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How many times have you driven to work in the morning and either on a dual carriageway or parked at traffic lights looked at the car next to you; only to be confronted by the sight of some Muppet with a mobile phone glued to his or her ear.
It is a sight that is now becoming increasingly common as more people than ever before have mobile phones and people drive to work rather than use the pathetic public transportation system (see previous gripes!). However, a recent study at the Transport Research Laboratory sponsored by insurer Direct Line has provided new evidence that driving and using a mobile phone may be more dangerous than driving whilst under the influence of alcohol.
The research showed that on average the reactions of the driver were nearly 50% slower than when driving normally and that even using a hands free kit did not completely eliminate the distraction caused by having a telephone conversation whilst driving.
Using a hand held mobile phone and driving is illegal in many countries including the UK and those caught in this country are usually prosecuted for dangerous or careless driving. Some MPs however believe that it should be treated as a separate offence and are currently trying to push bill through parliament banning the use of hand held mobile phones when driving.
It is not just the Nokia wielding maniacs that give me cause for concern. A friend of mine emailed me this morning to tell me about a woman he saw driving at around 100mph in a BMW with her face close to the rear view mirror as she applied her makeup. Also, the number of times I've seen a sales rep sitting in his company car either shaving or reading the paper just never ceases to amaze me. Why???