In a recent study, researchers at the University of Utah have found that drivers who text are six times more likely to crash compared with those not texting. The study suggests that texting while driving requires the driver to switch attention from the task of driving to the task of texting. This differs from drivers who talk on a cell phone while driving, in that cell phone talkers can divide their attention between a phone conversation and driving. When attention is switched from driving to texting or vice versa, the reaction times for the drivers appear to be substantially slower than when a driver is simply talking on a cell phone or not using a cell phone at all. The act of reading messages affected braking times in this study more so than did composing messages for texting.
Regardless, the safest practice would be to not use the cell phone at all while driving. However — at least according to this study — the act of texting while driving significantly increases the risk of crashing.
On a similar note, the City of Toledo has recently passed an ordinance which bans texting while driving. This law went into effect on January 1, 2010. Repeated violations of the law could cost a driver jail time and fines up to $1,000. While this new law will undoubtedly be difficult to enforce, the University of Utah study seems to suggest that the significantly increased risk of texting while driving, as compared to talking on a cell phone while driving, justifies some action be taken to keep drivers safe.
If you or someone you love has been injured in an automobile accident, please contact our office at gallonlaw.com or via phone at 419-843-2001 or toll-free 567-455-5470 for a free consultation and evaluation of your claim. Our personal injury attorneys have extensive experience dealing with automobile collisions throughout Ohio and Michigan and have a history of recovering for our clients who are injured and/or killed through no fault of their own.
Michael D. Bell
Attorney, Personal Injury Section
Gallon, Takacs, Boissoneault & Schaffer Co., L.P.A.