I was reading the latest issue of MacWorld magazine (October, 2009 cover date) which had an interesting statistic on page 26: accidents are 23% more likely when you are driving. It was an interesting statistic to be sure; however, the statistic was not documented.
A few minutes and Google searches later, I discovered that the statistic was taken from a July 27, 2009 paper from the VirginiaTech Transportation Institute.
“Several large‐scale, naturalistic driving studies (using sophisticated cameras and instrumentation in participants’ personal vehicles) conducted by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI), provide a clear picture of driver distraction and cell phone use under real‐world driving conditions. Combined, these studies continuously observed drivers for more than 6 million miles of driving.”
In the provided table was the statistic that was reported in MacWorld: Text messaging – 23.2 times as high as non‐distracted driving.
The bottom line on this one: DON’T DO IT!!