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Another study documents "crazy" risk of texting while driving

The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute recently published data it procured from a study financed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.  The study videotaped 100 long-haul truckers constantly for 18 months.  It concluded that a texting driver is 23 times more likely to be involved in a motor vehicle collision.  It regularly observed texting drivers take their eyes off the road for five seconds or longer--long enough to travel the length of a football field.  The study confirmed the results from several previous studies, leading the director of the Institute to conclude "You should never do this, it should be illegal."

Texting while driving is illegal in 14 states.  A prior study involving University of Utah college students operating a sophisticated driving simulator found that they were eight times more likely to cause a collision while texting, leading the author to conclude "It's crazy to be doing it."  Statistically, the risks approximate the risk represented by a .08 blood alcohol level, which is "drunk driving" in most states.  Another earlier study showed that 87 percent of the population considers e-mailing or texting a "very serious" safety threat, and "unacceptable," yet more than 20 percent of drivers admit texting while driving and nearly half of drivers under 25 acknowledge the behavior.

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