Scientists have compared the impairment of driving whilst talking on a headset to the dangers of drink-driving, saying that those chatting behind the wheel are putting themselves and others at risk.
The drop in the driver's concentration whilst chatting over loudspeaker or via a hands-free kit is apparently equal to that of someone who has had too much to drink.
Although headsets are legal for use on the roads at the moment, tests have shown that it takes people 20 per cent longer to react to an emergency and apply the brakes when talking on the phone.
The driver's awareness of the surrounding road conditions was also impaired by headset use.
The two psychologists who carried out the tests said that they had been able to demonstrate that most people cannot deal with two tasks simultaneously.
Only some 2.5 per cent of people are able to tackle multiple activities at once, while everyone else can concentrate solely on a single task.
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