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Drivers on Cells Clogging Traffic, Study Concludes

January 11, 2008

WASHINGTON – A new study has concluded that drivers talking on cell phones are making commutes even longer, according to the Associated Press. Motorists talking, even with hands-free devices, crawl about two mph slower on commuter-clogged roads than people not on the phone, said study author David Strayer, a psychology professor at the University of Utah.

If you commute by car an hour a day, it could all add around 20 hours a year to your commute, Strayer said.

Strayer’s study, based on three dozen students driving in simulators, found that drivers on cell phones are far more likely to stick behind a slow car in front of them and change lanes about 20 percent less often than drivers not on the phone.

Overall, cell phone drivers took about three percent longer to drive the same highly traffic-clogged route (and about two percent longer to drive a medium congested route) than people who were not on the phone. About 1 in 10 drivers are on the phone.

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