Smartphones more dangerous than drinking says IAM

2nd March 2012

Accessing social networking sites on smartphones while you drive is more dangerous than drink driving according to the Institute of Advanced Motoring (IAM).

The findings come as part of new research conducted by the IAM, which shows that around eight per cent of motorists or 3.5 million licence holders use smartphones while driving.

Drivers aged 17-24 were particularly prone to the practice with 24 per cent of drivers admitting to the practice, according to the research.

The IAM findings suggest that the use of these smartphones could slow reaction times by around 38 per cent, compared with a slowing of between six and 15 per cent when drinking.

A lack of concentration can often have disastrous results too, with participants slower at reacting to the changing speed of cars in front or the changing of lanes.

Commenting on the findings, 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.

"If you’re curly taking your hand off the wheel to use the phone, reading the phone display and thinking about your messages, then you’re same simply not concentrating on driving."

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