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What's A Bigger Driver Distraction? Your Phone Or Your Passengers?
Ever since we started our "No Text Zone" campaign we have learned a lot about the distracted driver. And some people have asked, are we really all that distracted when we're talking with someone on the phone? Isn't it the same thing as talking to a passenger in the car?
Misbehaving passengers can be a big distraction, but a University of Utah study finds that phones are the bigger distraction for drivers. The study found that when you're distracted by a cell phone you're more likely to miss your exit or to tailgate. And drivers who were talking with a passenger were more likely to slow or end their conversation if the driving needs more attention. Plus if there was an adult passenger, the conversation would turn to the traffic problem at hand. Meanwhile drivers talking on the phone with someone unaware of the traffic mess would attempt to continue the phone conversation and juggle that with the changing traffic situation.
The AAA recommends you recruit your passenger to be your copilot and take care of the navigation, climate control, music and other driver distractions. Andoh yeshave them handle your calls and texts while you're driving, too.
By Fred Cantu