When you’re in the driver’s seat – don’t phone

driving under the influenceDon’t drink and drive !

Hopefully this is something that has been wired in to your brain……….. so your default to, NOT DRINKING AND DRIVING.

But where do you stand on cell phoning and driving ?

Probably, you acknowledge it is not a good idea and all – it has the potential to be A LITTLE distracting.

But you still may have done it.

This week’s Neurotechnology Tip points out a scary fact. Cellphoning and driving can be WAY MORE RISKY, than drinking and driving. Eish !

One for the road

Researchers stuck twelve healthy volunteers behind the wheel and let them loose, on a simulated road, on two different occasions, a week apart.

On one occasion, the volunteers went on a pub crawl. The alcohol consumption was tightly supervised and the blood alcohol concentrations were monitored. None of the participants had a history of alcohol abuse, but they all had consumed alcohol before.

On the other occasion, the volunteers were handed a mobile phone loaded with lots of air time and encouraged to CHAT. The system was set up……….. so from the get go, they were going HANDS FREE.

Testing times

The volunteers put pedal to the metal and zooted along at between 60-80 km/hour, in the left lane.

NOTE : The participants were Auzzies, they do it left of centre.

The idea was to ARRIVE ALIVE – so when a big bad lorry appeared, the participants were expected to BRAKE. Oh….and they were also expected to stay on their side of the road.

Weaving along

No surprises ………………….. when the volunteers consumed alcohol, the ability to stay on their side of the road diminished and breaking for trucks was delayed.

The weaving and crash and burn, was directly related to the blood alcohol concentration (BAC). The more booze in, the worse the driving performance.

So……………. DRINKING AND DRIVING, is not good for you, it hangs your wiring ! Even if you try to SOBER UP with a cup of STRONG COFFEE.

But, here comes the KILLER – yakking on the phone, produced the same weaving and breaking delays. Even with the HANDS FREE kit

phone impact on driving performanceThe researchers concluded that a “Deep and meaningful CHAT” looked much the same as a blood alcohol concentration of 0.5 g/litre. Now, depending where in the world you live, this level is high enough to be considered ILLEGAL. Eish !


This is what happens when you ride your bicycle with no hands, but driving the car ? Cell phoning is also risky business, with or without a hands free kit.

Now how risky, is related to the nature of the conversation. The researchers found the depth of the conversation did matter, banter was more-or-less harmless, but real conversations were TROUBLE.

Really high risk conversations occurred anytime you actually had to think and/or feel ……………

“Breaking up with your girlfriend”

“Explaining where something is”

“Reading an SMS”

Tough talk

I know……………. talking on the go is NECESSARY. But, it is more dangerous than you think.


And, if you dial a friend, colleague or family member, before you launch into the conversation, check if they’re behind the wheel.

Hang up and dial later if they are – the human brain does not DRIVE safely, when distracted. This is NEUROTECHNOLOGY 101.

A Comparison of the Effect of Mobile Phone Use and Alcohol Consumption on Driving Simulation Performance. Sumie Leung, Rodney J. Croft, Melinda L. Jackson, Mark E. Howard, Raymond J. Mckenzie. Traffic Injury Prevention, 2012; 13 (6): 566


To wire up your brain a little each week ………………..

Subscribe to Neurotechnology Tips

Know someone who will find this post useful ? Share it on , ,

Further reading

cellphone conversations car doing a quick health check pathogens making a call on a cell phone
Listening in on cell conversations disconnects your concentration This is your car talking –this traffic jam is killing you Which “friends” are dialling your numbers after a hospital visit ?

The 7 Big Spoons™…. are master switches that turn health on.

balance eicosanoids rein in insulin dial down stress sleep vitamin D microflora think
Balance Eicosanoids Rein in insulin Dial down stress Sleep ! Increase Vit D Culivate microflora Think champion

Hire Dr Sandy from a Spoonful of Science to be the keynote speaker at your next event.

Did you learn something new or do you have a different perspective ? I’d love to hear from you so post me a comment below

This entry was posted in Neurotechnology Tip and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>