Think Before Texting Behind the Wheel

I always knew that texting while driving is dangerous but, I just didn't realize how dangerous. A recent study by Car and Driver found that texting while driving is even worse then driving impaired. Prior texting tests have been done virtually or based on statistics from accident reports. However, a real-life test was never conducted until now.
The test was done over a strip of taxiway on the Oscoda-Wurtsmith Airport in Oscoda, Michigan, adjacent to an 11,800-foot runway that used to be home to a squadron of B-52 bombers. (That's just cool.)
A Honda Pilot was the test vehicle and a red light on the windshield lit up, simulating the brakes of another car in front. The lights were controlled by the passenger of the car, who also monitored the drivers.
A Racelogic VBOX III data logger combined and recorded the test data from three areas, vehicle speed via the VBOX's GPS antenna, brake-pedal position and steering angle via the Pilot's OBD II port and the red light's on/off status through an analog input.
The driver needed to respond five times to the light and the slowest reaction time (the amount of time between the activation of the light and the driver hitting the brakes) was recorded.
Car and Driver Jordan Brown, 22, used an iPhone, and Eddie Alterman, 37 used a Samsung Alias. The magazine said that they went with a phone that had a QWERTY keyboard because of their popularity. Personally, I don't have a QWERTY keyboard and I have to could the number of times I press buttons to get to my desired letter, symbol or number.
If these numbers are based on a device that makes texting easier, then I wonder what the results would be with an old school cell phone like mine.
Here's where I got scared. After the initial data was collected, control, reading and texting, the two started drinking screwdrivers and blew into a Lifeloc FC10 breath-alcohol analyzer until they reached the legal driving limit of 0.08 percent blood-alcohol content. Then, they went behind the wheel and ran the light-and-brake test without texting.
Although the 22-year-old did fare better, there still is significant damage that could have been done if other cars were involved. Brown traveled an extra 21 feet during his slowest reaction time at 35 mph before hitting the brakes while reading and went 16 feet longer while texting.
At 70 mph, a vehicle travels 103 feet every second, and Brown's worst reaction time while reading at that speed put him about 30 feet (31 while typing) farther down the road versus 15 feet while drunk.
Check out the full article, but it goes to show that texting behind the wheel is dangerous not only for yourself but for other drivers on the road.

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