Look Ma, no hands

The Telegram
Ken Simmons
Published on April 25, 2015

The reasoning is sound. Countless studies have shown chatting about the weather or making sure the towels are in the dryer while you’re on a hands-free phone is just as dangerous as if you were using a handheld set. Which is almost as dangerous as driving drunk.

Students at Touro University in Vallejo, Calif., in 2012 were quantifying the impact of over-the-counter drug use (you know, those cold meds) on driving, and they tossed in a Bluetooth headset for kicks. Just about 30 per cent of subjects talking using the set failed a barrage of field sobriety tests — horizontal gaze, walk and turn and standing on one leg. Braking reaction time was also shown to be impacted. Pre-breathalyzer stuff, but useful for this kind of study.

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