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Driving While on Cell Phone Worse Than Driving While Drunk
THURSDAY, June 29, 2006 (HealthDay News) -- Maneuvering through traffic while talking on the phone increases the likelihood of an accident five-fold and is actually more dangerous than driving drunk, U.S. researchers report.
That finding held true whether the driver was holding a cell phone or using a hands-free device, the researchers noted.
"As a society, we have agreed on not tolerating the risk associated with drunk driving," said researcher Frank Drews, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Utah. "This study shows us that somebody who is conversing on a cell phone is exposing him or herself and others to a similar risk -- cell phones actually are a higher risk," he said.
His team's report appears in the summer issue of the journal Human Factors.
In the study, 40 people followed a pace car along a prescribed course, using a driving simulator. Some people drove while talking on a cell phone, others navigated while drunk (meaning their blood-alcohol limit matched the legal limit of 0.08 percent), and others drove with no such distractions or impairments.
"We found an increased accident rate when people were conversing on the cell phone," Drews said. Drivers on cell phones were 5.36 times more likely to get in an accident than non-distracted drivers, the researchers found.
The phone users fared even worse than the inebriated, the Utah team found. There were three accidents among those talking on cell phones -- all of them involving a rear-ending of the pace car. In contrast, there were no accidents recorded among participants who were drunk, or the sober, cell-phone-free group.
The bottom line: Cell-phone use was linked to "a significant increase in the accident rate," Drews said.
He said there was a difference between the behaviors of drunk drivers and those who were talking on the phone. Drunk drivers tended to be aggressive, while those talking on the phone were more sluggish, Drews said.
Your operator’s license and/or operating privileges can be revoked under the Administrative License Revocation (ALR)
Depending on the state, this law authorizes law enforcement to immediately confiscate a driver’s license as a result of a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) arrest. Drivers, who are eligible, may receive a temporary license for 30 days. Drivers who refuse the test will be revoked for a one (1) year time period. Drivers who fail the test will be revoked for 90 days - for first offense, or for one (1) year for any subsequent offense within a 12 year time period.
News about DUI & Drunk Driving cases in Wyoming and nationwide:
The officer must have what is legally termed a "reasonable suspicion," based on something unusual that is actually observed about the way a person is driving. This is a very low standard and it can be satisfied by virtually anything which appears out of the ordinary and that might be a sign of a driver being under the influence. In addition, during holiday seasons, police officers typically set up field sobriety checkpoints where they routinely stop every driver who passes through the checkpoint.
Vehicular homicide is the killing of another person by one’s unlawful or negligent operation of a motor vehicle.
A state of drunkenness in which a person is so far deprived of reason and understanding that he or she is incapable of understanding the character and consequences of an act.
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