Dave’s Diary- Cell Phone Slowdown Makes Hiway the Slow Way
To some of us “dinosaurs”, nonstop yakking on a cell phone is a waste of time…now a study backs us up. The study reveals that the more drivers yak on their cell phones, the longer it takes you to get where you’re going. “The distracted driver tends to drive slower and have delayed reactions,” says study author David Strayer, a psychology professor at the University of Utah. Admit it. You know that’s true. Because every time you get behind a driver that seems to be “inefficient” in travel they invariably are on their phones when you finally are able to pass.
Professor Strayer says, “People get stuck behind that person and then everyone pays the price.” It seems as though once we engage the ear, on cell phones, even hands free ones, we disengage the foot as cell yakkers drive an average of 2 miles an hour slower and change lanes about 20% less often than other motorists. It totals a 5 to 10% increase in everyone’s commute time or up to about 20 hours a year, says Strayer.
So why does it happen? What’s the breakdown? “The reason, he adds, is that the brain gets over-loaded with the extra task involved in talking on the phone and can’t process driving data as quickly, so drivers slow down.”