That’s according to new research as reported in The UK Telegraph. Reactions can be slowed by up to 20% scientists at the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) found – adding a six meter stopping time if a car is travelling at 70 mph.
The report said: “To put this into context, this increase in distance travelled is 10% further than the additional stopping distance when driving with a blood alcohol level at the UK legal limit (80mg/ml).
The number of incidents of hard breaking at the last minute almost doubled when motorists were listening to sports commentary.
The report added: “This suggests that the motorists were not paying enough attention to the road and had to make late decision to respond to the conditions and drivers on the road around them.”
The researchers noted that most motorists did not recognize listening to sport as an equivalent distraction to arguing in the car or handling stress.
TRLs Dr Nick Reed said: “At particularly tense times, such as penalty shootout, it may be safer to find a safe place to park and enjoy the action without risking an accident.”
The study followed the reactions of 18 participants aged 25-45 (nine of whom were male and nine female).
RBR-TVBR observation: 18 participants does not constitute much of a study sample. However, even if there were 1,800 in the study and the results were the same, we’d still have to remind everyone that the stopping distance numbers of drivers who text would likely be worse. We should also question the numbers of tired drivers who could have fallen asleep at the wheel without the stimulus of good Sports Talk, or radio in general.