Study Shows Texting and Driving are Truly Dangerous

A new study has revealed that motorists who write text messages while driving are six times more likely to crash than those who don’t text and drive. This shouldn’t come as a surprise though – even with the federal governments release on how texting while driving is dangerous.

University of Utah Study

According to the study released by researchers from the University of Utah, texting and driving is definitely not a good thing. To determine their facts, the researchers conducted studies on driver distraction from both cell phones and texting.

By placing study participants into a driving simulator while having them send text messages, they found the following:

  • More participants had auto crashes
  • The participants as a whole responded more slowly to brake lights on cars in front of them
  • Drivers who texted were more impaired in forward and lateral control then those who spoke on cell phones

Why Texting is More Dangerous than Cell Phone Conversations

While the researchers admitted that both activities increased the risk of accidents when behind the wheel, the cell phone was a little less dangerous. This is because those who converse on cell phones divide their attention between phone conversation and driving, placing a greater focus on driving when necessary.

On the other hand, the need to switch attention between driving and texting is not as simple. Whereas drivers can drive and talk at the same time, texters must take their eyes from the road to compose, read or receive a message, focusing more attention on texting. Even more, the study found that reading messages affected braking time more than composing them did.

Making Safer Driving Choices

It doesn’t really take that much to know that driving and texting is indeed a dangerous act. So if you find yourself guilty of this, then it’s a good idea to discontinue the practice for your own safety and the safety of others on the road. As you know, any accident you cause while driving could potentially increase your auto insurance rates. So if you really need to text message, a better practice would be to pull over, read, compose or send the message, then resume driving.