Fleet News

When talking could be dangerous

COMPANY drivers who talk while on the move increase the risk of having accidents. This is the finding of research by the British Psychological Society which involved tests being carried out on 121 drivers on a digital-video driving simulator.

The society says: 'Drivers can't drive as safely when doing even a simple task at the same time. In fact, they tend to take more risks when distracted in a verbal activity such as a conversation. They are also slower to react.' One of the study authors, psychologist Mark Horswill, adds: 'One implication is that the use of mobile phones while driving will significantly increase accident likelihood, even if hands-free systems are being used.'

However, the RAC Foundation maintains that drivers face hundreds of distractions while driving and 'having a chat' was often the least worrying aspect. Executive director Edmund King said that, in the early 1960s, many people raised fears about the distracting effects of a car radio. Today, it was mobile phones, navigational devices and talking.

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