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Old June 12th, 2016, 08:26 AM   #1
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It's the Brain, not the Hands

Sorry, but I must get back on my soap box.

Hands-free phone use by drivers is just as distracting as holding it: Study

Drivers using a hands-free phone get just as distracted as those holding it in their hand, British researchers have found.

Scientists at the University of Sussex found telephone conversations while driving can cause the driver to visually imagine what they are talking about.

This uses a part of the brain normally used to watch the road, the study said.

It is illegal in the UK to ride a motorcycle or drive using hand-held phones or similar devices.


The study involved 20 male and 40 female volunteers who took part in video tests while sitting in a car seat behind a steering wheel.

One group of volunteers were allowed to “drive” undistracted while another two heard a male voice from a loudspeaker 3ft away.

Those who were distracted by the voice engaging them in conversation took just under a second longer to respond to events, such as a pedestrian stepping off the pavement, an oncoming car on the wrong side of the road or an unexpected vehicle parked at a junction.

The study showed that asking a simple question – such as, “where did you leave the blue file?”- during phone conversations could mean a driver concentrates on an area four times smaller than normal, because their brain is imagining the room where they left the file, instead of checking for hazards in front of them.
I had a mobile phone, an ancient relative of what morphed over about 4 distinct steps into our current cell phones. And had to have such communication available to me 24/7 till I retired.

The first 2 versions had a hand held "push to talk" type microphone. And in the early days, it is lucky I hadn't killed myself. The only redeeming grace was that I was mostly driving deep in the bush all by myself.

I relatively learned that if there was more than a simple single datum message or a yes/no type of exchange, pull over to think, analyse and/or take notes.

And it had nothing to do with my hands being used, it had to do what my brain was thinking about.

Hands-free phone use by drivers is just as distracting as holding it: Study ? Tech2
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Old June 12th, 2016, 08:39 AM   #2
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I have always wondered why one turns off the radio in a car without thinking about it when lost or searching for specific street signs. It seems like an automatic response so the brain can focus on the task of being aware.
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