Only a talented few can simultaneously talk on a cell phone and drive safely, according to a study from researchers at the University of Utah. Only 2.5 percent of all people were found by the study to be “supertaskers.” The pertinent fact is that 97.5 percent of us can't drive safely while talking on the phone — even a hands-free phone.
For the vast majority of people, performance suffered in both driving and comprehension. Braking time increased by 20 percent while following distances increased by 30 percent. Memory performance declined 11 percent and math performance 3 percent. The deterioration in performance was comparable to the impairment seen in drunken drivers, the authors said.
The authors caution that more studies are needed. The study will be published this week in the journal Psychonomic Bulletin and Review.
You, are probably not one of the 2.5 percent supertaskers – right? Wrong! Chances are you are not a supertasker and neither am I – well probably not me.
This raises a question – should be be allowing the use of cell phones while driving at all? I think on a clearly scientific level the answer is no. I handle a lot of motorcycle crash cases and in a majority of those cases cell phone use of the negligent driver is an issue. There are more and more studies like the University of Utah study that shows that talking on a cell phone is similar in impairment to driving drunk. We do not allow drunk driving and we should not allow cell phone use while driving!
As it so happens the University of Utah developed some technology that they licensed to a group named Acendo which further developed and marketed that technology. That technology effectively stops the driver from using their cell phone while driving. This technology is now widely available to everyone for a reasonable cost – about $100. For a very interesting look on how this new technology came to market visit the Acendo page and follow their news and events chronologically.
The gadget can be reviewed and bought at SafeDrivingSystem and I highly recommend it. I recommend it to all people who allow their sons and daughters to drive their cars. I highly recommend it to owners of fleet vehicles who still allow their employees to talk and drive thereby endangering the lives of their employees and all users of public roads – especially motorcycle riders.
Cell phone use while driving and has become a topic of national concern. Oprah is even talking about it! We need to talk with our legislators and get legislation passed that will make the penalties for using a cell phone while driving and causing a crash to be more in line with the devastating harm caused. Believe me – I will be out there waiting to sue you in behalf of the next motorcycle driver you crash into becasue you were on your cell phone!
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