Car insurance: Hands-free phones cause 'a major distraction'

Friday, 02 April 2010

Driving performance can be dramatically impaired by motorists using a hands-free mobile phone at the wheel, new research has shown.

When using a mobile phone, 97.5 per cent of drivers tested by the University of Utah were worse at driving.

Not only does mobile phone use while driving increase safety risks but it could also impact upon car insurance premiums.

Drivers using a hands-free device took 20 per cent longer to apply the brakes on their car when needed and following distances increased by 30 per cent because drivers could not keep up with the other simulated traffic in the test.

Ellen Booth, campaigns officer for Brake, a road safety charity in the UK that supports road crash victims and their carers, said that there was overwhelming evidence that even using a hands-free mobile phone while driving was dangerous.

She said it was time for politicians to ban any sort of mobile phone use, even with a hands-free device.

Driving while on a phone incurs a fixed penalty fine of £60 and three penalty points, which could make cheap car insurance become much more costly.

Posted by Rick Malone

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