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Study claims drunk driving is safer than distracted driving

If you see a drunk driver, you may be tempted to call the police. If you see someone texting and driving, while you may roll your eyes in frustration, you're probably not going to do much. You know it's dangerous, but it does not appear as immediately hazardous as letting an intoxicated people get behind the wheel.

The truth, though, is that it can be even more dangerous. One study found that the decrease in reaction time for someone who was drunk driving was about 12 percent. That's not good, and it can lead to a car accident, but the decline for someone who was driving while distracted was about 35 percent. It's far worse to text and drive, according to these statistics, than it is to drink and drive.

On top of that, the researchers looked at the odds that different drivers would brake abruptly, drift out of their driving lanes or significantly alter their speeds for no reason. In all of those categories, it was more likely that distracted drivers would do so than it was for drunk drivers.

Of course, this is not to excuse drunk driving. It's still incredibly dangerous and illegal. But people tend not to take distracted driving nearly as seriously, which is why it keeps happening. Hopefully, studies like these can help to expose the real risk and get people to change their behaviors in the car.

If you do get hit by a distracted driver, make sure you know if you can seek financial compensation for your medical bills, lost wages and any other direct costs.

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