London, July 14 : Motorists admonished for talking on the phone while driving have often asserted that it's no more hazardous than talking to a passenger. As it turns out, a new study has quashed these claims, finding that drivers with passengers are more responsible.
The study conducted by Chris Lee at the University of Windsor in Ontario, Canada, suggests that drivers are better drivers when carrying passengers, and the more passengers on board, the safer the driving gets as it brings in a sense of responsibility.
"The responsibility drivers feel towards their passengers might outweigh any distraction from talking to them," New Scientist quoted Lee, as saying.
Writing in Accident Analysis and Prevention Lee states that after studying car-accident statistics at the freeway in Florida he came to the conclusion that the presence of passengers makes the driver more cautious while driving.
However stating youngsters drove worse if their passenger was younger than they were, he added.
The study is published in the latest issue of New Scientist Magazine.