Hang it up, people: Texting ’n’ driving can significantly raise the risk of collision, according to a new study out of Virginia Tech.
Despite any illusions some of us may still harbor about our manual dexterity and multitasking prowess behind the wheel, a study conducted by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute has found that text messaging and driving really don’t mix. Surprise.
The New York Times:
In the moments before a crash or near crash, drivers typically spent nearly five seconds looking at their devices — enough time at typical highway speeds to cover more than the length of a football field.
Even though trucks take longer to stop and are less maneuverable than cars, the findings generally applied to all drivers, who tend to exhibit the same behaviors as the more than 100 truckers studied, the researchers said. Truckers, they said, do not appear to text more or less than typical car drivers, but they said the study did not compare use patterns that way.
Compared with other sources of driver distraction, “texting is in its own universe of risk,” said Rich Hanowski, who oversaw the study at the institute.