Texting is the most dangerous driving distraction

According to a study from the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, truckers who text while driving are 23 times more likely to crash or near crash than undistracted drivers.

Based on research between 2004 and 2007, the study compared driving practices for car and truck drivers.  It appears that when dialing, truck drivers are 5.9 times more likely to crash, compared to 2.8 times for car drivers.

The researchers found that the average driver spends 5 seconds looking at its cell phone, which is the equivalent of “traveling the length of a football field at 55 mph without looking at the roadway”

Researchers also recommend that cell phone should be banned for teen drivers.  As teens are more likely to engage in text messaging than adults, the study showed that “teens are four times more likely to get into a related crash or near crash event than their adult counterparts”.

The VTTI found that “true hands‐free phone use, such as voice activated systems, are less risky if they are designed well enough so the driver does not have to take their eyes off the road often or for long periods.”

In the end, there is only one way to develop safe driving: it is to keep your eyes on the road.

Source: Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, New Data from VTTI Provides Insight into Cell Phone Use and Driving Distraction, July 27 2009; CBS Atlanta, July 28 2009

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