A new study conducted by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute concludes that truckers who text while driving are 23 times more likely to crash or get into a near-wreck than an undistracted driver, while car drivers face the greatest danger when dialing their cell phones.
Researchers found the most shocking statistic to be the length of time that drivers' eyes were not on the road. For nearly five seconds out of a six-second window, drivers' eyes were averted from the roadway ahead of them and instead focused on their cell phone. A news release regarding the study put this finding into perspective,noting that if a highway driver takes his eyes off the road for even 4.6 seconds it equates to a traveling the length of a football field at 55 mph without ever looking at the road.
The researchers were unanimous in agreeing that texting should be banned. Indeed, they found "no redeeming factors associated with why a driver would be able to text and drive." The researchers acknowledged that they are not legislators, however, but hoped that these findings would help prompt legislation to ban not just texting while driving, but the use of cell phones altogether.