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Cell phone use while driving has to stop – hand held or hands free

Check out this article about an important new study of the impact of hands free cell use on the brain.

Quoting from the article:

The part of the brain needed to make safe left-hand turns largely shuts off during a cellphone conversation — even if the phone is a hands-free device, a group of Toronto researchers have found.

In particular, difficult left hand turns were very demanding on the part of the brain used to process vision and maintain alertness.

However, those brain areas largely turned off when the drivers were holding a simulated cellphone conversation. Instead, the blood was redirected to the parts of the brain used to process conversations.

In the meantime, the paper suggests that those who are concerned about distracted driving should consider how certain activities distract the brain from its focus on driving, rather than putting too much emphasis on whether a driver is physically holding a device.

The study added that vehicle manufacturers “have a responsibility to improve safety” by not installing communication devices in vehicles or by installing systems that deactivate communications if the driver tries to use them while the vehicle is moving.

Not to say “I told you so”….ok, maybe it is…my most recent column on the topic:

For safety sake, cell phone use in all vehicles should be banned