Scientific American Mind:
When we think about the things we do every day—driving, working, parenting—we realize that even with tasks we are generally good at, there is always room for improvement. Luckily, scientists are on the case. Visit this column in every issue to find tips for acing life.
You already know texting while driving is deadly, but chances are you feel pretty safe using a hands-free cell to chat. After all, it’s legal. But those policies are misguided and deceptive, says Paul Atchley, a psychologist in the Transportation Research Institute at the University of Kansas. “All the studies that have been done by cognitive psychologists or that have looked at phone records have found that hands-free and handheld [phone use] lead to the same amount of risk while driving.”
It’s the conversation, not the act of manipulating a phone, that distracts the brain, Atchley explains. (In-person conversations are much less problematic because the passengers are usually tuned in to driving conditions and able to hold their tongue if necessary.)
Read the whole story: Scientific American Mind
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