Report: Texting more dangerous than drink driving

According to a UK study, reaction times drop by 35% when drivers are distracted by text messages

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By  Vineetha Menon Published  September 21, 2008

Texting on your mobile phone while driving is found to be more dangerous than driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, according to the UK-based Transport Research Laboratory.

Drivers between the ages of 17 to 25 were tested in a special simulator, with motorist reaction times, the ability to follow cars, lane control and driver speed all used as measures of performance.

The test showed that average reaction times of people between the ages of 17 to 25 slowed by 35% when they were tested composing or reading text messages.

In comparison, previous studies showed reaction times slowed by 21% for people under the influence of drugs, and 12% slower for those who drank to the legal limit.

Texters had 91% worse steering control after being distracted by texts, which was more evident when the driver was composing a message.

The report, which can be viewed online, highlights that writing text messages creates a significantly greater impairment than reading them.

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