The study was carried out by a research group TRL for the Royal Automobile Club Foundation. TRL used an automobile simulator to compare the effect of texting on reaction time and other measures of driving ability to those of cell-phone use, drinking and drug use.
An engineer involved in a deadly crash between a Los Angeles commuter train and a freight train is believed to have been sending text messages while operating the train, officials said. He was one of 25 people killed in the collision.
"The participants in this study were almost unanimous in their view that drunk driving was the most dangerous action on the road," said Stephen Glaister, head of the RAC Foundation. "Yet this research clearly shows that a motorist who is texting is significantly more impaired than a motorist at the legal limit for alcohol. No responsible motorist would drink and drive."