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Texting Doubles Drivers Response Time

Photo of Randy Sorrels

According to a recent study conducted by the Texas Transportation Institute, typing or reading a text message while behind the wheel of a car can double the reaction time of a driver. It is likely that a person who is texting will respond slower to unexpected dangers on the road like a child running across the street or a sudden stop of the vehicle in front of them. Texting while driving inhibits the reaction response by three to four seconds when the normal response time is one to two seconds. Drivers are eleven times more likely not to see a flashing light in the middle of the road while they are texting. In addition, maintaining correct lane position and driving at a constant speed are impaired.

Currently 34 states have adopted texting and driving bands, but Texas is not one of them. Earlier this year the Texas Legislature approved a texting ban for all people, however, Governor Rick Perry vetoed it because it was "micromanaging the behavior of adults." Nonetheless, Texas does prohibit the use of cellphones in school zones and there are certain restrictions for drivers under the age of eighteen. Perry included in his veto message that education and information are the keys to discouraging all people from texting while behind the wheel.

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