our new plans to work to help stop texting and driving. It’s still in the planning phase, but I will keep updating the blog with our progress. Let’s stop comparing the 2 problems to see which one is worse – they both kill, and they both have to stop. If you want to get involved, let us know.