Drivers who text or e-mail on the road are an even bigger danger than previously thought, according to a new study by the Texas Transportation Institute.
Some scary stats revealed:
- A driver’s reaction time is doubled (from 1-2 seconds to at least 3-4 seconds) when distracted by reading or sending a text message.
- Texting drivers were more than 11 times more likely to miss a flashing light altogether.
- Also, texting drivers were less able to safely maintain their position in the driving lane or to maintain a constant speed.
How big is the problem? Well, U.S. Transportation Department statistics suggest that distracted driving contributes to as much as 20 percent of all fatal crashes, and at least one in five motorists has admitted to texting while driving.
If the risks aren’t enough, consider this: texting while driving is banned in 34 states and the District of Columbia, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, and seven more states ban texting while driving for specific groups (such as those under 18 or bus drivers).