In the last few years, the debate between these two and who is the "winner" has definitely escalated. So, which is the bigger killer? In my opinion, it doesn't matter. They are both significantly contributing to traffic violence and preventable pain on our streets and should not be excusable behavior for drivers who use them.
That said, you can't deny the fact that in this technology based age, distracted driving is increasingly becoming a problem that needs serious addressing and change.
In 2017 alone, more than 3,000 people died in distracted driving crashes. Now I realize that this is no comparison to drunk driving crashes, which kill 10,000 people per year, but according to the statistics, unless behavior is changed, we will only see an increase in the deaths resulting from distracted driving.
The Washington Post is reporting that every day in the US about 9 people are killed in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted driving. 3,166 deaths were counted in 2017, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
More than that, 9% of crashes involved a distracted driver doing things other than texting, such as eating while driving, talking to passengers, fiddling with the radio, putting on make-up, adjusting fan and temp controls, etc ...
As with DUI deaths, none of this is probably a surprise to any of you who have driven anywhere in the Southern California area streets, but it should be something that makes you think twice. Look around in any direction and you'll see them, heads down, at least one hand off the wheel, looking down at the lap, steady-eyed and focused not on driving, but on constructing the perfect text.
The point is: put the phone down. Nothing is worth the lives you're risking, including your own. Let's change this epidemic by changing our behavior and setting an example. It all starts with us.
In the words of DeeDee Gonzalez, who was hit head on by a distracted driver, "I am more than a headline, a dot on a map or a data point. I am a body shattered by a horrific collision that could have been prevented."
You can read more about DeeDee's story here.
You can help prevent this from continuing. Don't contribute to or be a statistic.