Another study reveals yet again that texting and driving is not a safe practice

A new study indicates drivers who are texting while behind the wheel are six times more likely to be involved in an auto collision.

The most recent study was conducted using a driving simulator, and six of seven accidents during training were caused when the test driver was texting.  Drivers who read text messages have slower braking time than drivers who write messages, but researchers indicate both practices are potentially dangerous.

"Activities such as text messaging that require task switching and are often performed for extended periods severely impair driving performance," according to researchers.  "Tasks such as talking on a cell phone that require shared attention combined with even higher exposure have similar effects on driving performance, albeit potentially a lower crash risk."

AAA, insurance companies, and police agencies across the country have pleaded with drivers to put down the phone and focus more on driving safely.  Around 60% of teenage drivers reportedly drive while texting, a trend that safety experts hope to reduce in 2010.

Taking a step further, lawmakers have created varying legislation that bans voice chat without the use of Bluetooth or hands-free, along with laws that prohibit texting.  California, Pennsylvania and other states already have texting bans in place for drivers, with New Hampshire and several additional states planning to introduce similar legislation.

The National Safety Council also wants a nationwide ban of cell phone use with the exception of hands-free technology -- companies and contractors also are urged to tell employees to drive safely.

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