Do you use a cell phone while driving? Do you see others doing it?
Last month, a local woman and one of my former students, was killed when her car flipped several times over an embankment. While she was driving over the speed limit, she was also using her cell phone when she lost control. Now, her three sons are motherless.
[url=http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2008/03/cells_driving.html]Drivers Impaired Just by Listening to Cell Phone
Listening drivers make mistakes similar to drunken drivers
Just listening to a cell phone while driving is a significant distraction, and it causes some of the same types of mistakes as drunk drivers make, according to scientists at Carnegie Mellon University.
The use of cell phones, including dialing and texting, has long been a safety concern for drivers. But the Carnegie Mellon study, for the first time, used brain imaging to document that listening alone reduces by 37 percent the amount of brain activity associated with driving.
This can cause drivers to weave out of their lane, based on the performance of subjects using a driving simulator.
The findings, to be reported in an upcoming issue of the journal Brain Research, show that making cell phones hands-free or voice-activated is not sufficient in eliminating distractions to drivers.
“Drivers need to keep not only their hands on the wheel; they also have to keep their brains on the road,” said neuroscientist Marcel Just, director of the Center for Cognitive Brain Imaging.
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