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
"Activities such as text messaging that
require task switching and are often performed for extended periods
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."
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,
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.
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.