Monday, 1 December 2008

Hands-free conversations are more distracting than talking to passengers

The December issue of the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, which is published by the American Psychological Association, says drivers make more mistakes when talking on a mobile phone than when talking to passengers. The study looked at 41 mostly young adult drivers paired with 41 friends. The results of the experiment, which was conducted using a driving simulator, showed that mobile phone users were more likely to drift in their lane, kept a greater distance between their car and the car in front, and were four times more likely to miss pulling off the highway at the rest area. Passenger conversation barely affected these three measures. In addition, the passengers took an active role in helping the driver, often talking about surrounding traffic. [Press release; PDF of article]

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