Hands-free phone use while driving can be just as dangerous as drink driving or using a hand-held phone, according to new research by The Open University and the University of Sussex.
Those who use hand-free phones are four times more likely to be involved in a crash, says the research. Also, drivers using hands-free phones may react to less than half as many hazards on the road as an undistracted drivers.
Drivers using mobile phone, whether hand-held or hands-free, fail to see road signs, fail to maintain proper lane position and steady speed, are more likely to ‘tailgate’ the vehicle in front and react more slowly, taking longer to brake and stop.
The research showed that dual tasking drivers’ reactions were 1.6 seconds longer than undistracted drivers. When travelling at 30mph, this equates to an extra stopping distance of nearly 22 metres – or the length of five Ford Fiestas parked nose to tail.
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