California drivers know that texting while driving can cause much danger; however, prior knowledge about distracted driving may now change, inevitably for the worse.

According to a new study conducted by the Texas Transportation Institute, it was found out that texting while driving may post even greater danger to motorists as opposed to what many experts previously believed.

The said study suggests that non-texting drivers’ reaction time is normally between one and two seconds; however, for texting motorists, their reaction time is at least three to four seconds. Furthermore, drivers are 11 times more likely to miss flashing lights such as traffic signs when they are texting. Researchers say that study findings involve drivers who read, write, and use e-mail or Facebook.

Aside from the study by Texas Transportation Institute, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) claim that distracted driving is one of the leading causes of motor vehicle accidents in the country. In 2009, distracted driving was accounted for about 6,000 deaths and 500,000 injuries in 2009 alone.

On a per state basis, California is one of the states with most number of car accident fatalities due to texting while driving. According to California Highway Patrol (CHP), distracted driving is a growing concern of many motorists as it claims hundreds of lives in the State each year.

Facts and figures about texting while driving

The following are some of the determined risks of distracted driving:

•    Texting drivers are four times more prone to motor vehicle accidents compared to non-distracted motorists
•    Texting reduces drivers’ proficiency by 37 percent
•    Truck drivers who use mobile phone while driving is 23 times more likely to get involved in an accident
•    In 2008, about 28 percent of all motor vehicle accidents were caused by distracted drivers aged 18 to 29

California laws prohibiting distracted driving

In the State of California, authorities are strictly implementing particular laws to combat the dangers of distracted driving in order to save people’s lives. The following are the three laws that prohibit drivers from texting while driving:

Wireless Communications Device Law – this statute prohibits California drivers from writing, sending, or reading messages from an electronic wireless communication gadget, such as cell phone.

California Vehicle Code (VC) 23 123 – this law makes it unlawful for California motorists to use their handheld wireless phones while operating a motor vehicle.

California Vehicle Code 23 124 – drivers under the age of 18 are not allowed to use their mobile phones while driving as per instructions of this law.