Facebooking and Tweeting more dangerous than drink drivingBy Hugh Fort
May 02, 2012
Researchers have found using a mobile phones to access social networking sites when behind the wheel can be even more dangerous than drink or drug driving.
Research carried out by staff at the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) in Crowthorne and the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) found drivers' reaction times slowed by around 38 per cent when using a mobile phone.
The research looked mainly at drivers who use social networks like Facebook and Twitter and check emails while driving, rather than texting or talking on the phone.
The study showed drivers began to swerve between lanes while sending Facebook messages and were unable to respond as quickly to the car in front changing speed.
TRL found texting delays reactions by around 37 per cent and making a hands-free call delays reactions by 26 per cent, while people at the alcohol drink-drive limit have reactions delayed by 12 per cent.
IAM chief executive Simon Best said: “This research shows how incredibly dangerous using smartphones while driving is, yet unbelievably it is a relatively common practice."