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Posts Tagged ‘Texas Transportation Institute’

Voice Texting Still Dangerous, Warns New Study

“Taking mental concentration off the road.”

by on Apr.23, 2013

Even switching to hands-free texting may not reduce the risk of distracted driving.

Even as more states move to bar motorists from texting while driving, a growing number of automakers have been adding supposedly safer voice-to-text features to their vehicles. But a new study by the Texas Transportation Institute warns that the newer technology is just as likely to leave drivers distracted and at risk of a crash.

Distracted driving is responsible for an estimated 11% of all highway deaths, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and texting is generally seen as one of the worst – and growing — problems. The Texas study cites industry data showing Americans send 6.1 billion text messages a day, and other studies have indicated that a sizable share of U.S. motorists – including a significant majority of younger drivers – text behind the wheel.

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With more and more states barring the use of handheld phones, whether to make a call or to text, the auto industry has been trying to fill the gap with hands-free technology such as Bluetooth calling and new voice-to-text apps.  But despite being billed as a safer alternative, the new study indicates that texting in any form is a dangerous distraction.


Texas Study Reveals Night Driving Deadly for Teens

Cell phone use, darkness and inexperience are killers.

by on May.10, 2010

Night time is the wrong time for teen drivers.

The Texas Transportation Institute’s “Teens in the Driver’s Seat” center has released the results of 10-year study of highway fatalities, which shows that the percentage of night time fatalities has increased for teen drivers during the last decade. A combination of cell phone use, darkness and inexperience is particularly deadly for teenage drivers.

More teenagers die as the result of car crashes than from any other cause. Moreover, while car crashes account for 2% of all deaths nationwide, they account for 43% of teen deaths. It is estimated that the economic cost across the United States exceeds $41 billion each year.

The death toll for teens in Texas is more than 500 each year, according to TTI. (Each day in this country, 11 teens die in car crashes.) The vast majority of these crashes are attributable to a combination of driver inexperience, coupled with one or more of the five major risks facing teen drivers – driving at night, distractions such as cell phones and other young passengers, speeding, not using seat belts, and drinking and driving

“Among drivers 20 and older, alcohol was a clear culprit in the proportional increase in night time deaths, said Bernie Fette of TTI. “ Not so with teenagers, among whom there was a greater increase but no corresponding jump in deaths that could be attributed to drunken driving.”


Driving After Dark Becoming More Hazardous for Teen Texters

New study blames cellphones, texting.

by on May.07, 2010

Texting and cellphoning may be responsible for a big increase in the percentage of nighttime fatalities involving teen drivers.

Driving after dark always has its risks, but a new study finds that the number of nighttime fatalities involving teenage drivers has risen well beyond that of the rest of the population, and cellphones are the likely cause.

The number of fatal crashes in the U.S. has gone down sharply, over the past decade, but there was an increase in the percentage of such accidents occuring after dark.

The percentage of deadly nighttime crashes involving drivers 16 to 19 years old increased sharply between 1999 and 2008, according to research by the Texas Transportation Institute.  During the first year of the study, there were 6,368 fatal crashes involving those teen driver, 2,875, or 45 percent, of them at night.  By 2008, the overall number of fatal crashes involving drivers 16 to 19 actually fell, to 4,322, but those occurring after dark increased to 50%, or 2,148 overall.

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That works out to a 10% increase while, by comparison, there was only an 8% increase among drivers 20 and older, the TTI found.

The Institute suggests that alcohol use is likely to blame for the problem among drivers over 20, but it points the finger at cellphones – both for talking and texting — for the rising nighttime fatality rate among teens.