Texting While Driving Slows Reaction Time

Author: Rosenberg & Gluck, LLP

A Neustar survey shows that 72 percent of U.S. cell-phone users paid for text messaging packages in 2011. In terms of the population, this is approximately 203 million people with texting capabilities. Prevalent use of texting has also led to studies evaluating factors involved with texting while driving.

The Texas Transportation Institute reported that drivers’ reaction times are twice as slow when texting while driving. These facts are based on a study that observed people texting in a laboratory setting using a test-track course.

The first section of the course was an open road and the next section was a road with barrels along the side. Initially, drivers drove the course while not texting. Afterward they drove while texting. Participants would text a familiar story, such as a fairy tale, and also answer questions about another story. These texting behaviors simulated real life actions of reading and responding to emails or Facebook posts. Evaluators checked the drivers’ reaction times, abilities to stay within their lanes, and driving speeds.

By using flashing lights, the course indicated hazards, and testers recorded the participants’ reaction times. Drivers who were not texting reacted within one or two seconds. By comparison, drivers who were texting reacted within three to four seconds. However, even worse, texting drivers were 11 times more apt not to see the flashing light at all. Texting drivers had more trouble staying within their own lanes, swerved more frequently, and slowed down more than drivers who were not texting.

Serious accidents can result from inattentive driving. If injured in an accident where other driver was texting, seek legal help. Texting and driving is illegal in New York. Our Long Island car accident lawyers at Rosenberg & Gluck, LLP can evaluate your accident and advise about pursuing a lawsuit.