Tags: phones | distract | drivers

Mobile Phones Distract Drivers More Than Passengers

Monday, 01 Dec 2008 08:12 AM

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

Mobile phone calls distract drivers far more than even the chattiest passenger, causing drivers to follow too closely and miss exits, U.S. researchers reported on Monday.

Using a hands-free device does not make things better and the researchers believe they know why -- passengers act as a second set of eyes, shutting up or sometimes even helping when they see the driver needs to make a maneuver.

The research, published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, adds to a growing body of evidence that mobile phones can make driving dangerous.

Lee Strayer of the University of Utah and colleagues have found in a series of experiments using driving simulators that hands-free mobile phones are just as distracting as handheld models.

They have demonstrated that chatting on a cell phone can slow the reaction times of young adult drivers to levels seen among senior citizens, and shown that drivers using mobile telephones are as impaired as drivers who are legally drunk.

For the latest study, also using a simulator, Strayer's team showed that drivers using a hands-free device drifted out of their lanes and missed exits more frequently than drivers talking to a passenger. They tested 96 adults aged 18 to 49.

"The passenger adds a second set of eyes, and helps the driver navigate and reminds them where to go," Strayer said in a statement.

"When you take a look at the data, it turns out that a driver conversing with a passenger is not as impaired a driver talking on a cell phone," he added.

Passengers also simplify conversation when driving conditions change, the researchers wrote.

"The difference between a cell phone conversation and passenger conversation is due to the fact that the passenger is in the vehicle and knows what the traffic conditions are like, and they help the driver by reminding them of where to take an exit and pointing out hazards," Strayer said.

Strayer's team has videos showing drivers missing exits while on mobile phone headsets and showing that passengers interrupt conversations to help drivers exit correctly at www.psych.utah.edu/~strayer/cellphone.wmv and www.psych.utah.edu/~strayer/passenger.wmv.

© Thomson Reuters 2008 All rights reserved

-

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Newt: What Would Reagan Do to ISIS?

Saturday, 30 Aug 2014 13:04 PM

Instead of merely criticizing President Barack Obama's lack of an effective national security policy, it might be helpfu . . .

McCain, Graham: President's Lack of ISIS Strategy Startling and Dangerous

Saturday, 30 Aug 2014 12:42 PM

President Barack Obama's admission that he has no strategy for dealing with the Islamic State (ISIS) is not only startli . . .

Obama May Delay Immigration Action Until After Midterms

Saturday, 30 Aug 2014 11:12 AM

President Barack Obama may delay executive action on immigration until after the November midterm elections as Democrats . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved