Posts Tagged ‘Driving’

The Shocking Numbers Behind Texting While Driving

AccidentBy now, most drivers in the United States have probably heard of the dangers of texting, reading email, or otherwise using a cell phone while driving. However, they may not know just how risky these behaviors really are. The body of official research on the dangers of texting while driving is still relatively small, but it is growing quickly, with institutions like the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute providing valuable quantitative data in the field. What they uncovered was that texting while driving is more dangerous even than previously thought, and in some ways is even more risky than driving while intoxicated. Read on to learn some of the statistics associated with using a cell phone while driving.

AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety Research 
The AAA Foundation found that 87 percent of people consider texting and emailing while driving a very dangerous practice, compared to the 90 percent who considering drinking and driving a very risky practice. However, about half of drivers age 16-24 and twenty percent of drivers age 35-44 engage in the practice anyway. 

Car and Driver Magazine Research 
Research conducted by Car and Driver magazine was the first to determine that texting while driving causes nearly as many accidents as drinking and driving. This study compared the reaction times of drivers who were unimpaired, impaired by alcohol, reading a text message, and responding to a text message when they received a signal to stop. Remarkably, drivers who were legally drunk required only about four extra feet to stop, compared to drivers who were reading and texting and required an additional 36 and 70 feet respectively.  

Virginia Tech Research 
Research conducted by Virginia Tech analyzed drivers of both long-haul trucks and smaller vehicles over a combined 6 million miles. This study used cameras placed inside the cabs of the vehicle and focused on the driver to analyze reaction time in a variety of real-world circumstances. The study found that 81 percent of accidents and near-accidents involved the driver being distracted in some way, and texting or otherwise using a cell phone provided the greatest relative risk for distraction. 

Naturalistic Research 
Naturalistic research conducted in the late 2000s also involved analyzing the real habits of drivers. It found that looking away from the road is the most common cause of crashes, while talking on a hands-free headset provides a much smaller risk than previously though. 

These studies go to show that texting while driving is one of the most serious risks drivers face on the road. With all these data showing the dangers, it is more important than ever before to put away the cell phone while behind the wheel of a car. The following infographic from AA Accident Attorneys does a great job illustrating these dangerous statistics.