Thursday, 4 December 2008

Hands-free calls in cars add 5 metres to stopping distance

Here's a story that echoes last week's warning about distracting hands-free conversations. Psychology researchers led by Dr Melina Kunar at the University of Warwick have published a research paper that shows mobile phone conversations impair reaction time by an average of 212 milliseconds, which equates to an extra 5.7 metres braking distance for a car travelling at 60 miles an hour. In addition, drivers using their phones suffer 83% more errors than those driving without the distraction of a mobile phone conversation. Listening to a story made very little difference to the test participants' response times or accuracy. [Press release]

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