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Road safety

Reply to text messages when driving is as dangerous as doubling the alcohol levels


 Australian universities of Wollongong, Victoria, Swinburne Technology, the Institute for Breathing and Sleep, and the University of Barcelona have measured the responsiveness at the wheel of twelve healthy volunteers while participating in a driving simulation test that lasted two days (separated by a week each).

Comparing the level of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) with the effects of mobile phone use, the researchers found that when the phone conversation required high cognitive demand or when they answered a text message, the cognitively demanding and texting conversations were similar to the alcohol test when the levels went over what it is legally allowed.

The results suggest that the use of hands-free devices can also pose a significant risk for drivers. Although it should be allowed, require further investigation to determine its regulation and, of course, that national authorities are aware of the pros and cons carefully.

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