Study finds drivers talking on cell phones, even while using hands-free units, are as impaired as drunken drivers.
Researchers at the University of Utah drew this conclusion after studing the driving patters of 40 volunteers on a virtual 3D driving simulator. The volunteers were tested under four driving conditions
- Without any distractions
- Using a hand held cell phone
- Using a hands-free cell phone
- With a blood alcohol level of 0.08% after drinking vodka and orange juice. In the USA, a 0.08% blood alcohol level is the legal limit for driving and drinking.
The study found that while the driving patterns of drivers were different, cell phone users are more dangerous because they did not believe that their driving was impaired while talking.