An interesting news item here which quotes research done in Australia showing that hands-free kits don’t reduce the risk of having a crash. In fact, they’re still four times more likely to have a prang even with a hands-free kit!
Researchers questionned 450 drivers who had accidents in crashes in Perth, Western Australia and it seems that the risk is increased whether they were using the phone itself or a hands-free kit.
The research states..
“Although this may lead to fewer hand held phones used while driving in the future, our research indicates that this may not eliminate the risk. Indeed, if this new technology increases mobile phone use in cars, it could contribute to even more crashes.”
So it seems that doing anything other than driving does impair your ability to control the vehicle. In fact, last February research in the US showed that someone aged 20 on a mobile phone and driving had the reaction times of a 70-year-old.
So what do we do ? The UK Government have banned hand-held phone use in cars now (whilst driving of course), which is a good thing – as I’ve seen many cars in previous years on the M6 pulling into lane 1 just so the driver can conduct a conversation and grab some paper-work whilst driving with this knees. Now-a-days they at least keep one hand on the wheel while getting their paper-work out. Oh, while I’m talking about this, I’d just like to say “Hello” to Mrs Citroen Xzara this morning coming straight at me with an A-Z map on the steering wheel, plus Mr Foreign-Truck driver weaving from the rumble-strip into lane 2, and then after I’ve gone past I notice he’s having breakfast.
Despite this evidence, it’s daft to think that hands-free kits may be banned. Mainly because if they did try and ban it, then we’d have to ban passengers in cars – or talking to them. After all, what’s the difference between using a Bluetooth headset and talking to your girlfriend / wife whilst driving (I’ll leave a big pause here while you all say, “The difference mate is that I don’t actually LISTEN to the missus”)
Source – The Register