NPR did a story today about texting while driving. Read it! Everyone thinks they can text while driving but it is more dangerous than drunk driving. Utah has the toughest law in the nation on texting while driving:
"If you are just caught texting while driving, it can be up to three months in jail and a $750 fine," says Brent Wilhite, program director for Zero Fatalities, the state's public campaign against distracted driving.
"And if you kill someone, it's up to 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine," he says.
University of Utah psychologist David Strayer tracks eye movements while people text and try to drive. He says people really do take their eyes off the road — often for the same amount of time it takes to drive the length of a football field. Imagine doing that blind. And the cognitive distraction is part of what makes it so dangerous.
"In terms of accident risk, you're more likely to be hit by someone who's text messaging than someone who's drunk," Strayer says. "And that's a pretty alarming statistic."
In fact, his research shows that texting results in impairment levels double that of drunken driving.