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Study: Texting Increases Crash Risk 23 Times

July 30, 2009

Text messaging and dialing while driving is the most dangerous of all cell phone-related activity, according to a study conducted by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI). Chances of crashing increase by 23 times when a driver texts and drives simultaneously.

According to the research, which observed drivers for more than six million miles of driving, text messaging produced the longest period of time that a driver's eyes were off the road, with an average of more than 4.6 seconds over a 6-second interval. This equals to a driver traveling the length of a football field at 55 mph without looking at the road.

Furthermore, the VTTI study concluded that a person driving a light vehicle that is listening or talking on a mobile device is 1.3 times more likely to get into an accident than someone who is not distracted. For heavy truck drivers, the risk is 1.0 times more likely than a driver who is not distracted.

As a result of this survey, on July 29, Chuck Schumer proposed that text messaging while driving should be illegal in all 50 states.

If the bill should pass, states will be given two years to write laws. After this is done, the states would lose 25 percent of their federal highway funding.

 

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