Running late because of traffic? Not sure what exit to take? It’s probably best to wait until you’re off the road to text someone about your predicament – texting while driving increases your chances of crashing by 20 times, according to a Tuesday study.
The data is based on several studies conducted by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI), which concluded that text messaging is “associated with the highest risk of all cell phone related tasks.”
Drivers take their eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds when composing text messages. That might not seem like a long time, but cars going 55 miles per hour can travel the length of a football field in 4.6 seconds, and presumably hit many a pedestrian, vehicle, or highway divider in the process.
“There is an alarming amount of misinformation and confusion regarding cell phone and texting use while behind the wheel of a vehicle,” Dr. Tom Dingus, VTTI director, said in a statement.
That misinformation, Dingus said, includes the notion that having a phone conversation is as distracting as dialing a phone or typing out a text message, or that using your cell phone in the car is akin to driving drunk.
“Talking and listening is not nearly as risky as driving while drunk at the legal limit of alcohol,” the report said. “Recent comparisons made in the literature greatly exaggerate the cell phone risk relative to the very serious effects of alcohol use, which increases the risk of a fatal crash approximately seven times that of sober driving.”
Read the full article here Texting While Driving Increases Crash Risk by 20X – News and Analysis by PC Magazine.