It was only a few years ago that it was not illegal to use a mobile phone whilst driving. Well, that actually isn’t true because you could always be charged with driving without due care. However, since 1st Dec 2003 it has been a speific offence to use one while driving… except via a hands-free system.
I have always believed that this law was fundamentally flawed. Yes, handling a phone, dialling, browsing contact lists etc clearly is going to be potentially dangerous. Your attention is then not on the road. But the law seems to suggest that the actual act of just holding a phone conversation is acceptable. I have always challenged that and it now seems that research is proving that the very act of holding a phone conversation seriously effects safety.
It is worth noting that there is no mention in this report of the differences in how thebrain handles conversations one the phone vs when there person is present. The brain has to work much harder to hold a conversation on the phone. It seems to me that when talking on the phone, either hand-free or not, that the brain has to do more imagining of the other person. It is almost as if the brain needs the image of a person in the mind to talk to. I know this sounds rather far fetched but you do your own test… how many times do people need to be alone to talk on the phone? Or many people pace up and down while on the phone… suggesting that they can’t concentrate on other things when talking on the phone… people don’t have these problems when talking face to face or when there is a passenger in the car. It is different… very different.
I would like to see a ban on the use of all phones including hands-free. Not only that,
There are other dangers too from similar technology. How many people have tried to st up a route on their satellite navigation system whilst driving? Not a good idea! The amount of attention needed is just too much to allow driving a car safely at the same time. Just stop somewhere legal and program if whilst stationary. It is then safe and you have more time to do it properly.