Researchers from the University of Massachusetts found that a driver is 20 times more likely to be involved in a car crash while texting than at any other time. The study also discovered that young drivers under the age of 25 are more likely to text behind the wheel than more experienced ones. In fact, nearly half of teen drivers admitted to text messaging while driver in a 2007 survey.
Scientists at UMass used a driving simulator to examine the reactions of motorists and their eye movement. They asked volunteers of various ages to perform tasks such as checking a map or turning on the heat while driving the simulator.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 500,000 people were injured in auto accidents that involved driver distraction in 2008. Another 5,870 died in car accidents involving a distracted driver. “Distracted driving” may include talking on a cell phone, eating, drinking, texting, and talking with passengers, but texting is among the most hazardous activities.
Source: Dashboard deathwish: UMass simulator details risks of texting at the wheel, GazetteNet.com, March 18, 2010
Contact a Massachusetts motor vehicle accident attorney if you have been injured by a car, bus, or truck crash.