Hands-free phones no safer for drivers than hand-held ones, finds new research
Hands-free phones no safer for drivers than hand-held ones, finds new research

Time to halt use of ‘deadly’ hands-free phones, study

Hands-free kits for vehicles are supposed to remove the dangers that come with driving while conducting a phone call. But new research from psychologists has found that having a hands-free conversation is just as distracting for drivers as holding a phone in their hands.

The researchers found that people driving a simulator took a little under a second longer to react to on-screen events when being questioned by a speaker positioned a few feet away from them, a delay attributed to the fact that when asked certain questions the brain has to build a sort of 3D mind palace simulation of the world for a bit so our conscious minds can be fully immersed in the question in order to form an appropriate answer.

Dr Graham Hole from the University of Sussex said it’s a misconception that we’ve somehow come to think of hands-free phones as OK to use while hammering a metal box about the place, saying: “…on balance, I think the law should be changed to get the right message across and make it absolutely clear that any use of a mobile phone while driving is hazardous.”


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