Celldrunk driving

The Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES) promotes the knowledge concerning the characteristics of humans and their interaction with systems and devises as operators, maintainers, or users. HFES advocates:
systematic use of such knowledge to achieve compatibility in the design of interactive systems of people, machines, and environments to ensure their effectiveness, safety, and ease of performance.
Recently published in the Society's journal, Human Factors, a paper by researchers at the University of Utah, led by David Strayer, concluded that, "both handheld and hands-free cell phones impaired driving, with no significant difference in the degree of impairment."

The extent of the distraction was determined in several of the statistical analyses. As noted in the press release, "One showed cell phone users were 5.36 times more likely to get in an accident than undistracted drivers." The researchers determined that the conversation as well as the manipulation of the cell phone contributed to the seriousness of impairment.
"We found that people are as impaired when they drive and talk on a cell phone as they are when they drive intoxicated at the legal blood-alcohol limit" of 0.08 percent, which is the minimum level that defines illegal drunken driving in most U.S. states, says study co-author Frank Drews, an assistant professor of psychology. "If legislators really want to address driver distraction, then they should consider outlawing cell phone use while driving."
A Comparison of the Cell Phone Driver and the Drunk Driver (June 2006, pdf, 11 pages/1.1 MB)

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Photo Credit: Jim Moulin


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