Facebook 'can be hazardous to drivers'
02 March 2012
We all know the dangers of drink driving and would never get behind the wheel after having a few drinks in the pub, yet some British drivers seem to be unaware of other factors that can impair our judgement on the roads.
The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) has said that using smartphones and social networking sites while having your foot to the floor is more dangerous than driving under the influence of alcohol and cannabis.
Despite this, 3.5 million motorists admit to using their phone while on the roads – that figure equates to eight per cent of licence holders.
One way to lower the risk of crashes and collisions is to make use of the latest motoring technology.
Car leasing can provide an effective way of staying up to date with the latest advancements, such as the Ford B-Max's SYNC system that can read text messages aloud or the Mazda CX-5 that uses lasers at low speeds to stop the car automatically should an accident be imminent.
The IAM's research shows that when sending and receiving Facebook messages, drivers' reaction times slowed by 38 per cent and they often missed key events that could lead to hazards.
Motorists were also unable to respond as quickly to a change in speed by the car in front.
Chief executive Simon Best said: "If you're taking your hand off the wheel to use the phone, reading the phone display and thinking about your messages, then you're simply not concentrating on driving.
"It's antisocial networking and it's more dangerous than drink driving and it must become just as socially unacceptable."
He recognises that young people have grown up with social networking and the sites are a large part of their lives, but is calling on the government to spread the message that this practice is dangerous.
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