"Don't Let Them Think About Spiders"

I am a big fan of strange statistics and their connection to human behavior. I found one the other day that I think may qualify as the strangest one yet. In a study at the Open University in the UK they found that "Talking on the phone about spiders while driving causes greater driver error by people who are spider phobic than those who aren't afraid of spiders." The difference in error was 6.5 for spider phobics and 4.5 for non-phobics. Who would have guessed spiders could have such an impact?

The research highlighted the results which suggest that emotionally-charged cell phone conversations may impact people's ability to focus on driving. I would take the concept a bit further and suggest that we always need to be careful about engaging in emotional conversations when on a mobile phone. The sound is usually not as clear as a landline so the emotional tone of the voice is often lost or minimized. And you just never know when you might drop the call... and it's at a point where you really needed to have the full focus of both parties.

Trying to discuss sensitive issues by mobile phone is a little better than using e mail (a post for another day), but take every effort to make the conversation face to face or at least at a point where both individuals are able to focus on the subject at hand... and not veering across the road toward you or me because they get so upset.