Texting and Driving Even More Dangerous Than Originally Thought

By | October 18, 2011

According to a recent study conducted by the Transportation Institute at Texas A&M University, texting while driving doubles a driver’s reaction time, making the driver less able to respond to sudden roadway dangers. The controlled study involved 42 drivers between the ages of 16 and 54, driving on an 11-mile test track course with both an open section and a section lined by construction barrels. The drivers were instructed to send and/or receive text messages while driving the course and then repeat the exercise focusing completely on the road. The drivers’ reaction time to a periodic flashing light was recorded for both driving behaviors, as well as their ability to maintain proper lane position and a constant speed. Reaction times with no texting activity were typically between one and two seconds. Reaction times while texting were at least three to four seconds, and drivers were more than 11 times more likely to miss the flashing light altogether when they were texting. The study concluded that since the testing was performed in an actual driving environment rather than through the use of a simulator, texting impairment is an even greater danger than many experts believed. The full study is available on the Texas A&M University website at http://swutc.tamu.edu/publications/technicalreports/476660-00024-1.pdf.


This information was provided to The Buckner Company by Lancer Insurance.

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