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
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
EE fails to apologise for HUGE T-Mobile outage that hit Brits on Friday
Customer: 'Please change your name to occasionally somewhere'
Time Warner Cable customers SQUEAL as US network goes offline
A rude awakening: North Americans greeted with outage drama
We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie
EC moves to shift status quo at Internet Governance Forum
BT customers face broadband and landline price hikes
Poor punters won't be affected, telecoms giant claims
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
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.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.