Directions: In this section, there is a short passage with 5 questions or incomplete statements. Read the passage carefully. Then answer the questions or complete statements in the fewest possible words. Please write your answers on Answer Sheet 2.
Questions 47 to 51 are based on the following passage.
Many countries have made it illegal to chat into a hand-held mobile phone while driving. But the latest research further confirms that the danger lies less in what a motorist’s hands do when he takes a call than in what the conversation does to his brain. Even using a “hands-free” device can divert a driver’s attention to an alarming extent.
Melina Kunar of the University of Warwick, and Todd Horowitz of Harvard Medical School ran a series of experiments in which two groups of volunteers had to pay attention and respond to a series of moving tasks on a computer screen that were reckoned equivalent in difficulty to driving. One group was left undistracted while the other had to engage in a conversation using a speakerphone. As Kunar and Horowitz report, those who were making the equivalent of a hands-free call had an average reaction time 212 milliseconds slower than those who were not. That, they calculate, would add 5.7 meters to the braking distance of a car travelling at 100kph. They also found the group using the hands-free kit made 83% more errors in their tasks than those who were not talking.
To try to understand more about why this was, they tried two further tests. In one, members of a group were asked simply to repeat words spoken by the caller. In the other, they had to think of a word that began with the last letter of the word they had just heard. Those only repeating words performed the same as those with no distraction, but those with the more complicated task showed even worse reaction times – an average of 480 milliseconds extra delay. This shows that when people have to consider the information they hear carefully, it can impair their driving ability significantly.
Punishing people for using hand-held gadgets while driving is difficult enough, even though they can be seen from outside the car. Persuading people to switch their phones off altogether when they get behind the wheel might be the only answer. Who knows, they might even come to enjoy not having to take calls.
47. Carrying on a mobile phone conversation while one is driving is considered dangerous because it seriously distracts ________________________.
48. In the experiments, the two groups of volunteers were asked to handle a series of moving tasks which were considered ________________________.
49. Results of the experiments show that those who were making the equivalent of a hands-free call took ________________ to react than those who were not,
50. Further experiments reveal that participants tend to respond with extra delay if they are required to do ________________________.
51. The author believes persuasion, rather than ________________, might be the only way to stop people from using mobile phones while driving.