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Driving & Talking

February 25, 2010

Driving interferes with speaking and language comprehension.

Transcript

BOB HIRSHON (host):
Sloppy car talk. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Studies show that talking on a cell phone impairs your driving. Now, a team led by Ensar Becic of the University of Illinois has found that the reverse is also true. Psychologist Gary Dell says that when people were driving, as opposed to just sitting in a car, they told pre-memorized stories less accurately. They also had trouble listening to somebody else, whether that person was on the phone or sitting beside them. Dell says driving and talking seem to compete for your attention.

GARY DELL (University of Illinois):
If you don’t really pay attention to your talking – if you protect your driving – your talking gets bad. If you want to get your talking right, your driving is going to suffer.

HIRSHON:
So you might want to avoid really important topics when you’re behind the wheel. I’m Bob Hirshon for AAAS, the Science Society.