Texting while Driving Increases North Carolina Car Crash Risk by Six Times

January 5, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

Researchers are now saying that drivers who text have a six times more likely chance of being involved in a car crash than motorists who are just focused on driving. They also say that texting while driving is more dangerous than talking on a cell phone while operating a motor vehicle.

The researchers, a group of psychologists at the University of Utah, studied young adults while they were in a virtual driving simulator. All of the participants were seasoned texters. The researchers discovered that when a “driver” was texting, the motorist exhibited a decrease in reaction time when the distance between the his/or her auto and the vehicle ahead narrowed.

Researchers report that when a driver was taking on a cell phone, the motorist’s attention was divided between two tasks. This allowed the driver to navigate between two activities and adjust processing priorities based on what was needed in the moment.

Meantime, texting required the driver to take attention completely off driving and onto text messaging, lowering braking and reaction times. Reading texts also proved more distracting than composing text messages.

According to the simulator test results, compared to when a motorist was driving without distraction, driver reaction time went up 30% while texting and 9% when talking on a cell phone. More about the study and its findings can be found in Human Factors.

Texting while driving is becoming a common killer of motorists and pedestrians. There is no longer any doubt that it is a distracted driving habit that is a careless and reckless practice and one that can be grounds for a North Carolina car accident lawsuit.

Unfortunately, despite a ban in North Carolina prohibiting texting while driving, there are drivers who continue to send and receive messages.

Texting While Driving Raises Crash Risk Sixfold, Business Week, December 21, 2009

Why texting while driving is so dangerous, University of Utah, December 21, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Distraction.gov

Drowsy and Distracted Driving, NHTSA

 
 

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