Should Texas require hands-free cell phone use while driving? Time to tell your lawmakers

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Five seconds is the average time your eyes are off the road while texting. At 55 mph, that’s enough time to cover the length of a football field.

Have you noticed how many drivers around you are buried in cell phone use? Now imagine if they were all intoxicated. How safe would you feel?

It’s not a stretch. Motorists on cell phones can mimic drunks with their weaving, unusual and varying speeds, and slow reaction times. The distracted can even be worse than the inebriated: Editors at Car and Driver magazine once tested reaction times and found that they actually braked more quickly while having consumed the legal limit of alcohol than while they were texting.

Worse yet, in a test of over-the-road truckers, a 2009 study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found the risk of collisions went up 23 times when the drivers were texting as opposed to not.

That’s one of many reasons Texas followed many other states in outlawing texting and driving in 2017. And while we will never know the extent of any correlation, road fatalities dropped 4 percent in Texas to 3,567 last year.

Read more from the Star-Telegram…

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