Home Menu Search

In-vehicle distraction

7 August 2013

In 2002 the U.K.'s Transport Research Laboratory found that drivers talking on a hands-free set reacted more slowly than those who were just over the drunken-driving limit.

Three years later an Australian study found drivers using phones hands-free or hand-held were four times as likely to crash as those not on the phone.

In 2008 University of Utah psychologist David Strayer found that talking on a hands-free phone was more distracting than talking to a passenger.

Now Strayer has returned to the lab and he has more bad news. Sponsored by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, he compared driver response in different situations. Radio or audiobooks were judged mildly distracting. Talking on a hand-held or hands-free phone or to a passenger were all the more distracting, with hand-held the worst of these. But voice-activated systems to send and receive texts and email were the worst kind of distraction.

More information is also available on the European Road Safety Observatory

Related news, events and information

Survey shows excessive use of phones whilst driving

8 August 2017 – The case for more public awareness and a better understanding of the risks is highlighted by a new survey...

Hands Free remains a danger

23 July 2018 – Highlighted on the Road Safety Knowledge Centre is a paper which explains that a hands-free mobile phone at the...

Penalty increase for mobile phone use

28 February 2017 – In UK it’s been illegal to use a hand held mobile phone while driving, or while stopped with the engine on,...

Drivers at 1 in 5 firms crash while using hand-held phones

28 March 2018 – A recent RAC Business Survey has seen 1 in 5 firms admit that their drivers have been involved in accidents or...

DVSA partners with Good Egg in young driver pilot scheme

14 March 2018 – Story from Road Safety GB. A pilot scheme with DVSA driving test centres has been launched in a bid to reduce...

New study highlights the dangers of distraction for young drivers

25 January 2017 – Story from Fleet News. Nearly a quarter (23%) of young drivers have had an accident or near miss in the last...

Distracted Driving Webinar

22 September 2017 – Distracted driving constitutes a profound public health and safety crisis, contributing to a surge in road...

A review of seat belt advertising

23 April 2018 – The UK's 1966 legislation made it compulsory for all new cars to have seatbelt fittings. This simple change has...

''Safer Driving @ 60+'' course a success

21 March 2018 – Story from Road Safety GB. More than 30 older drivers from South Yorkshire have taken part in a free course...