Texting while driving increases crash risk 23-fold

Virginia Tech study of truck drivers recommends ban on texting while driving

Drivers of heavy trucks who were texting while driving were at a 23 times greater risk of a crash or near crash than those who were not, the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute reported last night.

The findings of a series of studies (pdf format) released by the institute also showed that the risk to truck drivers was much higher from texting than from dialing a cell phone. The institute also found that talking or listening to a cell phone while driving a heavy truck caused no distraction.

For drivers of light trucks and cars, talking and listening slightly increased the risk of a crash or near crash, while dialing a cell phone was 2.8 times more likely to cause a crash. Texting distraction for car drivers was not reported in the institute's summary.

The findings are based on observing drivers in real-world road conditions using cameras and instruments installed in participants' vehicles. Overall, drivers were observed over 6 million miles of driving.

The cameras were used to make analyses of eye glance movements to assess where the drivers were looking. The tasks that drew the driver's eyes away from the forward roadway were judged to have the highest risk.

In light of the findings, the institute said texting should be banned in moving vehicles for all drivers, a step taken in 14 states and supported by some cell phone industry groups.

Similar to other recent studies conducted at the University of Utah involving driving simulators, Virginia Tech reported that using a headset cell phone is not substantially safer than a handheld because of the risks associated with answering, dialing and other tasks requiring a driver to take his eyes off the road.

The institute also suggested banning all cell phone use for newly licensed teen drivers, partly because they engage in cell phone tasks more frequently than adults. There are various laws in 23 states banning cell phone use for the youngest drivers. Teens in the Virginia Tech studies of cell phone use and texting while driving were four times more likely to get into a crash or near crash than adults.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags textingsmsmobile phonessmartphones

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Matt Hamblen

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?