CellPhone Drivers.....

If you Drive with your Right hand and talk with your left hand, How are you supposed to signal? Figure it out Pinhead, your not important and nobdy gives a shit. Use your turn signals or surrender your car and drivers License. We are all so very, very tired of your self-righteousness.

While I generally try not to, the times that I’ve used my cellphone while driving, I’ve never had a problem signaling*, so I don’t know that it’s fair to classify this as a rant against cell phone drivers. After all, people have been refusing to use their turn signals since long before the advent of cellphones.

*Shifting, on the other hand, is rather difficult.

Naaaw, you just say “shifting” and then with the cellphone hand, shift. Like you I don’t do this terribly often but I do get phone calls at work on occasion since I work in the field and other co-workers sometimes need information they can’t wait for. But it’s not some incredible feat of grace and dexterity to talk on the phone and drive.

I can feel the OP’s frustration, but I think it’s misguided. It’s not the cellphones, nor cell phones while driving that is the problem it’s morons who likely can’t figure out the basics of driving or even walking and chewing gum at the same time.

In the UK it is an offence to use a cell phone while driving, unless you are using a “hands-free” kit.

Is your work-related call so important that it’s more important than paying attention to the road?

In some places in the US, that’s a requirement, too. Some studies have shown that this doesn’t necessarily mean a safer driver. It’s not the hands off the controls so much as the mind off the situation that causes the probelms.

This is bullshit. Thinking you can drive fine with one hand and 10% of your attention is just like thinking you can drive drunk. Intelligence is not in being able to “do both,” but recognizing that you can’t do both, and shouldn’t try.

That is a non-solution. People talking on cellphones are a danger on the road because their attention is not on their driving, and whether they hold the phone in their hand or use a handsfree set, there is no difference in the loss of attention to their driving.

It’s not just a media scare tactic. I’m sure at this point that we have all driven behind someone driving erratically (slowing down, speeding up, wandering in the lane, just generally driving illogically), and sure enough, they’re talking on a cellphone. People just don’t get it - driving is damned dangerous, and everything you do to decrease your attention increases your chance of hurting yourself and/or someone else (i.e. me).

In my Camry, if my right hand is on the wheel at or near the two o’clock position, I can easily reach the turn signal lever with my fingers. On the incredibly rare occasions when I must use the cell while driving, I tend to use the speaker and hold the phone in my left hand near my chest, thus not obscuring my left-side/blind spot vision.

Just sayin’ is all.

I just leave a headset in the car, and if I’m driving I plug it in and use that. Problem solved.

In point of fact, studies have shown that drivers yakking away on their cell phones are as likely to be involved in an accident as a drunk driver–4 to 5 times the risk of an unimpaired driver with no distractions.

So in that case people shouldn’t be driving with anyone else in the car who they can talk to, or crying/playing children, or dogs or a radio or anything else at all around them…

You’re being sarcastic, I think, but those distractions cause more accidents than you think.

There’s kind of a bigger issue where people have jammed themselves into situations where they have to spend several hours a week – even several hours a day – on the road.

FWIW, talking on a mobile phone while driving is illegal in Australia. I don’t know about hands-free kits. There was talk about banning them too, but I don’t know if you can talk hands-free or not.

I was being sarcastic to a degree, I know that any type of distraction can cause a crash. But say, for example, that you have a mobile phone with voice-answer and a speakerphone attachment (you can get some that run through the speakers of your radio, so you can hear it properly over the noise of the car). Is answering that phone going to cause more accidents than, say, talking to your wife in the seat next to you?

Anything that requires taking your hands off the wheel, and your eyes off the road, is definitely a no-no. But I’ve never understood why people are so hardline on not letting people talk on a hands-free mobile phone, when they’re happy to have them talking and joking and being otherwise destracted by other people/things in the car.

Actually, yes. I saw one study which demonstrated that drivers were most distracted and unable to cope with traffic conditions when first answering a cell phone call. Apparently, people are most distracted when trying to process who is calling. Once they’ve determined who is calling and why, they are better able to pay attention to the road (though still not as well as an undistracted driver).

Okay, so basically then, with that line of thought, we shouldn’t drive and drink a soda, or while talking to our passengers, or put in a CD, or do anything at all but sit perfectly still and upright locked on the road like a robot.

Never in any of my conversations on the phone, have I ever needed to take my eyes off of the road because of a conversation.

FTR, not sure if your previous remark of"Is your work-related call so important that it’s more important than paying attention to the road?" was directed at me, or just general but, most of my calls from coworkers occur when I’m in the field. Which is happening on back roads and NOT in main traffic. I can climb a hill (in the work truck, not on foot and talk :D), and 4X all over my work area without having to once take my eyes off of the road because I’m talking to someone, or someone is talking to me.

Where are you getting that a conversation = not paying attention to the road"?

Where is this 10% of your attention that you’re talking about? If a person has to LOOK at his/her phone in order to talk, then yeah, I totally agree. Otherwise, as I stated above, if it’s the conversation that is taking away the attention, then we should outlaw all conversations in cars taking place between the passengers and driver. And outlaw any but the most robotic attention to driving.

Yes, actually, when someone is driving, they shouldn’t be doing anything except paying attention to the road. Why is this so hard for people to understand? Just because people do a million and one things while driving and are used to doing so doesn’t mean they should. Most accidents are caused by driver error, and are preventable.

Not at all, as we’ve discussed up-thread.

For those of you not getting this, try an experiment. Try sitting here at the Dope and read posts and post replies, while having someone sit in the room and talk with you about unrelated subjects. I can’t divide my attention like that, and I’m pretty sure no one else here can either, so why do you think you can talk on the cellphone and drive with all your care and attention at the same time?

There’s a bit of a strawman spin at the end, but the basic answer is “yes.” All of those things are distractions. I read recently that for young/inexperienced drivers the worst distraction is not cell phones, but passengers, and God knows I’ve seen people nearly rear end someone because they’re trying to find a radio station.

Are you arguing that because those are common distractions they aren’t distractions, or that because they are common distractions they aren’t dangerous?

I know what you are trying to say, but your example is not a good one. Reading and responding to a message board is nothing like driving a car. Different brain processes going on.

There is also a big difference between sitting on an interstate using cruise control, talking hands free and trying to drive fast in city traffic to get to the hospital in a stick shift at rush hour with a bleeding child in the back seat…

If pilots did not talk and drive at the same time, there would not be any airline service.

If the police had to pull over to the side every time they made or received a call or got information, the bad guys would really be way ahead…

There is no ‘on size fits all’ in this. What has to happen is do the best cost / benefit ratio study you can, make your choices, and get on with life.

Some people are better than others… If someone can’t do “A”, then they should not do it. It should not take a law that reduces everyone to the lowest common denominator before the world can continue spinning.

A driver that will let the train hit the car because he will not start it until all seatbelts are connected is not a safe driver. There needs to be a ability to see and think, accept new information and access danger, access his own conditions and strengths, not be a salve to ‘by rote’.