Barb and I were watching ABC World News Monday night, July 27, when Charles Gibson said, “There’s a new study out today that shows that texting while driving is by far the most dangerous driving distraction.” We were surprised. We knew texting while driving was bad. We didn’t know it was this bad.
The 18-month study was conducted with long-haul truckers, but researchers said the high risk associated with texting applies to all drivers. Researchers found that while texting, drivers are 23-times more likely to crash.
NBC Nightly News added that “14 states and the District of Columbia now ban texting while driving. But it could be tough to enforce.”
Other “studies have shown that reaction time and steering ability were worse while texting than while the drivers were actually drunk. But a new survey of drivers by AAA reveals while almost all of them see texting as just as frightening on the roads as drunk driving, more than one-fifth still do it anyway.”
In a front-page story, the New York Times explains that the study, performed by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, followed drivers in “the cabs of long-haul trucks with video cameras over 18 months.”
The study is currently “undergoing peer review and has been submitted for publication in the Journal for Human Factors.”
It “also found that drivers took their eyes off the road for around five seconds when texting.” At sixty miles an hour that’s nearly a football field of driving without looking. I’d call that dangerous for sure.
The New York Times also describes the study’s methodology in a text bar.
The AP and Bloomberg News also have nice stories on the study.