Driving With a Cell Phone is Dangerous
These are scientific studies:
Accid Anal Prev 1993 Jun;25(3):259-65
The effect of cellular phone use upon driver attention.
McKnight AJ, McKnight AS.
National Public Services Research Institute, Landover, MD 20785.
In this study, 150 subjects observed a 25-minute video driving sequence
containing 45 highway traffic situations to which they were expected to
respond by manipulation of simulated vehicle controls. Each situation
occurred under five conditions of distraction: placing a cellular phone
call, carrying on a causal cellular phone conversation, carrying on an
intense cellular phone conversation, tuning a radio, and no distraction.
All of the distractions led to significant increases in the proportion of
situations to which subjects failed to respond. However, significant age
differences of nonresponse appeared. Among subjects over age 50,
nonresponses increased by about one-third under all of the telephone
distractions. The response rate of younger subjects increased by a lesser
degree except under intense conversation. Results were not influenced by
gender or prior experience with cellular phones. The authors conclude that
older drivers might reduce their accident risk during attention-demanding
traffic conditions by avoiding use of cellular phones and that other
drivers might do so by refraining from calls involving intense
Psychol Sci 2001 Nov;12(6):462-6
Driven to distraction: dual-Task studies of simulated driving and
conversing on a cellular telephone.
Strayer DL, Johnston WA.
Dual-task studies assessed the effects of cellular-phone conversations on
performance of a simulated driving task. Performance was not disrupted by
listening to radio broadcasts or listening to a book on tape. Nor was it
disrupted by a continuous shadowing task using a handheld phone, ruling
out, in this case, dual-task interpretations associated with holding the
phone, listening, or speaking, However significant interference was
observed in a word-generation variant of the shadowing task, and this
deficit increased with the difficulty of driving. Moreover unconstrained
conversations using either a handheld or a hands-free cell phone resulted
in a twofold increase in the failure to detect simulated traffic signals
and slower reactions to those signals that were detected. We suggest that
cellular-phone use disrupts performance by diverting attention to an
engaging cognitive context other than the one immediately associated with
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origin: 2003 Feb 13
updated: 2003 Feb 13