texting and driving Essay

Submitted By MN11001
Words: 736
Pages: 3

Texting
While
Driving -Another
Kind of
Impairm
ent

Texting While Driving Is
Hazardous
Driving skill is measurably impaired by text-messaging.
 Writing text messages creates a significantly greater impairment than reading text messages, but both are harmful


Texting Drivers in the
News






A 17-year-old texting driver in New York state swerved into oncoming traffic and hit a truck head-on, killing herself and her four passengers. A texting California train engineer was involved in the collision near Los Angeles that killed 25 passengers and injured 130 others.
A 27-year-old Arkansas texting driver crashed his vehicle into another car, killing its driver
(the Arkansas man was charged with negligent homicide, and had been also drinking a beer at the time).

Texting Drivers in the News, cont. 



An 18-year-old texting driver in Texas slammed full-speed into a stopped vehicle, sending a 3-year-old passenger in that vehicle to the ICU at a local hospital with a broken skull.
A 16-year-old texting driver in
California lost control and dies in the ensuing crash (she was also speeding and had been drinking).

What Studies Show About
Texting






Driver inattention is involved in about
80 percent of crashes (NHTSA, 2006)
46 percent of teenagers text while driving (AAA)
91% of Americans think that it’s unsafe to text message while driving and that it’s just as bad as driving after a couple of drinks (Harris Poll, August 2007)

What Studies Show About Cell
Phones




Drivers talking on their cell phones were 18 percent slower braking than other motorists (University of Utah, 2005)
Talking on a cell phone while driving caused impairment on par with driving with a blood-alcohol level of
0.08 percent (University of Utah)

What a Recent Study
Assessed






Impact of text messaging on driver performance Attitudes and beliefs that surrounded the activity in the 17-25 age category
Study done by the Transport
Research Laboratory in September
2008.

How the Study Worked







Studied reaction times, car-following ability, lane control, and driver speed
Used a driving simulator
8 male, 9 female participants between the ages of 17-24.
All described themselves as regular users of text messaging and used phones with standard key pads.

The Test Drives






Participants took a 10-minute familiarization drive. Had to follow a lead vehicle at a safe distance.
On the next test drive, they had to read a text message, and compose and send a message.
The third drive was without distractions. What Texting Drivers Did
Wrong
While driving and texting, drivers:





failed to detect hazards, responded to hazards more slowly, and were exposed to risk for longer periods. Negative Affects







Less able to keep a constant distance behind lead vehicle
Large increases in variability of lane position Many more lane departures
In actual traffic, these driving errors dramatically increase the likelihood of collision.

Dangerously Slowed Reaction
Times






Reaction times are slower when reading or writing…