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Research shows 'hands free' as dangerous as 'hands-held'

24 January 2019

Think talking on your hands-free while driving is safe?

Think again (policy brief): University of Sussex (DOP: 12/18)

Newly published on The Road safety Knowledge Centre is research carried out by Dr Graham J. Hole (University of Sussex) with Dr Gemma F. Briggs and Dr Jim A. J. Turner (Open University) reveals overwhelming evidence that – contrary to popular assumption – driving while having a phone conversation using hands-free technology is no safer than using a hand-held phone.

Over 80% of studies into phone use have now shown significant performance degradation, with hands-free phone use causing the same dangerously high levels of distraction as hand-held phone use (Atchley et al, 2017).

Drawing from their own research, as well as numerous studies by other academics and public bodies, this policy brief debunks some common misconceptions around the safety of hands-free phone use, and examines some potential solutions for tackling the problem.

More information concerning research into driver distraction is available on The Road Safety Observatory.

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