Recently in the UK, a crackdown on using hand-held cellphones while driving has identified 8000 drivers at fault. That clearly shows wide disrespect for the driving rules enforced to protect lives on road. The question is why using hand-held mobile phones is so dangerous while driving.
All over the world, several research studies have been conducted to find out correlation between mobile phone use while driving and car accidents. The reports clearly establish that these two are intimately related as cellphones cause distraction. According to estimation by the researcher, chatting over phones for 50 minutes in a month increases the chance of a motor accident by five folds.
Texting while driving is also dangerous. This habit is more common among teenage drivers. According to studies, drivers busy with their mobile phones have lesser ability of visually scanning the roads ahead and are more likely to react slowly in response to imminent hazards. With one hand catching the steering and the other being busy with cellphone, it causes your eyes to drift from the road.
Brain Cannot Deal With Two Tasks Simultaneously
Conversation over phones distracts minds. It requires you to stay focussed while driving. Conversation also involves depth of understanding and responding. If both activities – driving and conversation – go on simultaneously – both demand for cognitive resources. The brain cannot attend to all tasks at the same time. Therefore, it needs to attach priority to a particular task. And if conversation is a priority, there is a likelihood of a car crash.
Studies Conducted By Carnegie Mellon University
The studies created an environment for the participants to drive along a snaky road in an elementary simulator of real-life incidents, with their actions controlled by a mouse. An MRI scanner was used to register brain activity. At one point of time, they were asked to comprehend a sentence without giving up driving. It was similar to conversation over cellphone. The dual task results turned out to be worse than a control trial.
When the researchers examine the brain activities plotted on the MRI scan, the reason became evident. In a control condition, the parietal lobe was active for spatial processing. However, the dual task mode triggered activities in the temporal lobes. It was a clear reflection that auditory messages were processed in that part of the brain. Increased activity in temporal lobes is a reflection that conversation was demanding significant attention and taking the focus off concerns for safe driving.
Many such similar studies suggest that conversation during driving causes a significant number of car accidents. Whether it is about hand-held or hands-free mobile phones, distracted attention is common. Unfortunately, the public are yet to realize the obvious danger of using the hands-free type as they tend to believe that when both hands are on wheels, driving while conversing is safer. A ban on hand-held mobiles during driving is also seen as an encouragement for using hands-free alternatives.
In the light of the studies, a ban on hands-free cellphones is important. Prohibition of using the hand-held phones is sending a wrong signal to the car owners and drivers that hands-free alternative is safer. At naqvilaw.com, we make sure to educate them that both kinds cause distraction and enhance the risk of car crash.