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Mobile use - as 'risky as drink-driving'
Chatting on a mobile phone is at least as dangerous as driving while over the legal alcohol limit, a new study suggests.
The University of Utah study involved 40 volunteers using a driving simulator, and the authors say there is now enough evidence to warrant banning all mobile use when driving.
The volunteers had their reactions tested in four separate circumstances - driving without distractions, while using a handheld phone, a hands-free phone, and while intoxicated.
Motorists who talked on mobiles, either handheld or hands-free, were as impaired as drunk drivers - and more likely to be involved in an accident.
Professor David Strayer believes having a phone conversation alters how drivers perceive, and react to, information. This means motorists on the phone are more likely to fail to stop at a junction, and be involved in rear-end collisions. Even when these drivers were looking at objects they often failed to see them.
Professor Strayer said: "We suggest that talking on a cell phone creates a form of inattention blindness, muting a driver's awareness of important information in the driving scene."
For the full story go to: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/5129094.stm
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