Texting Boosts Driver Crash Risk 23 Times

Texting while driving found to be deadliest distraction
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 28, 2009 1:49 AM CDT
A recent survey found that 95% of drivers considers texting while driving unacceptable, although 21% admitted having recently done so.    (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – A first-of-its-kind study has found that sending and receiving text messages is the deadliest distraction for drivers by far, the New York Times reports. The study, which involved cameras in the cabs of long-haul trucks, found that texting raised a driver's risk of collision a whopping 23 times, putting it "in its own universe of risk," according to the chief researcher.

The study found that drivers took their eyes off the road for an average of 5 seconds while texting, long enough to cover the length of a football field. An earlier, simulator-based study found that drivers were eight times likelier to crash while texting. "You’re off the charts in both cases,” a researcher warned. “It’s crazy to be doing it.” Texting while driving is currently legal in 34 states.