Why are texting drivers tolerated but drunk drivers are derided?

 

It would be safe to say that drunk drivers are looked upon with derision, and that the act of driving while intoxicated brings out quite a bit of outrage from most people. This is understandable in some ways, given that the act of driving under the influence inherently reduces the individual’s chances of reacting to events on the road, let alone the individual’s ability to generally drive safely.

Now, let’s think about texting while driving. It’s an equally dangerous act on the road to drinking and driving. In fact, there is some evidence that shows it is more dangerous than drinking and driving. However, texting while driving, though not ignored, does not elicit the same outrage and anger that drinking and driving does.

What’s worse is that most people are aware that texting while driving is very dangerous — and yet they still do it. A recent survey found that though 98 percent of people are aware of the dangers presented by texting while behind the wheel of a car, three-quarters of them still texted at some point while driving. Something isn’t being lost in translation, so much as it is that people are ignoring the dangers of which they are aware.

We write this for two reasons. First, it is obvious that something with more reach and scope needs to be done to address the issue of texting while driving. The other reason is that even though drunk drivers receive a lot of scorn, texting drivers are just as deserving of this scorn. It may sound harsh, but scorn may actually be useful in curbing texting drivers.


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