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Texting while driving more dangerous than drunk driving

SAN DIEGO – Sending messages from a cell phone while driving a motor vehicle is dangerous than driving under the influence of alcohol. This statement was passed by the California Highway Patrol as the ratio of DUI convictions continues to increase all over the state.

If an individual drinks alcohol and then gets behind the wheel, then he/she is 3 to 4 times more likely to be involved in an accident as compared to sober drivers. If an individual drives while texting, he/she can be up to twenty three times more likely to be involved in an accident as compared to a driver who is paying full attention to the road and is focusing on driving.

On Wednesday, within seconds of setting up at the intersection of Mission Center Road and Camino De La Reina in Mission Valley, 10News found a driver who was texting away.

In California, the number of DUI convictions increased by 42 percent, according to the California Highway Patrol. There were 14,000 texting citations in California in 2011 and in 2012, there were 21,000. The number of individuals who were caught talking on mobiles without a hands-free device decreased from 460,000 to 425,000 all over the state.

“An average text message takes approximately 4.6 seconds to read and another 4.6 seconds to send out. In essence, your eyes could be off the road a total of 9.2 seconds,” said California Highway Patrol Officer Jake Sanchez.

“You’re not looking forward, you’re looking down and you just don’t have the vision of view and what’s happening in front of you. You can’t react to anything quickly if you’re looking down,” said San Diego resident Rick Foss.

Sanchez said, “That distraction itself … imagine how far you’ve traveled in that period with your eyes essentially off the road”.

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