Cell Phone Users Cause Traffic

Today U.S. researchers said that people who use cell phones while driving impede the flow of traffic, clog highways, and extend commute times.

“It has to do with the reaction to changes in speed”,”When a driver who is not distracted is in a traffic stream and the vehicle in front slows down, the driver will brake in response. When a vehicle speeds up in front, the driver will respond and speed up,” said Peter Martin of the University of Utah’s Traffic Lab. In the case of a cellphone user while driving they can’t adjust as quickly.

Martin’s team devised a study with 36 university students, each driving through six 9.2 mile freeway scenarios in low to high density traffic. The drivers used a hands free phone during half the trips and no phone the other half.

While talking on the phone drivers were distracted by conversations, made fewer lane changes, and drove slower.

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