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Times journalist tries text messaging in the simulator  (Source: Times)
Drivers who text while driving are more dangerous than those under the influence of alcohol or marijuana

A British study done by the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) for the British Royal Automobile Club Foundation indicates it's more dangerous to send text messages while driving even when compared to drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

The study showed that drivers who text and drive become more than one third slower than if they were coherent and not texting – this was compared to a person at the DUI limit or under the influence of marijuana.  Text messaging lowered reaction time by 35 percent, while people high on marijuana slowed down 21 percent and those who were drunk slowed down by 12 percent.

On top of those findings, people reading or writing text messages drifted out of their lane more than people who were focused solely on driving.  Texters also had a more difficult maintaining a safe distance from cars around them.

Around half of British drivers between the ages of 18 and 24 text while driving, the RAC Foundation said.  

"When texting, drivers are distracted by taking their hand off the wheel to use their phone, by trying to read small text on the phone display and by thinking about how to write their message," said Dr. Nick Reed, TRL senior human factors researcher.  "This combination of factors resulted in the impairments to reaction time and vehicle control that place the driver at a greater risk than having consumed alcohol to the legal limit for driving."

The British Department for Transport, in response to the increased danger of texting while driving, has increased the ticket for using a cell phone while driving.  In addition to increasing the fine, the agency also has launched an ad campaign to inform drivers how dangerous it is to text and drive.

Most states in the United States do not have laws banning text messaging while driving, but drivers can often times be pulled over if they are seen driving recklessly while using their mobile phone.  The state of California has banned talking on a cell phone without the use of a hands-free device, and a ban on text messaging while driving will likely go into effect in 2009.

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I'm Shocked! Shocked!
By DaveLessnau on 9/19/2008 7:28:22 AM , Rating: 2
What's the world coming to when 1) people actually send text messages from their cell phones while driving, and 2) someone actually pays for a study to determine that such activity impairs said texters' driving ability? What's next, a study saying being asleep at the wheel impairs driving? This is common sense all around. Don't remove your attention from the speeding ton of metal you're supposedly controlling and don't waste money studying the obvious. Just arrest the perpetrators and put them against the wall.

RE: I'm Shocked! Shocked!
By Brandon Hill on 9/19/2008 7:38:54 AM , Rating: 4
Did you read the article? I think you're missing the point -- the study wasn't just to say simply that texting while driving was dangerous. It was to also point out that it is MORE dangerous than drinking or being impaired by drugs while driving.

Many people try to pass off texting while driving as harmless, but the implications -- at least from this study -- appear to be much greater.

RE: I'm Shocked! Shocked!
By GaryJohnson on 9/19/2008 7:51:41 AM , Rating: 3
I don't understand why 'texting' is put into some special category here. Isn't it reasonable to say that engaging in any other activity while driving is going to reduce your ability to drive?

Why can't we suffice with 'driving recklessly'; why do we need to attach a cause to it?

RE: I'm Shocked! Shocked!
By Brandon Hill on 9/19/2008 8:04:11 AM , Rating: 4
Yes, but some activities take your eyes away from the road more (or impair you more). I couldn't reasonably drive and text at the same time safely, but I could reasonably drive and drink a soda or drive and snack on a candy bar.

RE: I'm Shocked! Shocked!
By retepallen on 9/19/2008 9:38:23 AM , Rating: 3
I think common sense does apply, but in the world we live in most people dont have any common sense and it seems that by spending money on a study, the authorities can reach a wider audience with their message.

If by doing that, the study saves a life... is it worth it?
I would say 100% yes.

RE: I'm Shocked! Shocked!
By Souka on 9/19/2008 3:33:00 PM , Rating: 4
OK, so if you live in a state that doesn't have a law banning texting while driving then:

1. Get sh@tfaced drunk or high
2. Drive a car
3. When you get arrested, sue the state using the study showing that texting is more dangerous, but not illegal.
4. Live the life of luxury on the money from the lawsuit


RE: I'm Shocked! Shocked!
By GaryJohnson on 9/19/2008 3:57:39 PM , Rating: 2
That's a great point. The study shows texting is more dangerous that drinking and driving, but it also shows drinking and driving is less dangerous than texting.

What I don't see in the study is any clear figure describing how much more likely a texting person is to be in an accident than a person who isn't.

RE: I'm Shocked! Shocked!
By clovell on 9/19/2008 5:00:40 PM , Rating: 2
No, actually it doesn't really show anything. Statistics that don't take variation into account aren't to be trusted.

RE: I'm Shocked! Shocked!
By Samus on 9/20/2008 6:24:16 AM , Rating: 3
That's why there is a margin of error in every statistic study ;)

RE: I'm Shocked! Shocked!
By Dark Legion on 9/20/2008 1:58:14 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, it shows that texting while driving is more dangerous than drinking and driving at the DUI limit, which is not very much, mind you. How many people that are going to drink and drive actually drive at the DUI limit? Not a majority for sure, though texting is probably still more dangerous up to a certain point over the DUI limit.

RE: I'm Shocked! Shocked!
By GaryJohnson on 9/20/2008 3:20:00 AM , Rating: 2
I could reasonably drive and drink a soda or drive and snack on a candy bar

But maybe someone can't. What that person is doing wrong isn't eating while driving because then you would be wrong to eat while driving too, even though you say you can do it safely. What they're doing wrong is putting other peoples health, property in danger or impeding traffic.

