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Drivers' reaction times are worse when texting than when driving

Drinking and driving reduces your ability to react to things on the road around you. This is just one reason why it is so dangerous. A lag in reaction time could mean you don't stop at a red light or you don't see that traffic slowed down ahead of you until the moment of impact.

Maybe you accept this fact easily, having heard for years just how dangerous drunk driving really is. If so, it is important to note that studies actually claim that texting and driving is even more dangerous. It causes an even greater reduction in reaction time.

The study in question looked at young drivers from 17 years old to 24 years old. It then simulated driving tests to see if they would cause accidents, though mistakes would not actually endanger themselves or others.

First off, it is important to note that drunk drivers saw their reaction times fall by a total of 12 percent. Certainly, it made them far less safe. Those who had used marijuana also showed slower response times, which came in at a full 21 percent -- almost twice as much as drunk driving.

It was texting and driving that stood out the most, though. Drivers' reaction times plummeted by about 35 percent. This stayed true when they were writing text messages or receiving them.

While reaction times are just one part of driving, the difference in this area is very clear. Texting and driving puts everyone in danger. If you get hit by a distracted driver, make sure you fully understand all of your legal options to seek out financial compensation.

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