Researchers Call for Ban of Texting While Driving
Researchers at Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) found that texting while driving is 23.2 times more dangerous than not using a cell phone. Because of this staggering find, they have recommended banning texting while driving.
VTII conducted naturalistic driving studies where they observed and recorded drivers in their vehicles using cameras and other instruments. This way they could get a "clear picture of driver distraction and cell phone use under real‐world driving conditions."
"Given recent catastrophic crash events and disturbing trends, there is an alarming amount of misinformation and confusion regarding cell phone and texting use while behind the wheel of a vehicle," said Dr. Tom Dingus, director of the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute. "The findings from our research at VTTI can help begin to clear up these misconceptions as it is based on real‐world driving data. We conduct transportation safety research in an effort to equip the public with information that can save lives."
The study basically came down to this point: taking your eyes off the road leads to accidents. When sending a text message eyes are off the road for much longer than other tasks such as answering a cell phone or use of electronic devices (i.e., iPod).
Keeping your eyes on the road may seem like Driving 101, and any kind of driving distraction is potentially dangerous, but texting seems to be the worst of them all. Texting while driving is banned in 14 states and the District of Columbia, currently. With more studies like this, that number is likely to increase.
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For more information on cell phone driving laws check out the InsWeb Learning Center.