The research, conducted jointly by IAM and the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) used the DigiCar driving simulator to examine the effects on the reaction times of young drivers using smartphones to access facebook.
Connected mobile communications are beginning to play a major role in our lives, and deaths.
Subjects who were using Facebook while driving were unable to maintain the car's position in the lane, resulting in a massively increased number of unintentional lane departures.
When sending and receiving facebook messages, users reaction times slowed by around 38% and they often missed key events.
If 24% of drivers aged 17-24 were driving around drunk, there would be a massive public outcry. This is worse, but we blindly accept this clash of technologies which is costing thousands of lives
New research released today by the Institute of Advanced Motorists in the UK doesn't tell us much we didn't know before, but it does put it in context. The smartphone is headed for ubiquitous usage, and the wonderful real-time communications and information services it offers are making the roads considerably LESS safe due to the distraction. Due no doubt to its higher levels of engagement, social networking while driving is considerably less safe than texting, drinking to the legal limit and smoking marijuana. And yes, talking on a mobile phone with or without a hands-free is definitely not good for your health, or the health of other road users.
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