Texting while driving proves far greater danger than drunk driving

Responsible drivers avoid risky behavior when navigating traffic, but the irresponsible ones make driving hazardous.

What could be worse than drunk driving? Researchers say the chance of a crash--for any reason--increased 23 times when the driver is texting.

Americans are dependent on their vehicles, but there's growing proof that many are not fully focused when driving. Just ask the folks at Bommarito Automotive Group.

“It doesn’t have to be texting; it can be talking on a phone. You see people going down the street distracted. It can be changing the radio station, messing with your navigation,” said Chuck Wallis, ivce president of Bommarito Automotive Group.

Wallis said seven out of 10 cars in the shop are there because of distracted driving. And these crashes result in costly repairs.

“Until you get it apart, you don’t know what’s wrong with it,” he said. “You might think it’s $1,500 and end up being $6,000 once they take it apart.”

Personal injury attorneys represent a growing number of accident victims.

“They have to first understand that they are not Superman. They don’t have a special power that allows them to do this and that at the same time. They are people playing Russian Roulette,” said Ed Herman, managing partner at the Brown and Crouppen Law Firm.

The National Highway traffic Safety Administration reports almost 3,500 Americans died in 2015 in motor vehicle crashes in which distracted drivers were involved. It’s hard to hide the cause if you end up in court for taking your eyes off the road.

“As a lawyer, when we see that in a case, all of a sudden we say, ‘There’s not going to be any sympathy for this defendant.’ Everybody’s going to look at this defendant and say, ‘You’re going to text and drive? Well, you’re going to pay the price,’” Herman said.