Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Today's Non-News: Trucking, driving don't mix


Someone thought it would be money well spent to do a study on how dangerous texting is while driving 18-wheelers. Are you kidding me?

A study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute showed that truckers who text while driving are 23 times more likely to crash or get into a near-wreck than an undistracted driver, while car drivers face the greatest danger when dialing their cell phones.

I might be way off here, but isn't a car easier to control than an 8,000 lb truck?

When dialing, the chance of an accident for a truck driver is 5.9 times more likely vs 2.8 times more likely for a car driver, the study found. If a trucker reaches for an electronic device, the crash risk is 6.7 times as high, while the risk for a car driver is 1.4 times as high. Truckers only fared better while talking or listening on a cell phone, with the increased risk one time more likely compared with 1.3 times for a car driver.

Yada, yada, yada... Here's the thing: what difference does it make if it's 5.9 or 2.8 or 6.7 times more likely to have an accident while fucking around with a cellphone?

The point is that the likelihood of having an accident is higher when we're dialing or texting or doing anything else that takes our eyes off the road.

See how I just did that without a study?


Following is an excerpt from the CNN report on the subject:

"Text messaging, as you can imagine, if you're engaged in a text message it draws your eyes away from the forward roadway," Rich Hanowski, director of the transportation institute's Center for Truck and Bus Safety, told CNN Tuesday. The study was based on research from 2004 to 2007, he said.

"From the study that we did, we found that it was almost five seconds out of a six-second window that we were looking at that the driver's eyes were off the forward roadway, so that's a tremendous amount of time driving at highway speeds and a lot of opportunity in that period of time to get into trouble."

In 4.6 seconds at 55 mph, a driver could travel the length of a football field.

With regards to texting, Hanowski said "it's really kind of a no-brainer" (exactly my point). "And I should point out we're scientists, we're not legislators, but when you see these kind of findings with regard to this level of risk, texting certainly should be banned. There's just no question; there's no redeeming factors associated with why a driver would be able to text and drive."

Source: CNN
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