RE: I'm Shocked! Shocked!
By gochichi on 9/21/2008 11:57:24 PM , Rating: 2
Well well well... if I drop my cellphone while driving and texting it's like "oh well, it was a bad idea anyhow". If you're drinking piping hot coffee and you spill the stuff in your precious new car with light colored seats you're bound to be headed straight for an accident not to mention that your body will demand that you pay attention to something that is burning hot. If you're wearing a nice suit and are headed to a special occassion, if a cellphone falls on your shirt it doesn't matter, if lettuce and ketchup fall on your shirt you're gonna freak out.

It's certainly not clear cut. It really depends on how familiar you are with your phone and those features and on how familiar you are with your car. Most car accidents happen in the first 3 months of ownership. We drive like a bunch of jerks, that's why our speed limits are nice and slow... but it's a vicious circle... the slower the limit, the more bored we get, and the more stupid stuff we do.

You know, just the other day I did something way more stupid than texting, but you'd never bust my chops for it. I was driving a car I had never driven before (so it wasn't an automatic activity) and I forgot to adjust the mirrors, it was dark out and I was already on the highway. The controls were nowhere to be found... I finally found them but not before driving like a total jerk for while.

You can mix automatic activities fairly well, if texting is automatic for you then good. Texting cannot become an emergency, so I like that aspect of it. The same cannot be said about driving with kids, with dark drinks (specially hot ones), or arguing with your spouse.

Overall I am a super safe driver, safer than most... I never make sudden turns when someone says "Oh turn here!"... such a stupid thing to do, yet most people turn immediatly such that their tires squeal. I never shove my car across lanes last minute if I miss an intersection. And I also text at times. I'm not saying it's smart... but I am saying that "it depends".

I think stopping drunk driving is quite different. You DO stop your sober self from texting or even from a phone call (at least I do) if a driving situation comes up. Every single judgement call is better when you're sober, so stay sober.

RE: I'm Shocked! Shocked!
By Don Tonino on 9/19/2008 8:08:14 AM , Rating: 2
The most that would be needed to, would be a rule requiring the driver to keep both hands on the weel at all times, except for when one hand is needed to do something actually related with the driving. That way, any behaviour that could be harmful would be covered without having to get deep into detail of what behaviour is more or less dangerous.

RE: I'm Shocked! Shocked!
By Digimonkey on 9/19/2008 8:25:11 AM , Rating: 2
That's a ridiculous notion. That means you couldn't even change the radio station while driving.

RE: I'm Shocked! Shocked!
By Don Tonino on 9/19/08, Rating: -1
RE: I'm Shocked! Shocked!
By Brandon Hill on 9/19/2008 8:59:42 AM , Rating: 3
I have radio controls on my steering wheel, but the controls for my seat warmers, auto climate control, A/C vents, and every thing else -- "DUH-DU-DUUUUHHHH" -- are on the center stack.

And what about the power windows? That requires you to take your hands off the wheel too.

All I'm saying is that the above actions are minor distractions while driving. However, texting while driving is just downright idiotic.

RE: I'm Shocked! Shocked!
By Sazar on 9/19/2008 1:16:54 PM , Rating: 1
You obviously need to get a newer car with voice-regonition and voice-activated gadgets.

I never have to leave the steering wheel except... when shifting gears or... when texting :o

j/k ;)

RE: I'm Shocked! Shocked!
By Myrandex on 9/19/2008 9:05:22 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not about to go purchase a new car just for buttons on the wheel...

RE: I'm Shocked! Shocked!
By Enoch2001 on 9/19/2008 9:08:30 AM , Rating: 3
Ever heard of controls on the wheel? they are getting quite common these days...

Ever heard of not standard in all vehicles? Drop the sarcasm - your proposition is idiotic.

RE: I'm Shocked! Shocked!
By therealnickdanger on 9/19/2008 9:17:14 AM , Rating: 2
What would you suggest? As the posted above stated - many vehicles come with steering wheel controls (should be standard, I think). People seem content to turn a blind eye to traffic crashes, as if there is no way to stop them. The World Health Organization released a report indicating that traffic deaths are one of the biggest killers that we know of are expected to increase by 80% by 2020 as more developing nations get cars. 1.2 million people per year die in situations that could be entirely prevented with proper training and improved safety technology.

RE: I'm Shocked! Shocked!
By rudolphna on 9/19/2008 11:25:17 AM , Rating: 2
not to mention less idiots who dont know how to drive a car, being locked up.

RE: I'm Shocked! Shocked!
By foolsgambit11 on 9/20/2008 10:49:25 AM , Rating: 2
I want a study to find out how dangerous smoking while driving is. It's got to be bad - long periods of time with only one hand available for steering, worrying about where you're ashing, starting fires, burning legs, &c.

RE: I'm Shocked! Shocked!
By psychobriggsy on 9/19/2008 9:57:26 AM , Rating: 2
This makes it easier to justify legislation banning certain activities when driving.

With "driving recklessly" you have to prove that the person was driving recklessly, which may be hard. However if you can prove the driver was using their mobile phone at the time (eyewitness accounts, phone records, etc) then the case becomes far easier to prove, especially with this study being available to justify that it is very reckless, far worse than drunk driving.

RE: I'm Shocked! Shocked!
By DeepBlue1975 on 9/19/2008 8:47:03 AM , Rating: 2
People underestimate the problem that taking the handset in your hand while driving, be it for making a call or, much worse, for texting, implies.
Common sense dictates you should stop the car to engage in such activities...
But what do most of the people know about sense?

I agree with the first poster, it's a pathetic world one in which you have to actually say out loud that texting while driving is dangerous, or for what matters, putting a disclaimer on a bottle saying "do not eat the bottle, might be harmful for your health".

RE: I'm Shocked! Shocked!
By AE3Wolfman on 9/19/2008 1:10:27 PM , Rating: 2
How about instructions on how to use a toothpick?

RE: I'm Shocked! Shocked!
By LivingDedBoy on 9/22/2008 4:42:06 PM , Rating: 2
I've actually seen those... which is sad in its own right.

RE: I'm Shocked! Shocked!
By Staples on 9/19/2008 9:30:06 AM , Rating: 1
When you ask people who do it, of course you are going to get a biased opinion. Same reason that 80% of DT respondents seem to think people who get busted for pirating software/music never really commited a crime and they should receive a slap on the wrist at the very most.

For the story, I know that even holding the phone makes me drive like sh-- so I don't see how texting (which I don't do) could be any less of an imparement for me.

RE: I'm Shocked! Shocked!
By rudolphna on 9/19/2008 11:23:44 AM , Rating: 3
oh yeah, I passed a teen driving on Interstate 90 the other day. Scare the hell out of me, shes weaving from one lane to another. I finally get up the guts, floor it to pass her, and I see that she is texting. Damn her, where are highway patrol when you need them?? She was speeding, doing 65, texting. I was terrified to pass her wiht my family in the car ,she was going from one lane, halfway into the other lane repeatedly. IDIOTS! Is texting your boyfriend or your best friend about whatever so important that your willing to put the lives of other people on the line? Get some common sense please!

RE: I'm Shocked! Shocked!
By lightfoot on 9/19/2008 11:55:44 AM , Rating: 2
I've never understood the impulse by many to PASS someone who is clearly driving while impaired. You are much safer from them if you are BEHIND them than if you are IN FRONT of them! Besides, if she was speeding as you say, why do you need to PASS her? Is she not speeding fast enough for you?

RE: I'm Shocked! Shocked!
By Spuke on 9/19/2008 3:39:59 PM , Rating: 2
I prefer to be in front of poor drivers also because, if that driver goes totally out of control, the chances of you getting caught up in the melee are greater from behind than from the front.

Consider this, YOU might be able to avoid someone going out of control but what about another driver? One that might be half asleep and suddenly startled by another car going out of control and overreact, getting you caught up in a mess. It's better to be in front of potential dangers than behind them.

RE: I'm Shocked! Shocked!
By lightfoot on 9/20/2008 1:08:01 AM , Rating: 2
Consider this. You've managed to get in front of this distracted driver but you foolishly decide to stop at a light that happens to be red. The distracted driver doesn't notice the light (or you stopped at it,) guess what happens then?

Unlikely? How about you pass them and get stuck behind another driver who is foolishly going the speed limit. The distracted driver again doesn't notice and fails to slow down. Or maybe you have to slow down to safely make your exit ramp. Or now that you've put a safe distance between you and crazy driver X only to find the speed trap first. Fun.

RE: I'm Shocked! Shocked!
By DeepBlue1975 on 9/19/2008 7:06:14 PM , Rating: 2
If that girl caused an accident involving another vehicle, the wrecked ones would fall behind and catch you at any given moment.
Same if she just gets her car out of control and starts spinning, it will affect you.

Getting away of those people is important for your life.
Yes, she was speeding, but she wasn't going 100mph so you could safely assume "she'll be far away in a few moments so it won't affect me".

Getting far away from reckless drivers is, at least to me, more important than obeying a, mostly always poorly set, speed limit.

The context of the drivers around you should always be the first variable influencing your driving decisions, then the laws.

If one given day you are driving in a 30mph limited area and everybody behind you is approaching fast at, lets say, 75mph, you'd better disobey the law and go a bit faster if you don't wanna be ran over (this is just a hypothetical and crude example, but I think it's illustrative of what I try to say)

RE: I'm Shocked! Shocked!
By lightfoot on 9/20/2008 12:46:49 AM , Rating: 2
I'm amazed at your flawed logic.
If that girl caused an accident involving another vehicle, the wrecked ones would fall behind and catch you at any given moment.

If an accident occurs in front of you and you can not slow down enough to avoid it - you are following too closely. I'd much rather be caught up in a traffic jam than be the person who got rear ended by a distracted driver.

Getting far away from reckless drivers is, at least to me, more important than obeying a, mostly always poorly set, speed limit.

You mean to tell me that you intentionally try to outrun a drunk/impaired/distracted driver? Speed kills - the faster you are travelling the more likely you are to be injured or killed. Speed limits are set for a reason.

If one given day you are driving in a 30mph limited area and everybody behind you is approaching fast at, lets say, 75mph, you'd better disobey the law and go a bit faster if you don't wanna be ran over.

