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It doesn't take Einstein, or indeed a car manufacturer survey, to figure out that texting while driving probably isn't the best idea.

But just to make sure, Ford has conducted a study to show just how dangerous trying to compose or read a message while behind the wheel can be.

It found that 95 per cent of motorists rightly believe that texting negatively affects driver ability and safety, while least half of those polled said driver response was around 50 per cent slower when reading text messages.

Despite this, 33 per cent of UK drivers admit to having read texts behind the wheel.

But now the manufacturer hopes that a new in-car system will mean that the days of its customers having to buy Ford spare parts to replace those they have damaged in a texting-related fender bender are a thing of the past.

The SYNC in-car connectivity system, which debuts in the new Ford B-MAX this year, comes with the ability to convert incoming text messages into computerised speech to read out to the driver.

It also allows the driver to reply to messages by voice using a set of predetermined responses.

Christof Kellerwessel, chief engineer at Ford Europe's electronic and electrical systems engineering department, noted that smartphones are now an essential part of many people's day-to-day lives.

"However, text messages can be a distraction for drivers, so the benefit of a system that can read messages aloud from compatible smartphones is obvious," he added.

The new Ford B-MAX is due for a UK release this summer, after which Ford will look to introduce the SYNC system into other models, starting with the Focus and Kuga.

Ford anticipates that 3.5 million of its vehicles sold in Europe will be equipped with SYNC by the year 2015.