Text messaging while driving results in a 23-times increased risk of crashing

Virginia Tech Transportation

Going by the findings of the a recent research by Virginia Tech's Transportation Institute, there is nearly a 23-times increased risk of a crash or near-accident for a motorist who is 'text messaging' while driving! This is so because while text messaging the motorists take their eyes off the road for a longer span than while talking or listening on their cell phones.

The Monday-released study by the Blacksburg, Virginia-based safety research institute was based on data collected from cameras and other monitoring equipments installed in the vehicles of the participants. The research combined its studies after observing drivers for a distance of over six million miles.

Specifically referring to drivers of trucks and "heavy vehicles" who 'text messaged' while driving, the Institute found that they took their eyes off the road for nearly 4.6 seconds over a 6-second interval - which is the longest stretch any motorists is unfocused for, while using mobile devices.

Summarizing its results, the Institute said: "The tasks that draw the driver's eyes away from the forward roadway were those with the highest risk. Talking/listening to a cell phone allowed drivers to maintain eyes on the road and were not associated with an increased safety risk to nearly the same degree. The study's results show conclusively that a real key to significantly improving safety is keeping your eyes on the road."

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