A research team, led by Frank Drews, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Utah, confirms that indeed (when will people ever learn??), texting while driving is dangerous.
The team placed male and female drivers, 19 to 23 years old in a “high-fidelity [driving] simulator” and had them engage in either driving or driving while texting. All of the participants were experienced texters.
Reported in the journal of Human Factors, the study concluded that the driver’s median reaction time slowed when engaged in texting. The numbers show that when compared with the driving-only condition, reaction time is delayed by 9% while talking on the phone, and 30% delayed when texting.
The study also concluded that the “minimum following distance” between themselves and the virtual car ahead of them shrank.
Lastly, the study also found out that reading a text message requires more attention thus, more distracting, than composing one.