All forms of talking bad while driving
AN experiment conducted by the popular Discovery television series MythBusters, shows that when it comes to improving safety on the road, the use of hands-free devices offers very little, if any, advantage over using your cellphone.
“We have long considered hands-free devices to be better, safer and easier because they allow you to have both hands on the wheel,” says Warwick Scott-Rodger, head of Dialdirect, “This experiment places some big question marks behind this well-known ‘fact’.”
The experiment, which pitted a “hands-free” approach against a “hands-full” approach, was conducted with the help of a state-of-the-art driving simulator at Stanford University Automotive Innovation Facility.
The aim was to collect scientifically accurate data in a controlled, but realistic environment.
Motorists had a relatively simple task: they needed to pay attention to GPS instructions and avoid crashing into any other vehicles or pedestrians.
During the experiment, 15 drivers were tested using a cellphone and 15 other drivers were tested using a hands-free device.
Out of the 15 “hands-full” drivers, only one passed, five failed by driving the wrong way and nine crashed. Of the 15 “hands-free” drivers, one passed, six failed by driving the wrong way and eight crashed.
This means that, statistically, there is no difference in the potential danger of these two approaches.
“Fundamentally, both handheld and hands-free devices split your attention between having a conversation and driving and endanger the lives of both you and other motorists,” said Scott-Rodger.
In South Africa, Dialdirect suggest these results shows one should make calls before starting and then switch off your phone while driving.