Tags: hand-free | cellphones | hand-held | distracting | driving

Hands-Free Cellphones Just as Distracting as Hand-Held While Driving

Hands-Free Cellphones Just as Distracting as Hand-Held While Driving

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By    |   Tuesday, 13 December 2016 01:03 PM


Talking on a hands-free cellphone while driving is just as distracting as using a hand-held phone, says an Australian study.


"We took a group of drivers and exposed them to a virtual road network which included a pedestrian entering the driver's peripheral vision from a footpath and walking across a pedestrian crossing," said researcher Dr. Shimul Haque.


"We then monitored the driver's performance and reaction times during hands-free and hand-held phone conversations and without.


"The reaction time of drivers participating in either a hand-held or hands-free conversation was more than 40 per cent longer than those not using a phone."


In real terms, he said, the delayed response is equal to a distance of about 110 feet for a vehicle traveling at about 25 mph.


"This shows hands-free and hand-held phone conversations while driving have similar detrimental effects in responding to a very common peripheral event of a pedestrian entering a crossing from the footpath," he said.


Haque said it was the brain power required to hold a conversation that was the distraction, not whether or not the driver was holding a phone.


Concerns about safety have increased as the number of drivers using cellphones has increased. Numerous studies have found that using cellphones is distracting, and one study found that it was as hazardous as driving drunk.


A problem is the brain uses some of the same areas when talking on a cellphone as driving; if you do both at the same time, one is going to suffer.


Studies have found that neither listening to an audiobook or talking to another passenger while driving was a distraction, but talking on the phone was.


The National Safety Council estimates that using a cellphone while driving causes more than 1 in 4 car accidents — 1.6 million crashes a year.
 

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Talking on a hands-free cellphone while driving is just as distracting as using a hand-held phone, says an Australian study. We took a group of drivers and exposed them to a virtual road network which included a pedestrian entering the driver's peripheral vision from a...
hand-free, cellphones, hand-held, distracting, driving
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2016-03-13
Tuesday, 13 December 2016 01:03 PM
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