Let's think about this for a second... If the speed limit is 30 mph that means one of three things. 1. The street you are on has blind or sharp turns. 2. The street you are on is in a residential area. 3. You are in a school zone. If people behind you are doing 70 they had better slow down so they don't hit you - if you feel that you are imminent danger pull over and let them pass. If you were to speed up in this scenario the damage to you would be far greater if an accident were to occur and as an added bonus it would be your fault, not the people behind you.

I'm not the best driver, but drivers like you don't belong on the road.

RE: I'm Shocked! Shocked!
By clovell on 9/19/2008 12:01:59 PM , Rating: 2
> ... the study wasn't just to say simply that texting while driving was dangerous. It was to also point out that it is MORE dangerous than drinking or being impaired by drugs while driving.

If they wanted to actually say that, they'd give p-values and methodology. I'm not excusing text messaging here, just pointing that point out.

RE: I'm Shocked! Shocked!
By JustTom on 9/21/2008 7:32:59 PM , Rating: 2
This is a news release, not a publication in a journal. When was the last time you saw methodology in press releases?

RE: I'm Shocked! Shocked!
By crystal clear on 9/20/2008 12:28:21 AM , Rating: 2
There is nothing like dangerous-more dangerous-most dangerous,whilst driving your car.Its simply dangerous...

As a matter of fact ANY activity that diverts your concentration whilst driving is dangerous.

Driving under the influence of alchol or drugs is simply arrogance,plain stupidity,irresponsible behaviour & suicidal.

RE: I'm Shocked! Shocked!
By foolsgambit11 on 9/20/2008 10:55:43 AM , Rating: 2
And this just in, not driving is 95% safer than driving, when it comes to vehicle related fatalities.

RE: I'm Shocked! Shocked!
By gochichi on 9/22/2008 12:08:40 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, riding a bicycle is much more fataly dangerous than driving. MUCH.

RE: I'm Shocked! Shocked!
By FaceMaster on 9/20/2008 9:09:36 AM , Rating: 2
When ever I drink and drive I always drive faster to make sure I get home sooner. Can't take any chances.

RE: I'm Shocked! Shocked!
By Quiescent on 9/19/2008 9:58:10 AM , Rating: 2
These studies are meant to say "I told you so!" to the idiots who do it. Because it's like trying to convince someone that any chemical altering drug, like weed, heroin, adderall, etc is going to cause some long-term symptons, like memory loss. It just seems to not get to their heads and they think their drugs are the safest thing they've did.

My boyfriend's 350z has seen it's days of people texting on the road. They certainly don't stay in their lane, and they try to put the blame on you if they end up swiping your car.

In all, like I said, these studies are meant for those who think they're safe doing what they're doing and who think they're really not harming anyone doing what they're doing.

RE: I'm Shocked! Shocked!
By Dafaragha on 9/19/2008 8:45:03 PM , Rating: 2
People who smoke weed generally tend to be more careful and less reckless. Adderall (amphetamine salts, similar to what they used to give soldiers during the wars) tend to speed up your reaction process but will make you a more aggressive driver. What is more dangerous, someone who is slightly slower but more cautious or someone who is tweeking out their brackets and racing to their dealer?

I'm not advocating drug use while driving, I'm just trying to say that the whole picture is not represented. Reducing reaction time is not the be all and end all of safe driving. Rather it is the combination of good reaction times and non-aggressive driving that would be a better representation of the truth.

By Worby on 9/19/2008 8:44:32 AM , Rating: 3

This the the Gene Police, get out of the pool now!

Do the world a favor, sterilise yourself and all your offspring immediately.

By Spivonious on 9/19/2008 10:24:07 AM , Rating: 2
The government provides for the general welfare of its people. If outlawing texting/hands-on cell phone use while driving saves lives, then that is improving the general welfare of the people.

And anyway, the lawmakers were elected by the people. If you don't like what they're doing, write them a letter. Better yet, run for office.

By Spuke on 9/19/2008 3:47:58 PM , Rating: 2
What kind of a comment is that?
On Earth, we call that humor. In your langauge, that would be nak nak poo bugnee red snapper.

By clovell on 9/19/2008 4:55:38 PM , Rating: 2
I would actually call it an insult that might be funny to some people who would like to see him/her insulted.

By flydian on 9/19/2008 6:21:33 PM , Rating: 1
Well phooey. I much prefer to express my opinions by rating posts up and down than opening my fat mouth, since I don't see why anyone would care what I have to say. However...

You guys need to READ what I have to say, not make stupid remarks about me when you have no idea who I am.

Not any more than I need to LISTEN to the crazy guy on the corner preaching at the top of his lungs to anyone that passes by. I mean really, who the hell are you that I should care what you have to say, anymore than anyone would care what I have to say?

And yes, my point is that with all of the bold and CAPS and BOLD CAPS in your posts, you come off as nothing more than that crazy guy on the corner that everyone laughs at.

By crystal clear on 9/20/2008 3:06:50 AM , Rating: 2
And yes, my point is that with all of the bold and CAPS and BOLD CAPS in your posts

D.T. gives your the OPTIONS to use them...didnt you know that.....

YOU CAN USE them when you see it fit to do go to D.T. & make them illegal .

As for your rating posts up & down... you really dont achieve anything ...

as your ratings dont earn a living to the posters/commentators..they realy dont care...


YOU should be rating the articles instead of the comments,cause the articles (the contents) are even more worse than the comments.

