California Highway Patrol: Texting while driving surpasses dangers of drunken driving

SAN DIEGO - Texting while driving is more dangerous than driving drunk. That is what the California Highway Patrol said as the number of convictions across the state continues to soar.

If you drink and drive, you are four times more likely to crash. If you text and drive, you can be up to 23 times more likely to crash.

Within seconds of setting up at the intersection of Mission Center Road and Camino De La Reina in Mission Valley Wednesday, 10News found driver after driver texting away.

The CHP says the number of convictions in California for texting while driving has spiked 42 percent. In 2011, there were 14,000 texting citations in California. In 2012, there were 21,000.

As for those caught talking without a hands-free device, those convictions have gone down from 460,000 to 425,000.

CHP Officer Jake Sanchez told 10News, "An average text message takes approximately 4.6 seconds to read and another 4.6 seconds to send out. In essence, your eyes could be off the road a total of 9.2 seconds."

San Diego resident Rick Foss said, "You're not looking forward, you're looking down and you just don't know have the vision of view and what's happening in front of you. You can't react to anything quickly if you're looking down."

"That distraction itself … imagine how far you've traveled in that period with your eyes essentially off the road," said Sanchez.

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