Want to know why traffic seems to be worse than ever? One reason may be cell phones.

A recent study shows that drivers who talk on cell phones drive slower on the freeway, pass sluggish vehicles less often and take longer to complete their trips.

Psychologist Dave Strayer says, “At the end of the day, the average person’s commute is longer because of the person who is on the cell phone right in front of them. That SOB on the cell phone is slowing you down and making you late.”

Psychologist Joel Cooper agrees and says, “If you talk on the phone while you?re driving, it’s going to take you longer to get from point A to point B, and it’s going to slow down everybody else on the road.”

In recent years, Strayer?s research group has published studies showing that hands-free cell phones are no less dangerous while driving than hand-held cell phones because the conversation itself is the major distraction. Also, hen young adults talk on cell phones while driving, their reaction times become as slow as reaction times for senior citizens. And drivers talking on cell phones are as impaired as drivers with the 0.08 percent blood alcohol level that defines drunken driving in most states.

Highway statistics suggest drivers on cell phones are four times more likely to be in an accident, and Strayer?s earlier research suggests the risk is over 5 times greater.

Art credit: freeimages.co.uk

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