Psst- I used all my options incl all of the bold and CAPS and BOLD CAPS in ALL possible combinations...GOT THE POINT.

NOW YOU cannot RATE ME DOWN cause YOU NOW CANNOT DO SO as you have posted a comment/response ......

What MISSING is the COLOUR option to add to the comments say BOLD RED or BRIGHT YELLOW...WOW.

By crystal clear on 9/20/2008 3:23:29 AM , Rating: 2
you come off as nothing more than that crazy guy on the corner that everyone laughs at.

Who knows YOU could join him in another corner as those massive layoffs will start sooner or later.

With the massive debts & no job/salary to service them & all your savings will soon join him in the next corner.

The spillover effect of the financial crisis that has gripped the Wall Street,namely LEHMAN Brother,AIG,Merrlyn & many more to join the VIP list.

The spillover effect will span from the financial industry to manufacturing,retail,marketing, IT industry etc nobody can avoid it.

By Radnor on 9/19/2008 8:57:10 AM , Rating: 2
Chill out. Smoke pot, drink, and drive. And try to txt at the same time.

This was never "enforced" because it is a really stupid thing to do in the first place.
But well, laws, Terms of Use, manuals can't protect all the stupid people around.

Again i say, remove the warning labels and let evolution follow its path.

By Myrandex on 9/19/2008 9:08:14 AM , Rating: 2
Unfortunately society tries to prevent this from happening many times over in modern times. Although I'd feel pretty bad if that person took out someone else's life that didn't deserve eradication, so that is why I'm ok with the rule.

By rcc on 9/19/2008 11:11:27 AM , Rating: 2
I'm a big believer in natural selection. The problem is that these days a moron's bad decisions get other people killed, not necessarily themselves.

By Runiteshark on 9/19/2008 11:23:46 AM , Rating: 2
Er right?
I got sideswiped by a stupid Mexican chick in my RSX because she was too busy texting, she pulled over and we looked at the damage, then when I went to my car she drove off.

I got rear ended in my RSX, because another idiotic mexican chick in her white ford focus rearended me because she was -- texting me on my phone.

I'm sick of these idiots hitting me because they are too busy texting. I hate text messaging.

By BadAcid on 9/19/2008 12:19:58 PM , Rating: 2
Chill out, dude. The people text messaging are endangering the lives of others who shouldn't have to suffer because someone needed to "Where U @? *chirp*" someone else. Laws are there to deter people from engaging in such activities. Laws punish the people for being bad drivers, so, get this, this is the fun part, they won't do it again.

By Spuke on 9/19/2008 4:31:43 PM , Rating: 2
I think you missed his point. It's not the cell phone that's the problem, it's the driver . Punish the driver. It's that simple.

Instead of making a new law, make an announcement that texting while driving will be covered under reckless driving as of a certain date. And instruct officers to start ticketing people for it after that date.

No more laws are needed.

By Sazar on 9/19/2008 1:23:37 PM , Rating: 2
You got hit while driving by another person who happened to be texting YOU at the time?

I reckon you got exactly what you deserved. And whats with the Mexican comments?

By CascadingDarkness on 9/19/2008 12:55:39 PM , Rating: 2
Perhaps you should save your nonsensical rant for laws that don't make sense.

I don't think you're going to get many people to move to your side when you're ranting about studies/laws that enforce what most (majority) of us deem is common sense.

By ShaolinSoccer on 9/20/2008 12:40:24 AM , Rating: 1
get really dark tinted windows and you should be ok

Dragon Naturally speaking for crackberry
By Mitch101 on 9/19/2008 7:29:54 AM , Rating: 2
I can agree with this as I have done it myself. It takes your eyes and hands on the road or can co-ordinate your hands in a poor location.

We need Dragon Naturally speaking for crackberry or learn to send voice messages instead of text. Were going backwards with some technologies. We have cell and landlines but prefer to text and e-mail people instead.

Kind of like how in a galaxy far far away that is highly more advanced than we are R2-D2 cant talk.

RE: Dragon Naturally speaking for crackberry
By Don Tonino on 9/19/2008 8:27:38 AM , Rating: 4
If it's something that urgent to communicate, it would be easier and quickest just to call... a text can wait my next stop to be answered, or sent.

RE: Dragon Naturally speaking for crackberry
By Mitch101 on 9/19/2008 9:22:45 AM , Rating: 2
I work in e-mail and when I mention picking up the phone and calling they seem shocked as if I am describing a new technology to them.

Im also convinced bravery increases the more detached one is.

In Person ---- Phone ---- E-mail ---- Texting

I certainly believe one will say things in text/e-mail to the same person they wouldn't actually say in person. This applies to business not just personal.

RE: Dragon Naturally speaking for crackberry
By Mitch101 on 9/19/2008 9:26:12 AM , Rating: 2
I should also have added that texting/e-mail comments get taken out of context far more than had someone made the phone call and could hear the tone of someones voice.

By Don Tonino on 9/19/2008 9:35:24 AM , Rating: 2
That could easily happen, if you are texting to someone you are not close with. Sometimes even a work mail can get a somehow different meaning (reading harsher, or softer than intended), that's why I'm more for talking when there's something important at hand to be settled - it saves misunderstandings and time as well.

depends on the phone...
By Myrandex on 9/19/2008 9:11:22 AM , Rating: 1
some phones have small screens with only t9 input...

some (i)phones only have touchscreens so you can't even feel a button when you press it, and therefore have to stare at the screen...

