Talking on a mobile phone while driving is more dangerous than being over the legal alcohol limit, even if you?re using a hands-free phone. Driving simulator experiments by researchers at the Transport Research Laboratory in the U.K. found that drivers talking on cellphones had 30 per cent slower reaction times than those who had been drinking, and 50 per cent slower times than sober drivers.

?In addition,? the TRL report says, ?drivers using mobile phones missed significantly more road warning signs than when drunk. The distraction caused by making or receiving a call can be visual, auditory, mental (cognitive), or physical (biomechanical). A hand-held mobile phone call could involve all four forms of distraction at the same time.?

Drivers who use their phones to send text messages are subject to the highest levels of physical and visual distraction. Dominic Burch, Direct Line insurance company?s road safety campaign manager, says, ?Most people accept that talking on a mobile phone while driving is distracting, however, many drivers don?t appreciate how dangerous it is.In effect, 10 million drivers are partaking in a driving activity that is potentially more dangerous than being drunk.?

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