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Safety Benefits of Vehicle Technology not Understood

7 March 2008

Using hands-free mobiles ‘is as bad as drink-driving’ - Listening to a mobile phone while driving reduces concentration by more than a third, according to new research, resulting in motorists making the same mistakes as drink-drivers, such as lane weaving.

The study examined the effects of drivers listening to a voice. They were not required to talk or press any buttons.

The study by scientists at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh , found that listening to a mobile phone reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37%.

The research is the latest among a vast swathe of evidence to suggest that drivers need to keep their hands on the steering wheel and their brain focused on the road ahead so as not to crash. (Daily Mail: March 6).

Proven Safety Benefits - The RAC Foundation also reports that technology in vehicles not only makes for lean green machines as new systems also have proven safety benefits. 58% of drivers believe that in-car technology makes driving safer.

In a recent report it shows that 71% of drivers believe the complexity of modern vehicles means new technology would have to be explained to them to have a positive effect. 14% of drivers admit that new technology provides added distraction***** and this is particularly true of mobile phones, where 45% of drivers admit to texting behind the wheel******. Drivers are only able to absorb plus five or minus two messages at any one time******* and therefore it has never been so important to consider the impacts of technology on driving behaviour.