cel phones and driving


Cell Phones Distract Drivers More than Passengers Do

Chatty passengers can point out road hazards, but the person at the other end of the phone call doesn’t help your driving.

Jeff Bertolucci

PC World
Tuesday, December 2, 2008; 12:19 AM

Cell phones distract car drivers more than talkative passengers, and hands-free devices don?t make for safer driving, according to a recent Reuters report on a new study published by the Journal of Experimential Psychology: Applied. Even worse, drivers who use mobile phones are as impaired as those who are legally drunk.

University of Utah researchers used a series of driving-simulation tests to determine that hands-free gadgets such as a Bluetooth headset are just as distracting as holding a phone to your ear. Talking on a cell phone slowed the reaction times of adult drivers aged 18 to 49 to those of senior citizens, according to the study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology.

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Passengers, even chatty ones, are far less distracting because they can point out hazards or remind drivers of upcoming exits, and are more likely to change a conversation (by shutting up or talking less) when driving conditions change — and because they’re in the car, they’re more likely to notice that the driver needs to focus.

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