In a recent blog post, we referred to a “double standard” that regularly plays out in manifest fashion on Colorado and national roadways.
And that is this: Many people tend to assume without much thought that drivers who have consumed some amount of alcohol before getting behind the wheel are materially more dangerous than are motorists who engage in deeply distracted behaviors like texting while moving through traffic.
We noted in our April 8 post entry that, “Obviously, both drunk and distracted drivers can yield adverse consequences, but many more drivers engage in dangerously distracting behaviors that don’t involve drinking that is the reverse case.”
Most of us intuitively — and from roadway experiences — know that to be true, right? For every impaired driver on the road, how many more motorists are there who routinely have one hand on the wheel and the other on their smartphone? How often is it a commonplace to see a driver stopped before a green light with head down and attention fully focused on texting?
A so-called “social experiment” recently carried out by a national safe-driving advocacy group prominently underscores the above-cited double standard that is operative across the country.
Video provides the evidence. In one instance, real passengers in a cab watched as their driver — an actor — casually consumed what they believed to be alcohol (it wasn’t). They insisted he pull over and stop the vehicle.
However, and as noted in a media report on the experiment, when passengers observed their driver texting, “they were indifferent.”
And there’s the double standard. As expressed in the media account, “More people are injured from distracted driving than drunk driving, yet we only seem to express outrage about the latter.”