Texting While Driving More Dangerous Than Drugs Or Alcohol

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Texting behind the wheel is more dangerous than driving while under the
influence of alcohol or cannabis, researchers said Thursday.
Research carried out on 17 young drivers (aged 17-24) using a simulator
found that reaction time slowed by 35% when they were writing or
reading text messages while driving. In comparison, reaction time
deteriorated by 21% for those under the influence of cannabis, and by 12% at the
legal alcohol limit.
Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) — which carried out the study for
the RAC Foundation — also found that steering control worsened by 91%
for those who were distracted by texts, compared to 35% when cannabis
was involved.
The tests also showed that texters were less able to maintain safe
distances from other cars and they tended to drift out of their lane more
often.
RAC Foundation director Stephen Glaister said the research “clearly
shows that a motorist who is texting is significantly more impaired than a
motorist at the legal limit for alcohol.”
TRL researcher Nick Reed added: “When texting, drivers are distracted
by taking their hand off the wheel to use their phone, by trying to read
small text on the phone display, and by thinking about how to write
their message. This combination of factors resulted in the impairments to
reaction time and vehicle control that place the driver at a greater
risk than having consumed alcohol to the legal limit for driving.”
Nearly half of all drivers aged 18 to 24 in Britain admit to texting
while driving, according to an earlier RAC poll of over 2000 young
drivers.
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Doctors warn of rash from mobile phone use

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LONDON (Reuters) – Doctors baffled by an unexplained rash on people’s
 ears or cheeks should be on alert for a skin allergy caused by too much
 mobile phone use, the British Association of Dermatologists said on
 Thursday.

Citing published studies, the group said a red or itchy rash, known as
 “mobile phone dermatitis,” affects people who develop an allergic
 reaction to the nickel surface on mobile phones after spending long periods
 of time on the devices.

“It is worth doctors bearing this condition in mind if they see a
 patient with a rash on the cheek or ear that cannot otherwise be explained,”
 it said.

The British group said many doctors were unaware mobile phones could
 cause the condition.

Safety concerns over mobile phones has grown as more people rely on
 them for everyday communication, although the evidence to date has given
 the technology a clean bill of health when it comes to serious
 conditions like brain cancer.

“In mobile phone dermatitis, the rash would typically occur on the
 cheek or ear, depending on where the metal part of the phone comes into
 contact with the skin,” the group said in a statement.

“In theory it could even occur on the fingers if you spend a lot of
 time texting on metal menu buttons.”

Nickel is a metal found in products, ranging from mobile phones to
 jewelry to belt buckles and is one of the most common causes of allergic
 contact dermatitis, according to the Mayo Clinic in the United States.

Earlier this year Lionel Bercovitch of Brown University in Providence,
 Rhode Island and colleagues tested 22 popular handsets from eight
 different manufacturers and found nickel in 10 of the devices.
(Reporting by Michael Kahn; Editing by Opheera McDoom)
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