New Study Shows Impact of Cell Phone Notifications on Drivers

Cropped Photo: Courtesy: MGN
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By: Symone Davis
July 10, 2015

With all the warnings about the dangers of texting while driving, many people now try to drive without their cellphone in hand.

They say it's a plan that works until that tiny 'ding' or vibration alerting the driver that they've missed a call or text.

"I keep my phone in the middle section just so it's no distractions," said Thomasville Resident Joshua Barrett.

While some people can avoid answering their phone, new research shows other drivers may find those notifications sounds so distracting, that It's almost as if they were still physically using their phone.

For the study, Florida State doctoral student Cary Stothart and 2 other FSU researchers put participants through a series of computer tasks.

In one study, participants received no notifications. In another, they randomly received a text, call or notification.

They found that those who received a notification were 3 times more likely to make a mistake.

The warning from this study is when you're on the road, you may want to just keep your phone away from you and on silent. It may help to keep you and those around you safe.

"We're trying to really set a good example for my 15-year-old granddaughter that just got her learners permit and it's just not the thing to do. I think you lead by example," said Tallahassee resident, Susie Knight.

Stothart says he and the other researchers will conduct this study again. This time with a driving simulator.

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