Texting Cuts Reaction Time in Half, Says Study

Oct 11, 2011
We talk a lot about distracted driving here on the FleetCards USA blog, but it’s important to realize just how much this risky driving practice can affect the safety of drivers and everyone around them. Now a new study from the Texas Transportation Institute shows that the impact is not insignificant; the results show that it takes a driver twice as long to react when they are distracted by reading or sending a text message.


The study, sponsored by the Southwest Region University Transportation Center, tested 42 drivers between the ages of 16 and 54 on a closed track with and without the task of texting a story while navigating the course.
Researchers also measured each driver’s ability to maintain proper lane position and a constant speed. They found drivers were less able to safely maintain their position in the driving lane when they were texting. Texting drivers tended to slow down but also had larger variations in speed overall.


More than 20 percent of all drivers have admitted to texting while driving. This leads to thousands of accidents every year, and should not be taken lightly. Make sure your drivers know the risks of texting and put policies in place to discourage it.


Photo courtesy of Jason Weaver and re-used under the Creative Commons license.