Some phones, such as my own, have qwerty which means I can leave both hands on the wheel and look at the road only, and still send messages without a problem. If I'm cruising down the highway, and I need to send a quick message to someone, I have done it plenty of times with no ill effects mentioned in the study (speed doesn't decrease, didn't change lanes, didn't have to react due to lack of things to react to around me, etc.). There is a big common sense factor here. sitting at a red lite or traveling straight while the car is on cruise control with no one else around you is one thing, but while traveling through fog or rain in heavy traffic is another completely.


RE: depends on the phone...
By Spivonious on 9/19/2008 9:22:10 AM , Rating: 3
You forgot to mention the child you ran over because they ran out into the street at the exact moment you looked down to text.

If you have to send a message, pull over, because it must be an emergency.

RE: depends on the phone...
By joeld on 9/19/2008 10:58:15 AM , Rating: 2
I'm impressed at anyone who is able to keep both hands on the wheel, look at the road, and text at the same time. I don't see how the phone model could help ya!

I've got a slide out 8525 and it's hard to use one-handed. You can text easier with a t9 input IMO.

Oh, and I have texted twice while driving. If you need to talk to someone, give them a call and use a headset. 10x safer, hopefully.

RE: depends on the phone...
By rudolphna on 9/19/2008 11:27:36 AM , Rating: 1
this is just a little fact, to post. Did you know that listening to music with words, no matter the language, cuts your reaction time in half? Its true.

RE: depends on the phone...
By menace on 9/20/2008 3:03:50 AM , Rating: 2
Cuts your reaction time in half? Perhaps you meant double the reacting time? Can you point me to a scientific study?

I found one study

On average there was a .12 second difference in reaction times with music at zero decibels and ninety-five decibels.

The "study" only had 10 participants, all girls <snicker>. Looks like it was a high school science project. Lame.

I don't think music has any effect on your reactions unless you also have a car full of distractions (your "posse"). However it does make it difficult to hear sirens until they are right on you, which is bad.

RE: depends on the phone...
By lightfoot on 9/20/2008 1:49:20 AM , Rating: 2
It's not just looking away from the road or taking your hands from the wheel that is dangerous. The dangerous part is the fact that you are distracted. Texting is a fairly complex task that requires significant brainpower. Brainpower that should be used on the life-threatening task at hand which is navigating a 3000+ pound deadly weapon down a narrow strip of asphalt at 75+ feet per second without injuring or killing anyone. It's not a trivial task and it shouldn't be treated as one.

Mother's Against Driving While Texting
By pauldovi on 9/19/2008 10:59:37 AM , Rating: 2
We need to ban all persons under the age of 21 from owning a cell phone because clearly it will save lives as these people will not be able to text while driving.

By TechGuyCalifornia on 9/19/2008 1:51:40 PM , Rating: 2
I see your point, but it also saves lives enabling drivers and the like to notify officials pinpointing drastic emergencies effectively saving peoples lifes more so than in the past when cell phones were non existent. I would rather make a quick call on my cellphone than run to a call box and have someone burn to death in their car because I took so long to contact the authorities. So think of that.

By pauldovi on 9/19/2008 4:58:58 PM , Rating: 2
I think you failed to detect the implied sarcasm in the above post.

By lightfoot on 9/20/2008 1:55:02 PM , Rating: 2
And Grand Theft Auto IV needs to be BANNED because it explicitly shows and rewards players for texting while driving! This sort of behavior should not be romanticized in media that is targeted at our children!

logic leap
By invidious on 9/19/2008 9:30:13 AM , Rating: 1
Slower reaction time think being drunk does not necisarily mean more dangerous than. A large portion of drunk driving accidents, perhaps most, are caused by people either passing out while driving or making poor driving decisions. Neither of which are affected by reaction time.

I have texted while driving and I agree with the data from the study, it does impare my driving ability so I try to avoid it. But I dont agree the implication that it is anywhere near as dangerous as driving drunk.

I have never driven drunk but I have certainly been drunk to the point where cant walk straight let alone drive straight. I think I would have to be texting on two phones simultaniously, one in each hand, talking on a hands free and steering with my knee on the wheel to match that kind of imparement.

RE: logic leap
By ShaolinSoccer on 9/19/2008 5:04:02 PM , Rating: 2
Most people are not as agile as you.

RE: logic leap
By radializer on 9/19/2008 5:54:42 PM , Rating: 2
drivers who text and drive become more than one third slower than if they were coherent and not texting – this was compared to a person at the DUI limit

Missed this part, did you? The study stated that it tested people at the DUI limit ... your description of "being drunk to the point where you couldn't walk straight" probably puts you well above this limit.

A BAC of 0.08 is the limit in most states, which roughly corresponds to 2~3 drinks each with ~ 14ml of alcohol by volume. Significant motor control loss (which is essentially "not being able to walk straight") should, on average, occur only at BAC levels >0.12 - at which point, you would have exceeded the DUI limits in all states. Of course, individual reactions differ but I am assuming that 2~3 drinks would not (on average) make even a 150lb person lose the ability to walk straight.

