The scientific literature is mixed on the dangers of talking on a cell phone versus those of talking with a passenger. . . . A study by a University of South Carolina psychology researcher featured in the journal, Experimental Psychology, found that planning to speak and speaking put far more demands on the brain’s resources than listening.
The Accident Research Unit at the University of Nottingham found that the number of utterances was usually higher for mobile calls when compared to blindfolded and non-blindfolded passengers across various driving conditions. . . .
A 2004 University of Utah simulation study that compared passenger and cell-phone conversations concluded that the driver performs better when conversing with a passenger because the traffic and driving task become part of the conversation. Drivers holding conversations on cell phones were four times more likely to miss the highway exit than those with passengers, and drivers conversing with passengers showed no statistically significant difference from lone drivers in the simulator. . . .
In contrast, the University of Illinois meta-analysis concluded that passenger conversations were just as costly to driving performance as cell phone ones. . . . A simulation study funded by the American Transportation Research Board concluded that driving events that require urgent responses may be influenced by in-vehicle conversations, and that there is little practical evidence that passengers adjusted their conversations to changes in the traffic. It concluded that drivers' training should address the hazards of both mobile phone and passenger conversations.
There are three main types of distraction:
Visual: taking your eyes off the road;
Manual: taking your hands off the wheel; and
Cognitive: taking your mind off of driving.
Distracted driving activities include things like using a cell phone, texting, and eating. Using in-vehicle technologies (such as navigation systems) can also be sources of distraction. While any of these distractions can endanger the driver and others, texting while driving is especially dangerous because it combines all three types of distraction.
Driving while using a handsfree cellular device is not safer than using a hand held cell phone, as concluded by case-crossover studies. epidemiological, simulation, and meta-analysis.
The increased cognitive workload involved in holding a conversation, not the use of hands, causes the increased risk.
How do you convince youngsters not to text while driving? Prove them it is a very bad idea: oblige them to text while driving! See how Belgian learner drivers reacted when they were told they had to pass the mobile phone test in order to get their driver's license.
A judge will decide whether the sender of a text message can be held liable for the car crash that occurred when the recipient read that message.
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