Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Using hansfree kit or sending texts behind the wheel is as dangerous as being twice over legal alcohol limit, study suggests

Date:
March 13, 2013
Source:
Plataforma SINC
Summary:
Scientists have compared the effects of mobile phone use while driving with the effects of alcohol using a simulation. Their experiment demonstrates that using a handsfree kit or sending text messages is the same as being above the legal alcohol limit.

Research demonstrates that using a handsfree kit or sending text messages is as dangerous as being above the legal alcohol limit.
Credit: Image courtesy of Plataforma SINC

Scientists from various Australian universities in collaboration with the University of Barcelona have compared the effects of mobile use while driving with the effects of alcohol using a simulation. Their experiment demonstrates that using a handsfree kit or sending text messages is as dangerous as being above the legal alcohol limit.

Related Articles


The Australian universities of Wollongong, Victoria, Swinburne of Technology, the Institute for breathing and sleep and the University of Barcelona have measured the reaction capacity behind the wheel of twelve healthy volunteers who participated in a driving simulation test lasting two days, each a week apart.

In one instance, they took the test having consumed alcohol, and in the other, while using the mobile telephone. Habitual drinkers and those who had never consumed alcohol before the test were not allowed to participate.

"We conducted the study in Australia and the participants, who were volunteer students holding a driving licence, had to keep their position in the centre of the left lane on the screen at a speed of between 60 and 80 kilometres per hour, breaking every time a lorry appeared," as explained by Sumie Leung Shuk Man, co-author of the study published in the Traffic Injury Prevention journal and researcher at the University of Barcelona.

By comparing the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) with the effects of mobile phone usage, they saw that when the telephone conversation required high cognitive demand or when answering a text message, the BAC test was above legal limits in Spain (0.5 gram/litre). Headphones and a microphone were used to simulate the handsfree effect.

Handsfree does not pass the test

"When the conversation using the handsfree was simple, the effects were comparable to a BAC level of 0.04 g/l, which is below the legal limit of 0.5 g/l in countries like Spain and Australia. However, when more attention was required, their alcohol level analogue shot up to 0.7 g/l, which is above the legal limit in both countries yet below in other countries, like the USA or the UK where up to 0.8 g/l is allowed. When answering text messages, the rate stood at 1 g/l, which is illegal in any of all of these countries," states the scientist.

The two different handsfree conversation levels studied are the equivalent to: a natural conversation in which the subject and the scientist speak about an interesting subject but as a way of passing the time; and a dialogue with more specific, cognitively demanding questions, such as "can you describe the car journey from your work to your house?" or "how many of your friends have names that begin with a vowel?."

"Our results suggest that the use of handsfree devices could also put drivers at risk. Although they should be allowed, they require more research to determine how they should be regulated and, of course, the thorough knowledge that national authorities should have regarding their pros and cons," concludes the expert.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Plataforma SINC. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Sumie Leung, Rodney J. Croft, Melinda L. Jackson, Mark E. Howard, Raymond J. Mckenzie. A Comparison of the Effect of Mobile Phone Use and Alcohol Consumption on Driving Simulation Performance. Traffic Injury Prevention, 2012; 13 (6): 566 DOI: 10.1080/15389588.2012.683118

Cite This Page:

Plataforma SINC. "Using hansfree kit or sending texts behind the wheel is as dangerous as being twice over legal alcohol limit, study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130313123311.htm>.
Plataforma SINC. (2013, March 13). Using hansfree kit or sending texts behind the wheel is as dangerous as being twice over legal alcohol limit, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130313123311.htm
Plataforma SINC. "Using hansfree kit or sending texts behind the wheel is as dangerous as being twice over legal alcohol limit, study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130313123311.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) Harvard researchers found children whose mothers were exposed to high pollution levels in the third trimester were twice as likely to develop autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Yoga can help your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and heart just as much as biking and walking does, a new study suggests. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
1st Responders Trained for Autism Sensitivity

1st Responders Trained for Autism Sensitivity

AP (Dec. 16, 2014) More departments are ordering their first responders to sit in on training sessions that focus on how to more effectively interact with those with autism spectrum disorder (Dec. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Guys Are Idiots, According To Sarcastic Study

Guys Are Idiots, According To Sarcastic Study

Newsy (Dec. 12, 2014) A study out of Britain suggest men are more idiotic than women based on the rate of accidental deaths and other factors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins