Texting While Driving: Worse Than You Thought
The Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) has issued a new report that finds texting while driving is far more dangerous than anyone thought. The study monitored 42 drivers who were supposed to be focused on an 11-mile test track. During the drive, a yellow light flashed on and the drivers’ response was monitored. When the light went on, those simply driving had a slow reaction but among the texting group, the reaction time doubled to four seconds before the driver looked up from their cell phone. It did not matter whether he or she was reading a message or writing one.
What’s most frightening is that those texting drivers were 11 times more likely not to see the flashing light at all. In terms of distance, 60 mph at two seconds adds another 176 feet within which a driver must stop to avert something in front of him. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood puts it another way: you can travel an entire football field while texting for a few seconds at 55 mph.
Once again, Florida is slow to respond to this frightening trend. While 34 states have some sort of ban on texting while driving, Florida has none. Although the exact number is not known, distracted driving is thought to have been responsible for 5,474 deaths behind the wheel in 2009, or about one quarter of all accidents.
In the meantime, automakers keep putting more gadgets on the dashboard that also encourage a driver to be distracted by radio selection, temperature control, and GPS readings. Bottom Line: the Jacksonville distracted driving accident lawyers at Farah & Farah recommends you put away the phone when you drive. There is absolutely no message so important that it requires you sending or reading a text message while driving.