Reach office late; Blame the cell phone user for clogging traffic

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London, Jan 4 (UNI) The next time your boss reads you the riot act for not reaching office in time, spew bile on that dawdling driver on road ahead of you, who was hooked to his phone all the while, impeding the traffic flow.

A new study has revealed that drivers using even handsfree devices to talk on phone became a nuisance for fellow travellers as they slowed them down.

Drivers talking on phones went about 3.2 kmph slower, failed to change lanes and keep up with the traffic flow, which added to 20 hours a year to the commuting time for those who have a half-hour drive to and from work each day, researchers have calculated.

A study was conducted involving 36 university students driving on motorways, using a hands-free phone during half their trips and no phone in the other half.

They were told to obey posted speed limits and use turn signals but the rest of the driving decisions were up to them.

People talking on the phone became distracted, drove slowly, made fewer lane changes, and had slower reactions to the varying traffic conditions, the Daily Mail quoted study's author David Strayer of Utah University's traffic laboratory as saying.

It took them between 25 and 50 seconds longer to switch to an open lane to overtake.

Overall, mobilephone drivers took three per cent longer to drive along the same high density route.

Moreover, they applied brakes later and switched lanes slowly, which increased the risk for an accident, co researcher Peter Martin said.

''Its a matter of brain overload. Your frontal cortex can handle only so many tasks at one time, so you slow down,'' Dr Strayer said.

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