Study Shows Just Knowing You Have a Text Message Can Distract Your Driving

Cell phone ring and vibration can cause distraction for drivers.

A new study recently published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology (called Human Perception and Performance) shows that hearing your mobile phone ring or feeling it vibrate while driving is just as distracting as sending as texting or talking.

We all know already how dangerous it is to text or talk while driving. This study is significant because it is the first to show that even being aware of a message or a missed can be a dangerous distraction when driving.

Researchers wrote in the study that they are shocked to learn just how much something so simple can be so distracting to drivers. Although a ringing or vibrating phone is a short distraction, it requires the driver’s mind to wander from the task of driving, even when their eyes may still be on the road.

Lead author of the study, Cary Stothart, stated in a news release that,

Even a slight distraction can have severe, potentially life-threatening effects if that distraction occurs at the wrong time.

Participants in the study performed a computer task while there were no distractions, and again when they received calls or text message alerts on their cellphones. The study showed that the participants made about three times as many mistakes on the computer task when they were distracted.

It only takes a split second to be physically or cognitively distracted for tragedy to occur, so the best solution for cell phone distraction altogether is to turn off phones and put them away when driving.

Source: HealthDay News