Hands-free phone use found to be just as distracting for drivers

Hands-free phone use found to be just as distracting for drivers

A new study has found that using a mobile phone on hands-free while you’re driving is just as distracting as talking with a hand-held phone.

The research was undertaken by a team of psychologists at the University of Sussex in the UK and shows that drivers who are engaged in conversations that spark their visual imagination are much less able to spot and react to potential hazards.

When the drivers involved in the study were asked about a subject that required them to visualise it, they focussed on a smaller area of the road ahead of them and failed to see hazards, even when they looked directly at them.

The researchers claim their evidence shows conversations may use more of the brain’s visual processing resources than previously understood.

Having a conversation which requires a driver to use their visual imagination creates competition for the brain’s processing capacity that is also focussing on driving.

This results in drivers missing road hazards that they might otherwise have spotted.

Something to think about next time you make or take a call on the go.

About the author

Simon Lai

Simon is a writer and sometime contributor to the podcast. He also takes care of video production and product reviews. He met Joel through radio school and has worked with him on other ventures, reading news, producing and presenting radio content for regional networks. Simon doesn’t profess to be a car nut but enjoys driving first and foremost and has a penchant for hot hatches. He helps to provide the everyday-man perspective.

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