Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Texting Drivers 23 Times More Likely to Crash

A new study shows that texting while driving is an incredibly dangerous driving distraction, perhaps the worst. The 18-month study, which was conducted with long-haul truckers (though the high risk applies to all drivers), found that drivers "are 23-times more likely to crash" while texting.

In a front-page story, the New York Times explains that the study followed drivers in "the cabs of long-haul trucks with video cameras over 18 months." The study is currently "undergoing peer review and has been submitted for publication in the Journal for Human Factors." Among the findings were "that drivers took their eyes off the road for around five seconds when texting."

The AP compared the 23 times greater risk of collision while texting to a six-fold increase while "dialing a cell phone or reaching for an electronic device." Researchers "recommended that texting should be banned for all drivers, and all cell phone use should be prohibited for newly licensed teen drivers. Only 14 states ban texting while driving.

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