Hands-free phone chats as risky as driving at alcohol limit, expert warns 

A hands-free phone conversation while driving is just as dangerous as chatting while holding your phone, MPs were told yesterday.

Experts also said using a hands-free kit is as risky – if not more so – than driving at the legal alcohol limit.

In March 2017, the Government doubled the punishment for using a hand-held phone at the wheel to six penalty points and a £200 fine. 

A hands-free phone conversation while driving is just as dangerous as chatting while holding your phone, MPs were told yesterday (stock image)

A hands-free phone conversation while driving is just as dangerous as chatting while holding your phone, MPs were told yesterday (stock image)

A hands-free phone conversation while driving is just as dangerous as chatting while holding your phone, MPs were told yesterday (stock image)

In March 2017, the Government doubled the punishment for using a hand-held phone at the wheel to six penalty points and a £200 fine (stock image)

In March 2017, the Government doubled the punishment for using a hand-held phone at the wheel to six penalty points and a £200 fine (stock image)

In March 2017, the Government doubled the punishment for using a hand-held phone at the wheel to six penalty points and a £200 fine (stock image)

But Dr Shaun Helman, of the Transport Research Laboratory, said it should be extended to the use of hands-free devices.

He told the Commons transport committee that hands-free conversations are just as distracting. 

This was echoed by Open University’s Dr Gemma Briggs, who said a conversation with a passenger is less dangerous than talking to someone on a hands-free device.

She explained: ‘This is because you create mental images of where they are, what they’re discussing, what they’re up to, and the mental resources required to create those mental images are also required for accurate perception of that driving situation.’ 

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