Researchers and Cops Target Texting Drivers

5 years 10 months 22 hours ago July 26, 2011 Jul 26, 2011 Tuesday, July 26 2011 Tuesday, July 26, 2011 1:26:00 PM CDT in News
By: Kylie McGivern
loading

COLUMBIA - From a man who sees accidents nearly every day comes a new study on texting and driving. 

The research has to do with how distractions impact reaction time.

Tuesday, at the Columbia Police Department Training Facility, firefighter/EMT Chip Lange got behind the wheel and demonstrated his study findings on a driving simulator.

The simulator takes drivers through a virtual course, complete with unexpected turns and road signs. The simulator-experience can best be compared to sitting in a video game, complete with three screens to provide drivers with an experience close to reality. In Lange's study, the 33 participants were asked to attempt texting while navigating the course.

"The bottom line of this research is the fact that our body physically can't keep up with the fact of being distracted. That's a huge issue with this and this is something that's new because before, we thought reflex, we can respond quickly, doesn't really matter. Now, we realize our body just can't keep up because you have the part of us that recognizes what's going on behaviorally, but the part of us biologically trying to respond just isn't quick enough," Lange said.

His inspiration for the study?

"As a firefighter/EMT there's been a couple of times where I've seen actual accidents from texting and driving and also, I've been nearly hit by drivers who were distracted," Lange said. 

He conducted the study in the Spring, while a senior at Westminster College, but is working now to share his results.

Those results show drivers' reaction times when texting. Thirty-three people were studied, including some who are "frequent texters," which meant those who text while driving at least 10 percent of the time "infrequent texters," those who text while driving less than 10 percent of the time, and firefighters/EMTs, because they are trained to do multiple duties at once when driving to an accident. Everyone who tried to text while driving the simulator crashed. But Lange says frequent texters did the best navigating the similated driving test while texting.

He explained that when traveling 50 feet per second, at 34 miles per hour, firefighters on the simulator responded at 2/10 of a second. This means they recognized an object within 10 feet of traveling. Infrequent texters took up to half a second on average, so they recognized an object within 25 ft. 

That distance in reaction time can be the difference between life and death - as when a child darts across the street, Lange said. He explained our bodies simply cannot react fast enough when a distraction is thrown in the path.

Columbia Police Department Traffic Unit's Scott Decker writes tickets for those 21 or under texting and driving, and says he's seen it all. 

"I've seen people's driving habits where they're doing this (texting). One lady, she had both hands on the center of the steering wheel texting while driving, going approximately 50 miles an hour... That's scary. She's not paying attention to the number one thing she should be doing and that's driving," Decker said.  

Lange hopes to share the study when MoDot promotes texting and driving awareness in the Fall, as well as sumbit his research to scientific journals.

The Missouri Department of Transportation said distracted driving accounted for 28 percent of Missouri crashes in 2009. 

"... senseless deaths that don't need to occur. That text can wait," Decker said. 

It is unclear how many distracted driving accident are from texting, because that information is not currently included in injury crash reports.

That will change next year.

