Whenever we hear of fatal road accidents in the news, it often involves an intoxicated driver. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 10,142 people died in drunk-driving accidents in 2019.
However, there’s another preventable cause of fatalities besides driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that about eight Americans lose their lives daily in crashes involving a distracted driver.
It’s a severe problem, with over 400,000 people hurt in situations where the motorists weren’t focused on the road. Instances of driving while distracted are common. Almost three out of four Canadians admit to the dangerous practice.
Although there are laws to punish those who are negligent in handling their vehicle, victims have the right to seek financial compensation for their loss. Filing a claim isn’t as simple as it seems.
Claimants should get legal representation to ensure they receive the representation and attention they deserve, as the diamondlaw.ca website advises. Lawyers will evaluate all aspects of the case to decide on the optimal approach to getting indemnity. You don’t risk losing what’s due to you as you are provided with professional assistance.
First, here’s a closer look at the distinction between drunk and distracted driving.
Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
An individual is guilty of driving under the influence when they operate a vehicle after consuming narcotics or alcohol. These substances can lead to poor judgment, slow reaction, or other physical and mental states.
The offense doesn’t only apply to driving cars and trucks. You can be charged with DUI if you’re operating a motorboat, motorcycle, and even lawnmowers.
The consequences of violating the DUI law can be harsh and severe. The extent of punishment depends on the driver’s age, blood alcohol level, and their criminal record. Where you commit the crime is also a factor in determining the sentence because the breathalyzer reading varies depending on the location.
Upon conviction, you could face any of the following punishments:
- The authorities may revoke or suspend your driver’s license.
- Pay a fine.
- Your insurance rates will go up.
- Mandatory rehab programs.
You’re guilty of distracted driving if you’re busy with another activity that takes your attention away from the road. A lapse in your focus can cause a crash.
Examples of distracted driving include talking on your mobile phone, texting, and eating while behind the wheel. You can also lose your concentration when changing the radio station or programming your GPS. Some women are guilty of putting on their makeup while operating their automobiles.
The CDC lists three primary distraction types:
- Visual: This happens when you take your eyes off the road.
- Manual: You don’t keep your hands on the steering wheel.
- Cognitive: Your mind strays from driving.
The penalties for distracted driving vary from one state to another in America and Canada. If found guilty, drivers may face fines and have their license suspended. In some jurisdictions, they may incur demerit points.
Both drunk and distracted driving are preventable behaviors that can save lives. As a driver, you owe it to the other motorists to exercise control over your vehicle.