A new study has found that younger drivers who talk on cellphones while driving displayed reaction times on par with 70-year old drivers.

A new study has found that younger drivers who talk on cellphones while driving displayed reaction times on par with 70-year old drivers.

The study, conducted by a University of Utah researcher, found that talking on a cellphone compromised the reaction times of younger drivers especially. According to psychology professor David Strayer found motorists aged between 18 and 25 had reaction times comparable with 70-year-olds.

In the study, four 16 km freeway trips were simulated where half of the time the drivers conversed using a hands-free device, and the other half they did not talk.

While talking on the ’phone, drivers showed an 18 per cent reduction in braking reaction time, and took 17 per cent longer to accelerate after braking.

Surprisingly, older drivers’ reaction times while chatting and driving in silence were not affected as much.

Overall, the results complement previous findings from the same researcher that found that motorists engaged in a cellphone conversation were more impaired than drivers exceeding the US legal 0,08 blood-alcohol limit.

Furthermore, the study suggests that the participation in a conversation, and not actually holding the ’phone, was the most damaging to a driver.

Original article from Car