October 7, 2011

SO TREAT IT LIKE DWI:

Study: Texting while driving doubles reaction times (Consumer Reports, Oct 6, 2011)

There are plenty of results from lab tests of drivers in car simulators that highlight the dangers of texting while driving. But researchers at Texas A&M University's Transportation Institute put rubber to the road to show exactly how risky is distracted driving.

Forty-two drivers, from 16- to 54-years old, were placed behind the wheel of a car and drove around a closed track of just about 11 miles in length. The researchers monitored how long it took drivers to react to a flashing light while driving normally and while attempting to text and read a message on a mobile phone.

The researchers say the average, normal reaction times were about a second or two. But put a cell phone in the driver's hand and reaction times jump to three or four seconds. What's more, texting drivers in TTI's small study were 11 times more likely to miss the flashing warning lights completely. Researchers also note the distracted drivers had much more difficulty staying in the straight driving lane as well as maintaining consistent speeds.

Posted by at October 7, 2011 6:43 AM
  

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