A test of texting and driving versus drinking and driving conducted by Car and Driver magazine revealed some rather shocking results. In a test involving two drivers taken while they were driving 35 miles per hour and 70 miles per hour, texting yielded worse results than drunken-driving where safety is concerned.
The worst results are the most shocking. Put in the most practical terms, the results were given in how many extra feet the person traveled versus their baseline tests when they were texting and driving. At 35 miles per hour, one of the drivers went an extra 200 feet before stopping when he was reading a text. Sending a text caused them to go an extra 100 feet.
At 70 miles per hour, the results were even more frightening. While reading, the driver went an extra 129 feet before being able to successfully stop his vehicle compared to his baseline. While actually sending a text, one of the drivers when a shocking 319 feet further than his baseline stopping distance when going 70 miles per hour.
The article is quick to point out the fact that, even though some of the texting results were worse than the results when the driver was impaired, the alcohol impaired driving results were also abysmal. The study doesn’t demonstrate that driving impaired is preferable to driving while texting. It demonstrates that both cause distractions and compromise driving ability in a way that could end up taking a life.
Texting and Driving
One of the hardest things for people to understand about texting and driving is that texting and driving will get you killed at some point. It’s rather unavoidable. When your ability to successfully break, avoid obstacles and spot dangers before they turn into disasters is compromised, there’s no way that being out on the road can be safe.
Possibly the only thing about texting and driving that makes it better than drinking and driving is that you can stop doing it without having to wait to sober up or arrange for a cab ride. If you’re behind the wheel, put your cell phone down and don’t pick it up until you stop.
One thing you might be able to do to help your friends stop this dangerous habit is to exercise the same kind of pressure that helped to make drunken-driving unacceptable at a social level. If someone calls you on their phone or texts you on their phone while they’re driving, ask them to stop and call you when they are not behind the wheel. You might be surprised at how well this works.