Texting while Driving Even More Dangerous than Driving while Drunk or High on Marijuana

Research in Great Britain has found that texting behind the wheel is more dangerous than driving while intoxicated or under the influence of marijuana (cannibis).

The study used a driving simulator with young drivers aged 17 to 24. Writing or reading text messages reduced reaction time by 35%. In comparison reaction time dropped 21% for those under the influence of marijuana and 12% for those who were legally intoxicated by alcohol.

The ability of to keep a vehicle in a lane dropped by 91% for those texting, compared to 35% if they had been smoking marijuana.

The study was commissioned by the Royal Automobile Club Foundation and conducted by the Transportation Research Laboratory.

Much research has already shown that using a cell phone, even a hands-free model, is more dangerous than driving while legally intoxicated.


  • Texting greater driving risk than alcohol: Sending a text message on a mobile phone while driving is more dangerous than being drunk or under the influence of drugs, new British research has revealed. Australian News, September 19, 2008;
  • RAC: Text-driving ‘bigger risk than drink-driving' for young motorists. Daily Mail (UK), September 18, 2008;
  • Texting at wheel ‘is worse than drink or drugs.' Daily Express (UK), September 18, 2008;
  • Testing while driving riskier than drugs or alcohol.
    China Daily, September 19, 200.

Filed Under: Drinking and Driving