Report Confirms Texting While Driving More Dangerous Than Drinking And Driving - InformationWeek

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6/26/2009
10:50 AM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
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Report Confirms Texting While Driving More Dangerous Than Drinking And Driving

The dangers of texting from behind the wheel have been documented all-too-well by recent accidents involving texters. Now, Car and Driver magazine has proven just how dangerous it is: Drunk drivers have better reaction times than those sending texts while driving.

The dangers of texting from behind the wheel have been documented all-too-well by recent accidents involving texters. Now, Car and Driver magazine has proven just how dangerous it is: Drunk drivers have better reaction times than those sending texts while driving.Kudos to the Car and Driver team for taking the time to run this battery of tests. They installed a red light inside a car which was to signal the driver when to hit the brakes. The two drivers (one in their early 20s, another in their late 30s) were given different devices to use, such as an iPhone and Samsung Alias, both of which have QWERTY keyboards.

They then ran the test with a these two people driving and paying attention to the road at 35 and 70 miles per hour. Time to break was an average of 0.54 seconds.

The metric they decided to use was how many additional feet were needed to bring the car to a complete halt.

When legally impaired with a blood alcohol level of 0.08, the drivers (young/old) added 11 and 4 feet to their total stopping distances, respectively, at 70MPH.

When reading an email, the drivers added 45 and 36 extra feet to their stopping distance.

When sending text messages, they added 9 and 70 feet to their total stopping distance.

Obviously, these distances are significant enough to cause an accident.

The urge to check incoming messages is sometimes hard to resist. The little red blinking light on a BlackBerry may represent an important email, after all. If your business has employees who must use mobile phones when in the car, be sure to set strict policies about messaging from behind the wheel.

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