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Worse Than Alcohol?

So how dangerous is texting while driving?

Car and Driver magazine performed a hands-on test that suggested it can be even more dangerous than driving drunk.

On an 11,800-foot closed airport runway, two editors punched out texts while driving at 35 mph and 70 mph. Then they drank until they reached the legal driving limit of 0.08percent blood-alcohol content and drove a second time without texting.

The results showed that even using a straight road without any traffic, road signals or pedestrians, and looking just at reaction times when approaching obstacles, the texting results were worse than when the drivers were drunk.

"Neither of us had any idea texting would slow down our reaction time so much," said editor-in-chief Eddie Altermen. "Like most folks, we believe we are good drivers but the real key to driving safely is keeping your eyes and your mind on the road. Text messaging distracts any driver from those tasks."

Until it's against the law, though, some texters aren't quite ready to put down their phones.

"I'll read texts," said Candy Ellis, 21, of Orlando, "but I won't answer unless I'm stopped. But I have some friends who carry on conversations while they are driving. That's just crazy, but they do it anyway."

(Tallahassee - WCTV (CBS) © 10/22/2009)

Texting While Driving

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