Windscreen chip conversation 'could be more difficult while driving'
Another motoring story from Auto Windscreens
Having a conversation about a windscreen chip is harder when motorists are driving than when they are not, new research suggests.
For the first time, researchers have shown that driving reduces motorists' ability to comprehend and use language.
The University of Illinois study, published in the Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, was conducted among 96 participants using a driving simulator.
Motorists were asked to listen to and then retell a brief story that they had never heard, while either sitting in an unmoving vehicle or navigating through busy traffic.
Results indicated that the participants' ability to remember and retell the story declined significantly over time.
Lead author of the study Gary Dell suggested that speech is an attention-demanding activity, so should compete with similarly taxing tasks such as driving.
He added: "The drivers remembered 20 per cent less of what was told to them when they were driving.
"The relative balance of attention to any two tasks is going to vary, and perhaps we don't understand one another as well as we should because of this."
Meanwhile, recent research by scientists at the University of Warwick indicates that many healthcare professionals are failing to tell their patients that they are not fit to drive.
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