We all know, as UK drivers, that chatting, either on the phone, hands free or to a passenger, can be distracting while driving. This is why driving while talking on a mobile phone is now illegal in this country. However, do you realise just how distracting it can be?
A Canadian research team have strapped drivers into brain scanning machines and got them to mimic normal driving tasks. And although the results may not be totally surprising they should serve as a stark warning.
Understandably, one of the least taxing for our brains is driving straight, this makes complete sense, so it also follows that turning corners is a more strenuous brain activity. And this was just what was found by the research team. Following on from that, in the UK, a right hand turn in traffic is one of the most complicated driving manoeuvres possible; especially when you consider the position of traffic lights, pedestrians and other traffic flow.
The most significant finding of the research, though, was that when we start talking to someone else a part of the brain that deals with the visual tasks gets diverted so it can be used to deal with the chat. This simply means that if we are talking while driving our brain is not fully on the job of looking.
So the message is, if you are driving then be extra careful when you are also chatting.