Texting and driving put to the test

By: Brittany Pelletz Email
By: Brittany Pelletz Email

RICHMOND, Ky. (WKYT) - Although texting and driving is illegal in the state of Kentucky, many people still do it. Some even claim to be good at. But regardless of the skill you think you have, you probably recognize it is still dangerous.

"Texting is more of a distraction of where your mind is at. It's not the physical just taking your hand off the wheel," says Chris Millard, Graduate Assistant for the Traffic Safety Institute at EKU.
WKYT's Brittany Pelletz headed to Eastern Kentucky University to use their driving course to demonstrate the dangers of texting and driving.
There were no other drivers on the course. There were cones and Brittany managed to text and drive without hitting any of them.

While Brittany's texting and driving experience was crash-free, it was still obvious to those who are trained to look for distracted driving that she was texting away.

"Absolutely, absolutely. From the time that you weren't texting, the car was a lot more stable. Even your hand position. Once you starting to drive, that left hand tends to drift up to the 12 o'clock position which makes the car swerve a little bit more, " says Millard.

Millard says that voice activation texting is not any safer. It still requires your cognitive attention.
If you're a driver that sends or reads a text at a stop light, Millard says it is not any safer, "Stoplight is just as dangerous.You don't know what the person behind you is doing. If they come up, they could rear end you."

So while Brittany was texting and driving on EKU's driving course, you won't see her texting and driving on the roads.

Research shows that a driver is 23 times more likely to crash when they text and drive.
Texting while behind the wheel takes away a drivers visual, manual, and cognitive attention.


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