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    Texting While Driving 'More Dangerous Than Drugs Or Alcohol

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    Texting behind the wheel is more dangerous than driving while under the
    influence of alcohol or cannabis, researchers said Thursday.
    Research carried out on 17 young drivers (aged 17-24) using a simulator
    found that reaction time slowed by 35% when they were writing or
    reading text messages while driving. In comparison, reaction time
    deteriorated by 21% for those under the influence of cannabis, and by 12% at the
    legal alcohol limit.
    Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) -- which carried out the study for
    the RAC Foundation -- also found that steering control worsened by 91%
    for those who were distracted by texts, compared to 35% when cannabis
    was involved.
    The tests also showed that texters were less able to maintain safe
    distances from other cars and they tended to drift out of their lane more
    often.
    RAC Foundation director Stephen Glaister said the research "clearly
    shows that a motorist who is texting is significantly more impaired than a
    motorist at the legal limit for alcohol."
    TRL researcher Nick Reed added: "When texting, drivers are distracted
    by taking their hand off the wheel to use their phone, by trying to read
    small text on the phone display, and by thinking about how to write
    their message. This combination of factors resulted in the impairments to
    reaction time and vehicle control that place the driver at a greater
    risk than having consumed alcohol to the legal limit for driving."
    Nearly half of all drivers aged 18 to 24 in Britain admit to texting
    while driving, according to an earlier RAC poll of over 2000 young
    drivers.
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