LONDON: The dangers of using a phone while driving are well documented. But a driver can be distracted even if it's the passenger who is talking on the phone.
Hearing one side of a phone conversation affects concentration more than listening to the entire chat, reports the Daily Mail.
Processing a 'halfalogue' is upto three times more draining for the brain compared to a dialogue or monologue as it is trying to fill the gaps in the conversation.
This may also be the reason why we find listening to people's phone calls on the bus or train so irritating, the journal Psychological Science said.
Researchers at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, prepared computerised tests which required the same levels of concentration as needed while driving.
It was found that among a group of students who took the test, those who listened to 'halfalogues' performed significantly worse than others.
A Ph.D student in psychology came up with the research idea while travelling on a bus, where found his fellow passengers' phone calls very distracting