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Hands free compliance – but is it safe?

Drivers making telephone calls using a hands-free kit are just as distracted as those on handheld devices according to research recently conducted by Which?

Unsurprisingly they found that texting is far more distracting than making a telephone call and had a more adverse effect than drinking up to the legal limit.

A driving simulator was used to measure the reaction time to hazards whilst texting, making calls and drinking up to the legal limit. Making a telephone call using a hand-free kit and handheld device both led to a 19% reduction in attention levels. Texting gave a massive 79% reduction whilst drinking up to the limit 11%.

What does all this mean? Perhaps the authorities should look at the use of mobile phones whilst driving again.  It seems the distraction of the actual conversation is the key. Any legislation to stop people talking on the phone whilst driving would have a big impact on mobile phone operators and therefore is unlikely. However, if the act of using a hands-free device made an impact on safety surely we would all be driving fully automatic vehicles where you never need to take a hand off the steering wheel to do anything.

Posted on: 16.10.2012

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