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EMF Study
(Database last updated on Nov 27, 2020)

ID Number 1714
Study Type Epidemiology
Model Mobile phone use while driving and correlation with vehicle accidents

Volunteers using a driving simulator were compared during intoxication (0.8% blood alchohol) and holding a conversation on a mobile phone. The authors report that when using either hand-held mobile phone or hands free kits and holding a conversation, reaction time was decreased (18%), following distance was increased (12%), recovery speed was decreased (17%), and they were involved in more (simulated) traffic accidents (2-fold increase). The effects were found to be similar to intoxication. the authors also report that mobile phone use impairs perceptual memory for items presented at fixation. In contrast, driving performance was not significantly disrupted by listening to the radio or a book on tape. Performance was also not disrupted by simple shadowing tasks using the mobile phone handset. The authors conclude that it is the active engagement in a complex discussion rather than the physical manipulation of the phone that contributes to the impairment in driving. An interesting side-observation was that young drivers on mobile phones had reaction times similar to elderly adults. Additional studies suggested the distractions by mobile phone use may have far reaching consequences in traffic management and flow.

Findings Not Applicable to Bioeffects
Status Completed With Publication
Principal Investigator University of Utah, USA -
Funding Agency Private/Instit.
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