The UK's Transport Research Laboratory has established that taking your eyes off the road to look at a tiny screen held in hands that are no longer gripping the wheel is really, really dangerous.
It's hard to imagine that this comes as a huge surprise to all but the most stupid, but the Times reports that in (simulator) tests reaction time dropped by 25 per cent for those sending text messages, while drunk people were 12 per cent slower and even the stoned only dawdled by 21 per cent.
It's not just reaction time that was destroyed by texting: Failing to hold onto the steering wheel also had quite an impact on steering ability. Shocking. The doped-up lost their ability to hold the line by 35 per cent, compared to a 91 per cent drop in the ability of those sending an urgent text message.
The answer is clearly to get stoned enough to know that your message isn't that important, or drunk enough not to care.
The study is supposed to highlight the danger of texting while driving, though it's hard to believe anyone capable of reading would believe themselves able to control a car while second-guessing T9, or reading their twitter feeds.
So we're off to hang around the 'lab in the hope of free cannabis and booze to establish if our ability to juggle is affected by drugs, or sending a text message. ®