Thursday, July 30, 2009

Texting is the riskiest distraction for drivers

The first study of driver’s texting shows that the risk sharply exceeds previous estimates based on laboratory research and far surpasses the dangers of other distractions. The new study, which entailed outfitting the cabs of long-haul tracks with video cameras over 18 months, found that when the drivers texted, their collision risk was 23 times greater than when not texting. The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, which compiled the research, also measured the time drivers took their eyes from the road to send or receive texts. In the moments before a crash, drivers typically spent nearly five seconds looking at their devices enough time at typical highway speeds to cover more than the length of a football field.

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