Using Smartphones whilst driving worse than drink driving

Research by the TRL (Transport Research Laboratory) and the IAM reveales using smartphnoes whilst driving increased reaction times by 38%

The research shows that using a smartphone whilst driving decreases a drivers ability to concentrate on the road three times more than the effects of driving with the legal limit of alcohol in the body. Below provides comparisons on the effects of distracted driving

  • Using a smartphone slows reaction times by 37.6 per cent;
  • texting slows reaction times by 37.4 per cent;
  • hands-free mobile phone conversation slows reaction times by 26.5 per cent;
  • cannabis slows reaction times by 21 per cent;
  • alcohol (above UK driving limit but below 100mg per 100ml of blood) slows reaction time by between six and 15 per cent;
  • alcohol at the legal limit slows reaction times by 12.5 per cent.

A car driving simulator was used in the test, it clearly demonstrated that when the subjects were asked to use their smartphone whilst driving in the simulator key events were missed, an increase in unintentional lane changes were observed and the suibjects were unable to respond to speed changes of cars ahead of them.

The IAM calls on the Government and smartphone manufacturers to increase awareness of the dangers of using a smartphone whilst driving.

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