SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (AP) -- A report from the University of Utah says that when motorists between 18 and 25 talk on cell phones, they drive like elderly people -- moving and reacting more slowly and increasing their risk of accidents.If you put the Strayer and Drews studies together, wouldn't it imply that it's less of a public safety hazard to allow an over-the-limit drunk 20 year old on the road than it is to allow a cell-phone-and-alcohol-free 70 year old.
"If you put a 20-year-old driver behind the wheel with a cell phone, his reaction times are the same as a 70-year-old driver," said David Strayer, a University of Utah psychology professor and principal author of the study. "It's like instant aging."
And it doesn't matter whether the phone is hand-held or handsfree, he said. Any activity requiring a driver to "actively be part of a conversation" likely will impair driving abilities, Strayer said.
In fact, motorists who talk on cell phones are more impaired than drunk drivers with blood-alcohol levels exceeding .08, Strayer and colleague Frank Drews, an assistant professor of psychology, found during research conducted in 2003.
Thursday, February 03, 2005
is this supposed to be alarming for what it says about cell phones--or about elderly drivers?