All forms of talk­ing bad while driv­ing

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING -

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.