What're they supposed to do, pull over every 45 seconds?
According to a national survey of 1,000 16- and 17-year-old drivers released on July 10 by AAA, 46 percent send text messages with their cell phones while driving.
To the folks at AAA, that's a high number, with alarming safety implications.
To Albuquerque 18-year-old Jesse Gallagher, it's par for the course.
"I bet it's even more than that," he said on July 10.
Gallagher doesn't know how many times he texts in a day, but said he receives or sends a text message about every 45 seconds to a minute.
"You learn to text without looking," he said. "Then it gets easier."
Maybe not quite easy enough. About a month ago, Gallagher said, he was involved in an accident that "was really the other guy's fault."
"I was texting and the guy cut in front of me," he said. "Then I looked up and he put on his brakes and I didn't have enough time to stop."
Gallagher also said he has been cited for talking on his cell phone while driving.
To AAA, distractions while driving are a critical safety problem.
"Motor vehicle crashes are the No. 1 killer of teens, claiming more than 6,000 15- to 20-year-olds each year," AAA New Mexico spokeswoman Jeannie Chavez said in a press release. "Their attention should not be divided among phones, friends and the road."
The Albuquerque Tribune
Texting while driving is riskier than driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, a study has suggested.
The Transport Research Laboratory found that motorists who use their mobile phone to send text messages while on the road dramatically increase the likelihood of collision.
Their reaction times deteriorated by 35 per cent, much worse than those who drank alcohol at the legal limit, who were 12 per cent slower, or those who had taken cannabis, who were 21 per cent slower.
In addition, drivers who sent or read text messages were more prone to drift out of their lane, the research found, with steering control by texters 91 per cent poorer than that of drivers devoting their full concentration to the road. (emphasis mine)
The UK Times Online