RE: logic leap
By foolsgambit11 on 9/20/2008 11:01:17 AM , Rating: 2
Notice that the study picked a very specific point - the least drunk you can be and still be driving under the influence. I don't know what that is in Britain, but I'm guessing .08 or .10. Not staggering drunk.

Brilliant California
By kake on 9/19/2008 9:27:55 AM , Rating: 2
The last paragraph says everything about California anyone needs to know (and I should know, I live here).

Which is worse, talking on your phone or texting while driving? Obviously texting, you aren't even looking at the road for extended periods of driving.

Which did they ban first? The talking bit, of course. A lot of good hard thinking went into that decision, uh huh . . .

RE: Brilliant California
By BadAcid on 9/19/2008 12:13:58 PM , Rating: 2
Both should be banned because BOTH are dangerous. They banned cell phone talking first because that's the technology that was more adopted FIRST and more abused FIRST, Laws take time to write, justify, present, and pass, you know.

RE: Brilliant California
By Imaginer on 9/19/2008 12:57:26 PM , Rating: 2
Yep, I noticed that too. There is nothing explicitly stating that texting is prohibited - just "strongly discouraged" and up to the discresion of the officer if it is distracting to be dangerous.

No duh...
By Imaginer on 9/19/2008 12:55:24 PM , Rating: 2
At least with drugs and alcohol (which is still very bad and this is for the sake of comparision with phone texting), your eyes are still on the road...

Texting? Your eyes are completely distracted for the split second looking down at that screen and thumbing the keypad - on and off. And we all know (or should know) in driving, alot can happen in a split second.

RE: No duh...
By clovell on 9/19/2008 4:59:34 PM , Rating: 2
If it's that simple, then hold your phone up in front of the windshield - they're not all that big.

RE: No duh...
By Imaginer on 9/19/2008 6:56:35 PM , Rating: 2
By down, I mean on the screen. Not necessarily having the phone down on your lap.

Plus, with PROPER driving, your eyes should be able to look well ahead of your car anyways and not being distracted by switching to the phone screen, focusing on that for a short period, and texting... well some people can do it but then again...

By TechGuyCalifornia on 9/19/2008 12:27:14 PM , Rating: 2
Here are the basic facts:

1. People have been doing other things in the car besides driving for a long long time.

a. driving while putting on makeup
b. driving while shaving with an electric shaver
c. driving while eating
d. adjusting the stereo while driving
f. driving while looking at maps
g. driving while looking at gps navigation screen

All of these activities are just as dangerous as anything else because the end result of all of these can be death or serious injury. If you take your eye off the road you can run someone over or crash; it's basic and simple, stop doing other damn things in your CAR while driving you idiots!!

Thank You

By TechGuyCalifornia on 9/19/2008 12:32:24 PM , Rating: 2
The basic problem with texting is it takes alot longer to construct an entire sentence than it would to apply makeup, take a bite of a burger, shave a few hairs off, etc. Also, texting usually is done with the phone down, so most people are texting looking down leaving no peripheral vision, and looking down for long periods of time to finish a sentence or paragraph. The unfortunate thing is that most of the texting going on between teens, younger generation, etc is texting like "hey, whats up dummy" "not much dummy, your lame" "no, you're lame!!" " I hate you!", etc...

Anyway, that is my take on it.

By Ratinator on 9/19/2008 1:19:03 PM , Rating: 2
Mythbusters did an episode on driving under the influence and talking on the cell phone. They drove a course and determined (though subjectively) that using a cell phone while driving was worse than driving under the influence very near the legal limit of .08. Now I am sure that driving when you are plastered may be worse, I sometimes wonder.

RE: Mythbusters
By gochichi on 9/22/2008 12:20:56 AM , Rating: 2
What mythbusters didn't take into account (as none of these ridiculous studies can) is that driving such a course while on the phone is something that only a drunk person would do. If I were going along and talking on the phone, I would drop my phone the second I started having to pay attention to the driving. If driving is "automatic" then phone is more or less OK, if driving becomes a primary task, sober people grasp for the wheel (cellphone and all) and focus on the situation.

I'll never prove it to you, but handsfree is far worse than a handset because you still have a separate conversation in your ear even during emergencies. I interrupt conversations on the cellphone all the time, ALL THE TIME and in real time as situations arise. Setting my cell on the passenger seat is next to instinctual by now if needed.

So if mythbusters allowed me to be "real", I would beat a drunk every time. If, however, they force me to keep my phone to my ear in a ridiculous situation then it's called "inconclusive BS, and junky contrived pseudo science".

I honestly think we'd be better off focusing on HOW to properly talk on the cellphone while driving rather than IF.

Wrong side
By ggordonliddy on 9/19/2008 7:54:57 PM , Rating: 2
Obviously the Times driver in the photo did poorly because she is sitting on the wrong side of the car.

RE: Wrong side
By foolsgambit11 on 9/20/2008 11:05:17 AM , Rating: 2
and driving on the wrong side of the road!

By Ryl3x on 9/19/2008 11:04:50 AM , Rating: 2
They shouldve banned texting while driving prior to talking on the cell while driving. At least with talking on the had your eyes on the road.

Common sense people.

By clovell on 9/19/2008 11:55:11 AM , Rating: 2
The study didn't use simulated collisions as an actual endpoint, but rather the risk factors associated with such incidents. We do the same thing in dyslipidemia research - the final endpoint is a positive cardiac outcome, but we don't wait around for infarctions and such.

