Again with the f*****g legislation to ban cell phones in cars…
I guess this means it’s wrong to:
a. Hold a (non-alcoholic) drink while driving
b. Light and/or smoke a cigarette while driving
c. Change a tape or CD or radio station while driving
d. Talk to anyone in the backseat (who you can’t see) while driving
e. Pick your nose while driving…
Look people, driving is not something to be taken casually. It takes a certain amount of skill, with or without using a cell phone. And if you don’t have the skill to drive while talking on the phone you shouldn’t be allowed to drive AT ALL! Cell phone use should be part of the road test.
This week in Islip, NY a guy pulled over on the Southern State parkway to make a call and was rammed and killed by a delivery truck. How’s that for being safe…
You can have my Startac® when you pry my cold dead fingers from around it
It’s nto a matter of coordination. There’s evidence that suggests that in absence of physical (and some aural) cues people are more distracted when talking on a telephone. They are more inclined to stare into the “middle distance,” less likely to hear local sounds, and have slower reaction times.
Sorry. People are poor enough drivers to begin with. Talking on the telephone cannot improve matters.
Am I allowed to be more concerned about the Mom driving in front of or behind me, who is trying to get her baby in the carseat to stop screaming? Or the Mom who is prying off packaging and bottle tops to feed her kids in the back seat? Or the Mom who is busy refereeing a fight in the back seat? Hello?
Could we maybe write the promised law to say if you are involved in an accident because you were preoccupied by anything else, you’re in deep doo-doo?
Gimme a break. I have been in one accident in my entire driving years, and it was someone else running a traffic signal that caused it. I use my cell phone constantly. I converse with my kid. I look at the scenery. BUT (and a big but) I am always aware of what’s around me. I live in a protected area where there is frequently wildlife on the highway. Try swerving to avoid a bear on the road while you’re talking on a cell phone. It’s not that hard.
My mom refused to let me get my license until I proved to her I could eat and drive at the same time. same sort of idea, keep your mind on the important stuff. Driving is multi tasking anyway, adding another simple task if you are careful and aware of what is going on is not unacceptable risk.
If you are clueless and place more importance on your phone, burger, finding that perfect CD or whatever, then you have problems. Deciding if you are able to use a cell phone while driving is part of the responsibility. My phone is pretty new (not even a month yet) so I have been avoiding using it while driving. I have handed it off to my passengers or dialed while stopped at a light, but no real phone-fu. That’s where I have determined my level of ability and acceptable risk.
The problem I have with all the new laws restricting phone use is that so many of them only restrict hand-held phones. They allow the use of hands-free phones without restriction. Studies have shown that it’s the phone based conversation, not the phone itself, that causes the distraction.
If you want to ban phones totally, fine, at least there’s a study illustrating the overall safety advantages. Banning just the hand-helds is plain dumb, and worse, implies that using a hands-free phone is safe, when it isn’t.
From my own experience, I’ve been talking on my cell while driving and suddenly realized that I wasn’t concentrating on driving anymore, I was diverting my attention to the call. I try to be very cautious while on a call, picking safe times to talk, but that kind of scared me.
Just holding something doesn’t add much to distration. Interacting with something you are holding does.
This is acutally the most frequent trafic hazard I have seen. People dropping a lit one in their laps; people using both hands to light up while driving on the freeway; people not using the turn signal because they have their elbow propped out the window holding their cig.; people digging through the glove box looking for another pack while doing 80 mph; etc. I actually saw a lady drive off the road trying to light up one day.
The rest of these are just plain silly.
I have seen people driving down the highway doing 80-85 mph with the morning paper open before them on the steering wheel, probably with the cruise control set. The problem here isn’t cell phones it is idiots. Unfortunately we can’t ban idiots so all we can ban is some of their toys.
I keep hearing these people crying about how they have this two hour commute so they “have to have” their cell phone so this time isn’t “wasted”. I haven’t heard the edict from the overlords forcing us to live in one town and work in another. You either? These people CHOOSE to do this to themselves and then blubber about how hard it is on them. Well chump either get a job close to where you live or move closer to your job!
Using a cell phone while driving is unsafe. Every study I have seen says the same. There are a great many things that are unsafe to do while driving. In my home state there are “driving while distracted” laws. If some intentional distraction, like reading or eating, contributes to an accident then you get a stiffer fine.
