There’s no question that there is a public disdain for drunk drivers. In fact, based on my experience, the villainization of drunk driving far surpasses that of other acts which make driving dangerous such as texting and driving, driving while tired or even speeding. I can only assume that this is because people believe that drunk driving is more dangerous than other indiscretions while driving.
But are other acts actually less dangerous than drunk driving?
Studies have recently shown that texting and driving are comparable in danger to that of drunk driving. And a new study released this week suggests that speeding too is as dangerous as drunk driving.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) conducted 10 year-long study which concluded that just about as many people die from speeding as they do from drunk drivers.
The study which was conducted from 2005 to 2014 found that speeding resulted in 112,580 deaths whereas 112,948 deaths resulted for alcohol-related crashes during the same period. This is but a mere 0.32 percent difference.
A report on the study stated that the higher speeds increased risk of death because the chance of an accident increased as well when a vehicle speeds.
“You can’t tackle our rising epidemic of roadway deaths without tackling speeding, and you can’t tackle speeding without the most current research,” acting NTSB director Robert Sumwalt said in the release.
According to the study, drivers reported that they understood that speeding is a threat to safety, but minimized its danger by “acknowledging it is a common driving behavior in the United States.”
Thus, notwithstanding the comparable statistics of drunk driving and speeding, people continue to disproportionately demonize drunk drivers while condoning other actions which are just as dangerous as drunk driving.