Feeds

Mobile-using drivers 'age 50 years'

Terrifying effect of yakking on the move

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

University of Utah researchers claim that a 20-year-old blabbing on a mobile phone while driving has the reaction times of a 70-year-old, AP reports. And it doesn't matter if you're chatting hands-free, because "any activity requiring a driver to actively be part of a conversation likely will impair driving abilities," said principal study author professor David Strayer.

Guinea pigs were subjected to four 10-mile freeway trips lasting about 10 minutes each in a simulator. They talked with a researcher via a handsfree mobe for half of the trip and maintained a concentrated silence for the other half. The results showed that those chewing the fat were "18 per cent slower in braking, had a 12 per cent greater following distance and took 17 per cent longer to regain the speed they lost when they braked".

The team concludes that "when 18-to-25-year-olds were placed in a driving simulator and talked on a cellular phone, they reacted to brake lights from a car in front of them as slowly as 65- to 74-year-olds who were not using a cell phone." Which means that a 70-year-old yakking away on his cellphone has the reaction times of a 120-year-old, or have we misunderstood this rather poor analogy?

In fact, old timers behind the wheel interfacing with their telephone do not pose a greater risk to road users because "more experience and a tendency to take fewer risks helped negate any additional danger," as Strayer puts it. Yes indeed, we have ourselves been stuck behind octogenarian motorists doing 10mph in the fast lane and can confirm that their safety consciousness is a shining example to other road users. ®

Related stories

Mobile phone driving ban comes into force
The truth about mobile phones and driving
Reg road tests the BioNav™ in-car nav wonder

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Déjà vu: Virgin Media jacks up broadband prices
Screw copper phone lines, we're UNIQUE, bleats telco
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
Fifteen zero days found in hacker router comp romp
Four routers rooted in SOHOpelessly Broken challenge
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
UK mobile coverage is BETTER than EVER, networks tell Ofcom
Regulator swallows this line and parrots it back out at us. What are they playing at?
What's the nature of your emergency, Vodafone?
Oh, you've dialled the wrong number for ad fibs, rules ASA
EE network whacked by 'PDP authentication failure' blunder
Carrier is 'aware' of cockup, working on a fix NOW
ROAD TRIP! An FCC road trip – Leahy demands net neutrality debate across US
You crashed watchdog's site, now time to crash its ears
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?