Each year, millions of people are injured and killed in car accidents that occur for various reasons, some including an impaired, distracted, or drowsy driver. It can be difficult, just by examining statistics alone, to prove which type of driver is more dangerous. In any car accident, that results in injury or a fatality, the driver at fault was most likely experiencing something that interfered with his or her driving. Unfortunately, a majority of accidents could have been avoided if the driver had made different decisions before getting behind the wheel of the vehicle or while operating the car.
The Impaired Driver
An impaired driver is someone who decides to drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This particular type of driver is not a bad person, as this person could be anyone. A parent, a grandparent, a teenager, a political leader, a medical professional, a peaceful individual. Often times, an impaired driver is not thinking clearly, not thinking that they are too impaired to drive. In other cases, they have driven many times without incident. Impaired drivers are “lucky” to make it home alive, safely, and without hurting another person. Sometimes they lose their license due to a DUI, sometimes they spend years behind bars for killing people.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that every day, almost 30 people in the U.S. die in crashes involving an alcohol-impaired driver. Bottom line, impaired driving is dangerous and can be prevented if people abstain from drinking and driving.
The Distracted Driver
Years ago, it seems that the distracted driver didn’t exist. Jump ahead to the wide usage of the cell phone and another kind of dangerous driver was born. A distracted driver is anyone who engages in other activities while driving. These activities can range from texting, talking on a cellphone, and even talking to a passenger in the car.
Despite efforts to crackdown on distracted drivers across the country, thousands of distracted drivers are surprisingly driving under the radar. Just like an impaired driver, a distracted driver can lose his or her license, pay a hefty fine, and be put behind bars if the offense has caused injury or death. While distracted driving is not necessarily more dangerous than driving while under the influence of alcohol, it is certainly comparable.
The Drowsy Driver
Drowsy drivers are everywhere. Each year, millions of drivers admit to falling asleep at the wheel. Hundreds of thousands of accidents occur because of a drowsy driver, but unlike tests implemented to determine impaired driving accidents (such as BAC and Breathalyzers), it’s almost impossible to prove drowsy driving as a cause.
Studies have indicated that lack of sleep has the same impairing effects as drinking alcohol, but in general, drowsy driving accidents are difficult to pinpoint. Drivers who have been involved in a drowsy driving related accident are at risk of losing their license. The best way to prevent a drowsy driving accident is making sure you get enough sleep.
Change the Way You Drive, Become Less of a Danger
Driving while impaired, distracted, or drowsy are all equally as dangerous. Each dangerous type of driver is responsible for thousands of tragic accidents every year. If every driver committed to abstaining from driving impaired, distracted, or sleep deprived, there would be significantly fewer dangerous drivers on the road.