A recent study using a driving simulator allowed individuals behind the wheel to go through numerous different types of distracting situations, including physical, cognitive and emotional distractions. These distractions were applied in several different formats including, questions.
The purpose of the study was to help design monitoring systems that can help to determine when a person is distracted and correct bad driving behavior associated with that distraction. Although texting is only one form of distracted driving, it is a deadly one.
What that research study identified was that all three types of distractions all decreased the driver’s likelihood to stay on a straight course within the simulator. The research also discovered, however, that when texting was introduced into the equation, the driver’s free hands became jittery on the wheel and they were more likely to drift into other lanes of traffic. Compared with other types of distractions, texting was determined to have the highest negative impact.
This is the most recent type of research in texting and driving, but it backs up what other studies have found that distractions in general and text messaging in particular is extremely dangerous. Numerous experts and legislators across the country recommends that individuals do not interact with their phone at all while behind the wheel.
Individuals who feel like they still need to maintain contact with their phone while driving for the purposes of accepting calls could make use of Bluetooth technology, which has not been found to have had as detrimental an impact as a handheld cell phone.