Inside The Car, Inside Your Mind

from the not-so-simple dept

With all the stories and arguments out there over whether or not using a mobile phone while driving causes driver distraction, here are some results from a fascinating study that suggests it’s not talking on the phone itself that causes the distraction, but it’s often what you’re talking about. If it’s just a quick call to say you’re on your way, or to discuss something simple, it doesn’t seem to have much of an impact. In fact, the study found that things going on in your mind can have a much bigger impact on how you drive. So, people who are driving long, familiar routes may “tune out” and start focusing on something else, making them much more distracted than if they were on a mobile phone. If they were on a mobile phone, they might even pay more attention to the road, to make sure they’re doing okay. So, the simple concept of banning all mobile phones while driving doesn’t take into account any of these factors, and could cause just as many problems as it solves.

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Comments on “Inside The Car, Inside Your Mind”

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TM says:

Driven to Distraction

This is exactly why the simplistic “slower is safer” paradigm is wrong. One of the most effective ways to maintain focus when driving is to pick up the pace a little. That helps you engage fully in the task of driving. If you focus on driving safely, smoothly, and swiftly (the three are complimentary), and on doing what you can to smooth and maintain the traffic flow, your mind won’t wander and everyone will be better off.

Anonymous Coward says:


Do you own survey: Count the number of times someone drifts into your lane, is clearly driving slower than traffic, etc. Exclude the data gathered from busy areas on Friday or Saturday nights (demon rum!)…

From my own informal surveys, a VERY high percentage of the cars behaving in such a way as to cause an issue for surrounding traffice involve a driver on the phone…

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