TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Cell Phones Make the Young Drive More Like the Old

Cell Phones Make the Young Drive More Like the Old

Quinn Michael (
Thu, 3 Feb 2005 08:52:50 -0500

Springfield VA

Washington Post
Thursday, February 3, 2005; Page A07

Drivers who use cell phones end up driving like elderly people, with
slower reaction times and a tendency to miss what is right in front of
them, researchers said yesterday.

Even when they used "hands-free" devices, young drivers who normally
have the quickest reflexes drove like 70-year-olds, the team at the
University of Utah found.

"If you put a 20-year-old driver behind the wheel with a cell phone,
their reaction times are the same as a 70-year-old driver who is not
using a cell phone," said psychologist David Strayer, who led the

Writing in the journal Human Factors, Strayer's team said it tested
people 65 to 74 years old against drivers 18 to 25 years old using a
driving simulator. Braking time slowed 18 percent when young or
elderly drivers used a cell phone, the researchers found.

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