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Distracted driving vs. drunk driving

We recently talked about self-driving cars and the ethical dilemma surrounding their programming. There is an element to self-driving cars that relates it to the issue of distracted driving. The dream is that cars will eventually be equipped with technology impressive enough to let us take our attention off the road and we still get to our destination safely and reliably.

Distracted drivers are everywhere nowadays. There are many of them that don't believe they are driving while distracted, or they think that they do it in a way that is somehow "safe." Maybe they only check their phones at a red light, or they are "just very careful" about how they do it. All of these are excuses, of course. If you are taking your eyes off the road to read or compose a text, then you inherently aren't focused on the road. But, to a certain extent, you could understand why someone thinks that way, or how they may not "intend" for distracted driving to cause an accident -- even though that doesn't excuse the behavior.

That isn't the case with drunk driving. Someone who is intoxicated and gets behind the wheel of a motor vehicle knows what they are doing. They are aware they are taking a risk, and putting innocent lives at risk too. It is unacceptable, and drunk driving accidents happen way too frequently and cause too much pain.

Victims of drunk driving accidents and their loved ones need to do everything they can to hold the drunk driver responsible and any other parties -- via dram shop liability -- whoa re tied to the accident.

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