Did you need yet another message about the dangers of texting and driving? Who would have thought as recently as 20 years ago that we, as a society, would be even thinking about texting, let alone texting and driving. Now, corporate America is jumping on the anti-texting and driving bandwagon.
Dallas-based AT&T released a 10-minute documentary on the dangers of texting while driving. The compelling video shows the real-world consequences of texting and driving by featuring surviving family members of those killed in distraction crashes.
Statistics show that there are a staggering 5 billion text messages sent each day. Texting has become so pervasive, and such a common way of communicating that it is important for everybody to get the message out that texting while driving is dangerous and you really do need to be paying attention when you’re behind the wheel.
Allstate started its own project, asking teen drivers to pledge to not text while behind the wheel.
Allstate held an event in Grapevine for teens to sign an anti-texting and driving pledge. They gave out plastic thumb rings to remind teen drivers to get a designated “texter” when they drive.
State lawmakers are also introducing bills into the new legislative session to make it illegal to text and drive anywhere.
Texting while driving has a more profound affect on reaction times than drivers realize. A road test run by Car & Driver magazine showed dramatically slower reaction times by two test drivers who tried to brake while reading and, separately, writing text messages. Previous studies on DWT have typically been run in car simulators. The magazine believes its study may be the first conducted in a real vehicle on a stretch of road.
To cover different age ranges, two separate tests were set up on a road course–one with 22-year-old Jordan Brown, a Car & Driver intern, the other with the magazine’s 37-year-old editor-in-chief, Eddie Alterman.
Using a Honda Pilot as the test vehicle, both drivers first drove a straight line and were told to hit the brake in response to a light that flashed on the dashboard. That measured their baseline reaction time. The second test had the drivers read a text message while driving; the third asked them to type a message while behind the wheel.
An additional test also compared the effects of DWT with driving while intoxicated, on the same day under the same road conditions. After downing enough alcohol to become legally drunk, the test subjects took to the road again.
The results showed that at 35 mph, it took a sober Brown an extra 21 feet to hit the brake while reading a text message, and an extra 16 feet while typing a message.
At 70 mph, it took him 30 extra feet to jam on the brake while reading a text, and an extra 31 feet while composing.
Those figures compared with an extra 7 feet at 35 mph and an extra 15 feet at 70 mph while intoxicated. However, in his drunken condition, Brown had to be told twice which lane to drive in–a dangerous scenario if he had been in actual traffic.