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This is your brain, while talking and driving

Blogma has always been suspicious of people who insist that their driving is in no way affected by their non-stop use of cell phones. But now we have a piece of evidence to whip out the next time such multi-tasking claims are made.


An article in Neuropsychologia, which is described as "an international journal in behavioral and cognitive neuroscience," cites a new study by Australian researchers that showed people's response times slowed during a 30-minute mobile phone call. "This could equate to driving a car and being distracted by another car pulling out in front of you. The drivers reaction time to choose between braking, turning or sounding the horn, could be affected, albeit slightly," a researcher is quoted as saying.

Not very comforting. But it's unclear whether the report will have any effect on debates involving , which sometimes sounds eerily similar to rhetoric over gun control.

Blog community response:

"About 85% of people have used mobile phones while driving at some point. Monitoring the driver's cognitive state (based on sensing eye gaze and other behaviour) and using that to adjust the trigger threshold for early collision warning systems can help prevent accidents."

"Anybody that says cell phones, or putting on makeup, or eating, or whatever else doesn't distract them is either lying or just plain wrong. Now, I don't think we should necessarily make it illegal to talk on the cell phone while driving, and it isn't that big of a deal in most situations, but I can't even begin to count the number of times somebody nearly hit me because they were on their cell phone yapping."
--Office Humor Blog

"Anyone who's been behind someone on the road driving twenty miles an hour and weaving lazily while chatting it up already knows. I'm just waiting on the study that shows how stupid you look to other drivers while cruising around holding a Nextel three feet from your ear."
--Deliriously Normal