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Driving while texting vs. DUI
A new road test suggests that DWT is worse than driving drunk
 

Driving while texting, “amusingly dubbed DWT,” is more dangerous than driving drunk, said Lance Whitney in CNET News. Or at least that’s the upshot of a road test by Car and Driver editors (watch road tests). Two test drivers took a Honda Pilot for a spin while reading a text message, writing one, and while legally drunk—and the results are sobering.

Here's one particularly “sobering nugget” from the report, said Joseph Rose in The Oregonian. Texting drivers are four times slower to hit the brakes than those impaired by alcohol, yet “20 percent of drivers regularly send texts or e-mails on the road.” Perhaps states shouldn’t be “playing babysitter,” but the Car and Driver study should make Oregonians feel better about becoming the 15th state to ban DWT.

The results are bad for the older driver, 37-year-old editor in chief Eddie Alterman, said David Thomas in Cars.com, but the younger driver—22-year-old intern Jordan Brown—had much better braking times, and “barely a variance” between the three tests. That said, “even a slight delay in reaction time” could cause an accident, so keep the phone closed behind the wheel.

 

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