Chip Lange Research Paper

More News

Grid
List
JEFFERSON CITY – A father was sentenced in federal court Friday for threatening the attorney who represented one of his... More >>
5 hours ago May 26, 2017 May 26, 2017 Friday, May 26 2017 Friday, May 26, 2017 8:04:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
OSAGE BEACH – People going to Lake of the Ozarks this Memorial Day Weekend may encounter severe weather, dampening the... More >>
5 hours ago May 26, 2017 May 26, 2017 Friday, May 26 2017 Friday, May 26, 2017 7:56:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A motor vehicle collision left a man seriously injured Friday morning. Elmer Redcay, 62, was northbound... More >>
5 hours ago May 26, 2017 May 26, 2017 Friday, May 26 2017 Friday, May 26, 2017 7:53:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri economic development officials have authorized more than $6 million of incentives to several businesses that... More >>
8 hours ago May 26, 2017 May 26, 2017 Friday, May 26 2017 Friday, May 26, 2017 5:06:00 PM CDT in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — An Arkansas man faces up to a decade in federal prison now that he's admitted forcing a... More >>
8 hours ago May 26, 2017 May 26, 2017 Friday, May 26 2017 Friday, May 26, 2017 4:28:00 PM CDT in News
CLAYTON (AP) — A St. Louis-area woman convicted in March of secretly poisoning her son with prescription medications has been... More >>
10 hours ago May 26, 2017 May 26, 2017 Friday, May 26 2017 Friday, May 26, 2017 3:13:42 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY- A 16-year-old has been detained following the April murder of 63-year-old Jerry Robertson of Jefferson City. In... More >>
10 hours ago May 26, 2017 May 26, 2017 Friday, May 26 2017 Friday, May 26, 2017 3:12:00 PM CDT in News
ST. CHARLES - A judge declared a mistrial in the case against Serghei Comerzan Friday afternoon. Jurors were not able... More >>
11 hours ago May 26, 2017 May 26, 2017 Friday, May 26 2017 Friday, May 26, 2017 2:04:00 PM CDT in Continuous News
UPDATED 5/26/17 7:01 p.m. with new information. COLUMBIA - A 4-year-old child was taken to a hospital with life-threatening... More >>
12 hours ago May 26, 2017 May 26, 2017 Friday, May 26 2017 Friday, May 26, 2017 1:20:00 PM CDT in News
BOONE COUNTY - Boone County deputies served a search warrant at 507 N. Garth Avenue in Columbia as the result... More >>
12 hours ago May 26, 2017 May 26, 2017 Friday, May 26 2017 Friday, May 26, 2017 12:28:00 PM CDT in News
PLATTE COUNTY - Prosecutors plan to seek the death penalty against a 25-year-old northwest Missouri man if he is convicted... More >>
14 hours ago May 26, 2017 May 26, 2017 Friday, May 26 2017 Friday, May 26, 2017 11:09:00 AM CDT in Top Stories
JEFFERSON CITY - Police have made an arrest in the investigation of a suspicious death in April. A 16-year-old... More >>
15 hours ago May 26, 2017 May 26, 2017 Friday, May 26 2017 Friday, May 26, 2017 10:15:00 AM CDT in Top Stories
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The St. Louis Fire Department says it rescued a man after he became trapped between a... More >>
17 hours ago May 26, 2017 May 26, 2017 Friday, May 26 2017 Friday, May 26, 2017 7:55:00 AM CDT in Top Stories
CAPE GIRARDEAU (AP) — A Cape Girardeau institute that helps autistic people will remain open despite losing its state funding.... More >>
17 hours ago May 26, 2017 May 26, 2017 Friday, May 26 2017 Friday, May 26, 2017 7:26:35 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Saint Louis University officials say no one was injured when a fire broke out at a... More >>
18 hours ago May 26, 2017 May 26, 2017 Friday, May 26 2017 Friday, May 26, 2017 6:56:00 AM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Department of Transportation was preparing Friday for a weekend of heavy travel. AAA predicted... More >>
21 hours ago May 26, 2017 May 26, 2017 Friday, May 26 2017 Friday, May 26, 2017 4:09:00 AM CDT in Top Stories
HOLTS SUMMIT - Callaway County Sheriff Deputies arrested two men after deputies found meth, marijuana and a firearm in their... More >>
1 day ago May 25, 2017 May 25, 2017 Thursday, May 25 2017 Thursday, May 25, 2017 11:36:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY – Gov. Eric Greitens called for the special legislative session on Monday, and it’s costing taxpayers thousands of... More >>
1 day ago May 25, 2017 May 25, 2017 Thursday, May 25 2017 Thursday, May 25, 2017 8:51:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 68°
2am 66°
3am 65°
4am 64°
5am 64°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

1:07a
The Insider
1:37a
Paid Program
2:07a
Today
1:00a
Cheaters
1:30a
Seinfeld
2:00a
Paid Program

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Fast & Furious 6
7:00p
Family Guy
7:30p
Family Guy
8:00p
Bob's Burgers
8:30p
Bob's Burgers
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld