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Young People Who Drive While Using Cell Phones Drive Like Elderly People

A study in the winter issue of Human Factors, the quarterly journal of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, found that drivers between the ages...
February 8, 2005

A study in the winter issue of Human Factors, the quarterly journal of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, found that drivers between the ages of 18 and 25 talking on cell phones react more slowly - in the same manner as elderly drivers, and face a higher risk of accidents.  David Strayer, a psychology professor at the University of Utah and principal author of the study, compared the effect of cell phone use to "instant aging." The study showed that older drivers using a cell phone were no more at risk of accidents than young drivers using cell phones. 

Strayer said that it made no difference whether the driver held the cell phone or used a hands-free device.  The study found that motorists who talked on cell phones were more likely to have accidents than drivers with blood-alcohol content levels higher than 0.08.

What It Means to Agents:  If you don't want your teenagers to use cell phones while driving, just tell them that if they do, they'll drive like an old person.

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