On New York Times online we noticed an article about the Governors Highway Safety Association who put out a message yesterday banning text messaging while driving. This push comes after many studies have shown the increased risk of accidents occurring when drivers focus, even for only a moment, on text messaging rather than focusing 100 percent on the road.
Text messaging while driving puts drivers at an eight times likelier risk of crashing than those not using their phones, says a University of Utah study where crash simulators were used. At the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute they have found that texting truck drivers are 23 times more likely to cause a trucking accident than truck drivers not using a cell phone at all. Several senators have pushed for states to ban texting while driving on their roads or face losing federal highway funding.
Althought the focus as of late has been on shedding light on the dangers of texting while driving, many want to make it clear that talking on handheld cell phones is also distracting and dangerous. Studies show that drivers talking on cell phones are four times more likely to get in an auto accident than those who are not using their phone while driving.