Use of mobile phones risky while driving

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Talking on a mobile phone while driving is more hazardous than operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.
A study from the Harvard Center of Risk Analysis estimates that cell phone use while driving contributes to 6 percent of crashes.
UK scientists involved 20 subjects using a driving simulator to test reaction times and driving performance, and tested how driving impairment was affected when drivers were talking on a handheld mobile phone or a hands-free phone, and when drivers had consumed enough alcohol to register above the legal blood-alcohol limit.
• Driver’s reaction times were, on average, 30 % slower when talking on a handheld mobile phone than when legally drunk. And 50 % slower than under normal driving conditions (no alcohol).
• Drivers talking on phones were less able than drunk drivers to maintain a constant speed, and they had greater difficulty keeping a safe distance from the car in front.
• Using a handheld mobile phone had the greatest impact on driving performance. On average, it took handheld mobile phone users half a second longer to react than normal and a third of a second longer to react compared to when they were drunk. At 70 mph, this half-second difference is equivalent to traveling an additional 46 feet before reacting to a road hazard, researchers said.
• Hands free mobile was no safer.
• Clearly the safest course of action is to not use a cell phone while driving.
• Remember the combination will be the worst.