Rethinking texting while driving

Posted by on September 14, 2009 at 7:33 am.

texting while driving is not unique in the dangers it poses to drivers. According to a Virginia Tech Transportation Institute study, the “key to significantly improving safety is keeping your eyes on the road.” Naturally, texting while driving often leads to people taking their eyes off of the road, but so do many other activities that we generally don’t think ought to be illegal outright, such as adjusting a stereo or manipulating an iPod.

The Car and Driver study tested the reaction times of texting drivers by measuring how quickly the subjects hit the brakes when a red light turned on. The test was conducted at 35 and 70 miles per hour while the subjects read and typed quotes from the film “Caddy Shack.”

Condemning texting while driving as a whole, based on a study like Car and Driver’s, is dangerous because it tested only the worst of the practice. Common sense and the VTTI study indicate that receiving a message like, “please get milk” and responding “k” is almost certainly far less dangerous than reading and typing quotes from a movie, as the former case requires one to take their eyes off the road for a much briefer period than the latter.

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