If driving and texting is worse than driving drunk, why is it still legal?
The answer, in short, is that it won’t be for long. In April, the provincial government voted to ban all manner of hand-held gadgets behind the wheel, which includes cellphones, PDAs and electronic entertainment devices. Following the announcement of the new bylaw, which will come into effect this fall, Car and Driver magazine released a study that compared the length of time it takes to brake when sober, when texting and when drunk. The results: 0.04 extra seconds before hitting the brakes while drunk, versus 0.68 seconds for a texting driver (at standard highway speeds, this translates to a difference of 66 feet). Such findings are particularly unnerving, given the prevalence of the practice; an American survey found that 25 per cent of motorists admitted to DWT, and the figure leaps to almost 60 per cent for drivers between 16 and 19 years old. Circumstantial evidence further supports the new law: this summer, a Hamilton man ran his car into a median and then a tree while texting. Safe to say he’s not LOLing now.
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