But, then again, the study used a simulator, so it wouldn't have taken too much to go that extra mile / five inches (er... centimeters?). Which, makes me wonder if they did indeed take a look at that, but the numbers weren't as alarming as they would have hoped.

Let's face it though - texting while driving is distracting, and 17-24 year olds aren't the best drivers in the world, either - which is why they pay higher insurance rates.

It's a bit disconcerting to me to see statistics paraded around with no mention of variation - especially when we do inherently stupid things like compare cannabis use to texting with no mention of methodology or whether the difference is even significant.

So where does that leave us? In my (un)biased opinion (you decide), it leaves us being offered another bowl of junk science perpetrated upon society by a government agency that is desparately trying to justify its nanny-state, socialist leanings. Just calling it like I see it.

Never under estimate the stupidity
By Denigrate on 9/19/2008 12:07:27 PM , Rating: 1
Never under estimate the stupidity of your fellow humans. People who text and drive should not be allowed to pass thier genetics on to the next generation.

By AE3Wolfman on 9/19/2008 1:17:01 PM , Rating: 1
I've met some that I felt shouldn't be allowed to breed.

How do they test dui driving?
By PointlesS on 9/19/2008 1:05:13 PM , Rating: 2
Do they just get someone hammered and put them in the simulator? If so, where do I sign up?

What cellphones need
By ShaolinSoccer on 9/19/2008 5:02:35 PM , Rating: 2
If they can put something in the cellphone that detects it is in a moving vehicle, it can disable texting.

To make matters worse...
By LatinMessiah on 9/19/2008 5:40:24 PM , Rating: 2
Most phones are incredibly cumbersome to navigate through all of the texting menus/keys, especially with one hand. need both hands to text on the ones with built-in Qwerty keyboards.

poor driving habits...
By croc on 9/20/2008 4:48:21 AM , Rating: 2
Texting while driving should be an immediate license revocation and vehicle confiscation offense in my opinion. Personally, I find that even using a hands-free to answer a call is distracting enough, or a passenger trying to tell me how to drive...

But in AUS we have much narrower lanes than in the US, so it takes a bit more concentration to avoid 'situations' than perhaps in the US. When one is penned in with a UAV on either side, a slow driver in front, all doing nearly 80 Kph, even changing radio channels could be dangerous.

I've never had an accident, but I have flat-spotted a few tires avoiding some... And praying that the person behind is paying attention.

Just do what have done....
By UsernameX on 9/21/2008 1:42:11 PM , Rating: 2
Learn how to touch text. That way I can keep my eyes on the road while replying to someone.

Train Wreck
By rupaniii on 9/21/2008 5:36:14 PM , Rating: 2
Nuff Said, and that thing was on rails.
Very horribly unfortunate.

Ilogical premise.
By gochichi on 9/21/2008 11:32:37 PM , Rating: 2
Another "cellphone use" more dangerous than alcohol or mariguana. Here's the thing: a careful and well intended drunk will actually drive reasonably well. Like the kind that had a couple drinks too many (not 5 drinks too many) and just wants to get home safe... suddenly they're obeying the speed limit and trying their hardest to stay within the line. Suddenly the radio is off, and all attention is placed on driving, even though they had a couple of drinks too many they they are actually relatively safe. OK, so I drive less safely than that hypothetical most of the time.

Here's the problem with that ludicrous statement. Drunkeness is not usually INSTEAD of cellphone use (or whatever distraction you prefer), it's in addition to cellphone use. Not to mention the brilliant ideas you get while you're tipsy. For instance, I've been designated driver and driving my drunk girlfriend who decides she'd like to go down on me (pretty distracting at times). Well, if I were drunk, I sure as heck would be even less likely to say no to that... so there you have it, is the drunk safer still? You got high (i never get high, but just saying) and you get the munchies... next thing you know you're combined a slow reaction time with trying to eat some Taco Bell and not spill.

Anyhow, that's my two cents. Drunkenness is another layer of irresponsibility. Driving is boring, and requires very little attention. Fiddling with the iPod, eating/ drinking, or being on the phone, or texting, or shaving, or doing your make up, fixing your hair or whatver, disciplining your kids, making out, and the list goes on and on is not a good idea but I'm pretty sure every single person that drives often has done a couple of these things in the last month.

Texting is ridiculous while driving (i've done it, i admit it, I've also driven at over 110MPH in a 1995 altima with regular tires... horrible plan) we all do stupid stuff at times. Adding drunkeness to any of these bad ideas would likely cost a life. My message is this: if you're gonna do something stupid while driving, keep it down to one thing... rather than add them up combo style.

I can tell you I'm always on edge while texting and driving, I'm always ready to drop the phone if needed, all systems on high alert. I'm so good at texting that it's pretty automatic as well. It also starts off with making a sober decision about the driving situation I'm in. I usually slow down to the speed limit, check all mirrors more intently, etc.

These comparisons are very strange indeed. There is absolutely no way to compare these, drunks make poorer decisions than sobers. So if a sober is like me, and is selfish enough to text while driving... think of what I would do drunk? Then add crappy reaction time to mix. Maybe instead of texting at 55MPH, I'd text at 75MPH... texting may be bad but drunkenness is still worse.

"My sex life is pretty good" -- Steve Jobs' random musings during the 2010 D8 conference
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