Researchers: Texting & Driving Can Be More Dangerous Than Drinking & Driving

By: Ashlea Sigman Email
By: Ashlea Sigman Email

Everywhere you look, drivers are on the phone talking and texting.

"I have texted while driving," said Brian Ambrose, a Texas A&M junior. "Yeah I've done it before, is that a bad thing?"

"They're weaving in their lane and going off the side of the road and when you pass if you look over you see that they're texting," said Sergeant Janice Kemp of the College Station Police Department.

Its not drunk driving, but it can look the same. According to a study by Britain's Transport Research Laboratory, the effects of texting while driving can be even worse.

Researchers found that reaction time fell 35% when drivers sent or read a text message. That's more than the 12% drop for drivers who drank at the legal limit, and the 21% drop for drivers under the influence of marijuana.

Researchers also say typing drivers are more prone to drift out of their lane, and that their ability to control the steering wheel worsens. They're conclusions that aren't news to some A&M students.

"We actually have a friend who totalled her car because she was on facebook," said Texas A&M sophomore Brittany Crawford. "Whe has an iPhone and she totaled her car while she was on facebook."

While horror stories like that are few and far between, officers warn texting behind the wheel could have serious consequences for anyone, at any time.

"That vehicle is essentially a lethal weapon," said Kemp. "In a split second something could happen."

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