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Killer Texting

killer-textingKiller Texting — June 2, 2009

Texting while driving is a very Dangerous Game.  The Dangerous Game is that the driver will not get into an “Event”, and one defintion of “Event” is fatal collision.

Just about every driver thinks they are great.  If the driver has attended a High Performance Driver Training Program or other advanced driving program then the driver has not been as skilled or trained as best possible.

Dr Phil Show – Killer Texting

high-collision-intersection-ahead-signDr Phil did a show that appeared recently dealing with Killer Texting.  This was a particularlly significant show because the Automotive Tribuen totally agrees that texting while driving is deadly.

In the last couple of decades before involvement with the Automotive Tribune many would say that I was active as a Forensic Engineer who specialized in accident reconstruction, vehicle product liability and vehicle black box technology.  For a period of years my firm analyzed approximately 1% of the annual traffic fatalalities in the US or about 400 annually.  I have done approximately 1,000 depositions and 100 trials and have concluded that there are a lot of ways to get killed.

Staying alive is frequently a 1 second window.  This window means that in the period of 1 second the killer vehicle will be some place ahead or behind of your travel path.  If you are not there when the other vehicle comes along you will not be struck.  On the left is a traffic sign from Ontario, Canada.  It communicates a very clear message.

It is critical to be able to recognize a hazard.  Texting puts the driver in a situation that they do not recognize hazards as far away as possible.  Also, texting takes the hands off the wheel so minor pot holes or debris on the roadway can pull the steering out from the driver’s knee.

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

50-mph-distance-equationIIHS has a great deal of information at their web site about texting and highway safety.  Arkansas, California, Utah and Virginia are among the states that have banned texting for all drivers.  Here is a May 2009 report and map which details cellphone and texting bans.  IIHS also has an informative article Teen Drivers Often Ignore Bans On Using Cellphones and Texting.

table-resultsMathematics For Collision

Travelling at a constant 50 mph for one second means that the car will travel a distance of 73′.  A historic time associated with driver perception reaction time when exposed to an unexpected hazard when driving is 1.5 seconds which means that at 50 mph the car would travel a distance of 110′.  With the driver taking their eyes and concentration off the road and then looking up will require a perception reaction greater than the normal time and distance in addition to the fact that the driver does not have both hands on the wheel to control the car.  Very aggressive deceleration (-.7g) results in a stopping distance from 50 mph of 119′ and would take 3.25 seconds.

Many More Fatalities From Texting

cemetary-post-cardTexting is addictive, otherwise drivers would not text when attempting to drive.  If you are going to not be where the wayward car is you must recognize the hazard before it gets to you.  There are some situations where it is impossible to avoid impact.  Those situations might be referred to as an Accident or Unplanned Impact.  Most Accidents are not Accidents they are properly defined as Collision Events.  Texting is a distraction and distractions on the highway causes collisions and collisions can be fatal.

On the left is a copy of an old post card that has been in my office for years.  In a morbid way this postcard seems appropriate.  Brock Yates and Andy Rooney would certainly have something to say about this very important and timely topic of Killer Texting.  It is very likely that each with their own unique brand of humorand communication, would provide a very focused assessment about being a driver that operates the car in a concerned manner.  Dr. Phil and the Automotive Tribune have made their comments about this deadly subject.

Random Photos From Automotive Tribune Site

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