Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) Says Texting Doubles a Driver’s Reaction Time

Dallas Ft Worth Chevy dealerWe’ve all heard of the dangers of texting while driving time and time again, but there are still those who continue to do it. Hopefully, my fellow Chevy DFW drivers out there have taken this matter seriously. If not, time to listen up. A new study coming to us from the Aggies shows these dangers are far worse than most experts believe.

Earlier this week, the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI), an agency of the Texas A&M University System, released a report revealing that reading or sending a text message while driving doubles a driver’s reaction time.  The study consisted of 42 drivers between the ages of 16 and 54.

First, participants were asked to drive a course with and without texting, and their reaction times to a periodic flashing light were recorded. Without texting, reaction times fell between one and two seconds. With texting, the reaction times doubled to three and four seconds. Furthermore, drivers were more than 11 times likely to miss the light all together when texting.

As the drivers’ reaction times were being recorded, their ability to maintain proper lane position and speed was also being measured. The results showed that drivers were less able to:

  • safely maintain their position in the driving lane when they were texting.  Plus, their swerving was worse in the open sections of the course.
  • maintain a constant speed while texting, tending to slow down in an effort to reduce the demand of the multiple tasks. By slowing down, a driver gains more time to correct for driving errors (such as the tendency to swerve while texting). Speed variance was also greater for texting drivers than for non-texting drivers.

[tti.tamu.edu]

Christine Yager, an associate transportation researcher in TTI’s Center for Transportation Safety who managed the study said, “Most research on texting and driving has been limited to driving simulators. This study involved participants driving an actual vehicle. So one of the more important things we know now that we didn’t know before is that response times are even slower than we previously thought.”

Research doesn’t lie, friends. It’s a fact that texting while driving slows reaction time. So why risk you an accident in your new Chevy to send or read a measly little text message? Surely your life is worth than that.

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