Today, in the first study of drivers texting inside their vehicles shows that when the drivers texted, their collision risk was 23 times greater than when not texting. In the moments before a crash or near 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 -- according to Virginia Tech.
The conductors of the study say that while the study only looked at tracktor trucks, which take longer to stop than cars, the results should be similar for all drivers. Truckers, they say, do not text more than average drivers.
Fourteen states now ban texting while driving, the other 36 do not.
Last December, US cell phone users sent 110 billion messages.
In a study over the last 18 months conducted by University of Utah, college students using a driving simulator showed an eight times greater crash risk when texting than when not texting.
That study also found that drivers took their eyes off the road for around five seconds when texting.
A new poll shows that many drivers know the risks of texting while driving -- and do it anyway. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety plans on Tuesday to publish polling data that show that 87 percent of people consider drivers texting or e-mailing to pose a "very serious" safety threat (roughly equal to the 90 percent who consider drunken drivers a threat).
Of the 2,501 drivers surveyed this spring, 95 percent said that texting was unacceptable behavior. Yet 21 percent of drivers said they had recently texted or e-mailed while driving.
About half of drivers 16 to 24 said they had texted while driving, compared to 22 percent of drivers 35 to 44.
Labels: vehicles cars trucks