Certainly, texting while driving is one of the stupidest things a motorist can do. A study published in July by Virginia Tech Transportation Institute showed that drivers who text while driving increase their risk of a crash or near-crash 23-fold compared with those who do not. Reaching out for something moving inside the car represents a ninefold increase in risk; dialling, a sixfold increase; combing hair or putting on make-up raises the risk almost fivefold.
In a previous study, Virginia Tech found that 80% of crashes and 65% of near-crashes involved some form of distraction within three seconds of the incident. The most common distraction by far was using a hand-held phone.
© 2009 Scott Wiersdorf