We all instinctively knew this, but now data has finally been released: People who text while driving are 23 times more likely to crash than “nondistracted drivers,” CNET reports, citing new findings from the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute. But the researchers didn’t just look at texting. Mounting cameras inside vehicles, “they studied where drivers’ eyes were looking as they did various things, such as texting, dialing a cell phone, talking on a phone, and reaching for an object. Not surprisingly, the numbers showed that the tasks that took people’s eyes off the road caused the greatest amount of danger.” The average eyes-off-the-road time for texting was 4.6 seconds – time enough to “travel the length of a football field at 55 mph.” Talking on a cellphone, on the other hand, presumably with eyes on the road, increased the chance of crashing 1.3 times – that’s talking, not dialing, of course. See CNET for more interesting findings. Here’s the New York Times’s coverage.
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