Texting Is More Dangerous Than Driving Drunk
By RICHARD S. CHANG – New York TImes
There have been studies that compare text messaging on cellphones and other hand-held devices to driving drunk. And several states have already banned texting while driving. But according to Car and Driver, no one has done a real-world test — until now. From Car and Driver:
First, we tested both drivers’ reaction times at 35 m.p.h. and 70 m.p.h. to get baseline readings. Then we repeated the driving procedure while they read a text message aloud. This was followed by a trial with the drivers typing the same message they had just received.
Our test subjects then got out of the vehicle and concentrated on getting slightly intoxicated. They wanted something that would work quickly: screwdrivers (vodka and orange juice). Between the two of them, they knocked back all but three ounces of a fifth of Smirnoff. Soon they were laughing at all our jokes, asking for cigarettes, and telling us about some previous time they got drunk that was totally awesome. We had them blow into a Lifeloc FC10 breath-alcohol analyzer until they reached the legal driving limit of 0.08 percent blood-alcohol content. We then put them behind the wheel and ran the light-and-brake test without any texting distraction.
Car and Driver performed each test five times, dropping the slowest time. The magazine found that reaction time was much worse for both drivers when they were texting while driving than when they were under the influence of alcohol.
My law office has handled many vehicle crash cases when a texting driver crashed into our client’s truck or car.
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