In light of the semi-recently passed traffic laws in California about driving and talking on the phone, it’s natural that people come up with all kinds of scenarios about how talking on the phone is a lot better than doing whatever else in your car. One of the more common ones was that you were way less likely to crash your car while on your cell phone than if you had three screaming kids in the back. A similar argument pointed out that talking on the phone to a friend is just like talking to a passenger in your car.
Aside from the fact that common sense will tell you a passenger can see whether or not you’re about to run yourself off the road or into the path of an oncoming truck, a recent study from U.S. researchers has proved that having a second pair of eyes in the car actually does help because the person knows when to keep quiet and let you actually drive the car.
That aside, the study did come up with some interesting facts. According to research, talking on your cell phone while driving can slow the reaction times of younger drivers to the levels seen among senior citizens. Not only that but drivers using mobile phones are reportedly as impaired as drunk drivers.
The team used a simulator to test 96 adults aged 18 to 49 and results showed that drivers using a hands-free device drifted out of their lanes and missed exits more frequently than drivers talking to a passenger.
Read the full story on Reuters.