130 Cell Phone Intoxication

Based on research by Strayer, D. L., Drews, F. A., & Crouch, D. J. (2006), written by Mara Rowcliffe, BS.

Do you ever talk on your cell phone while driving? Do you think you are distracted from the road?

Traffic evidence suggests the risk of an accident while using a cell phone is similar to dangers associated with drunk driving.   To assess this comparison, Psychologist David Strayer and colleagues evaluated the driving performances of cell phone users and drunk drivers in a controlled laboratory setting.  They used a driving simulator to compare the performances of adult drivers.  Each participant talked on a cell phone or had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08%, the national legal limit for driving under the influence.

Results indicate drivers who use a cell phone experience a delayed reaction time when braking and were involved in more car accidents compared to when they were not talking on the phone.  In comparison, the legally intoxicated drivers demonstrated aggressive driving, following closely behind other vehicles and braking with more force.  The psychologists concluded the distractions caused by using cell phones are just as dangerous as those associated with driving under the influence.

When driving, keep your attention focused on the road!  Put your cell phone on silent and don’t make or answer any calls. It’s not worth hurting yourself or someone else!


Strayer, D. L., Drews, F. A., & Crouch, D. J. (2006). A comparison of the cell phone driver and the drunk driver. Human factors: The journal of the human factors and ergonomics society, 48(2), 381-391.

Show More

One Comment

  1. Great advice. Actually I know some people text message while driving as well and I wonder how dangerous that would be than talking on the mobile. I always tell them its your life you’ve gotta watch not the device!!

Back to top button