Cell phones are a major new distraction though and it is not enough to punish someone who causes and accident through the use of a cell phone we need to do something to prevent the accidents in the first place. That is something you can only do by banning their use by the driver of a vehicle.
Personally I can’t see why anyone would need to talk on the phone in a moving car anyway. Is it just because you can? I don’t get it.
You just think you are driving safely while talking on the phone when in actuality the reason that you are not running into other motorists is that since we are not talking on the phone we are avoiding the accidents you are trying to cause.
If you truly believe that you can drive as well with the phone as without, then you are apparently not burdened with common sense.
My observations of others driving while talking are:
You are always in the fast lane, not aware of the fact that you are barely doing the speed limit or you are driving 20 mph faster than anyone else and tailgating anyone that dares to get in you way.
You are constantly applying the brakes on the interstate because you do not realize you are closing in on the car in front of you until it is too late.
You do not check your mirrors, you just stare off into the distance, not really aware of anything around you.
You make last second lane changes and without using a signal.
You spend alot of time in ambulances and make alot of other innocent people do the same.
I will almost give an inch to the ‘dialing while driving’ argument, but not really. I still see it as no different than using the stereo or drinking a cup of coffe so long as you use common sense.
I cannot, however, fathom the argument that using a hands-free cell phone is inherently dangerous, again, if you have an ounce of common sense. You’re driving a car! How could you possibly forget that? How could the visual and aural stimulie that driving gives you ever be exceeded by a conversation?
What about Police, Ambulance and Firemen? They have always talked on the radio while driving. Very often at high speed. And don’t give me the “becaused they’re trained to” or “because they have to” crap. It’s because it’s not that hard!
As far as ‘studies’ go, having a stereo in your car makes you less attentive. But not so much so that any state (as far as I know) has banned stereos in cars. Why? Because we accept the (small) added risk for the added convenience. Cell phones are no different.
If someone is driving dangerously while they’re talking, let them be pulled over and ticketed. If they do it again suspend their phone and/or license. Do not simply say that it’s universally unsafe for everyone.
I’m a doctor. I go to 5 offices and hospitals every week, and often drive over 40 miles a day just between clinic sites! I get paged constantly. I have a hands-free cellphone and pre-programmed numbers to facilitate calling. This saves time and makes things easier for me and the patients. It also helps patients, and in one instance may have even saved a life when I ordered paramedics out to a patient who had chest pain. He became a pulseless nonbreather just as they arrived, but they rescusitated him. He would have been home alone when he coded if I hadn’t returned the page from my car. I’ve been doing this for 6 years and over 150,000 miles without an accident. That’s over 5 times around the world! So enforce laws for inattentive driving, even mandate hands-free phones, but for god’s sake, don’t ban the things!
I agree with Degrance here. There are very few reasons one would ever need to talk while driving. If it was a matter of life and death, literally, I can understand you not pulling over to use your phone. (and while it’s tragic that one man died while pulled over, hundreds more people have died in accidents caused by people who don’t pull over)Other than that…
Maybe a few people drive perfectly responsibly while gabbing on the phone, but I dare say the majority don’t. How many times have you seen someone almost get into an accident, only to notice they’ve got a phone glued to their ear? People do do other stupid things to cause accidents, but conversations, phone or not, have been shown time and time again to drastically raise one’s odds of having an accident. That’s why studies show it’s so dangerous for young drivers to have passengers, they get caught up in talking to people and veer out of their lanes. I’ve seen plenty of adult phone users drive just as badly. I’d shed no tears over laws that’d restrict cell phone use in a **moving **car.
Apart from Doc Qadgop (point taken) I seem to have read a lot of posts that say “I am a good driver and I am certain that I can handle a phone and drive, so lay off me!”
Exactly the same thing I said when I left that party a little drunk last week. “I’m a little drunk, sure, but I’m a good driver and I can handle it - I’ll compensate - drive slowly, keep right over to the left (we’re in Oz here folks), pay careful attention…”
Sorry guys, it’s inconvenient for you, but when you dial and talk, you are a danger on the road.
We’ve had accidents here involving the new message technology - I forget the name but you can send cute notes to your pals through the display part of the phone. Drivers checking their messages have rammed into other cars.
I suggest to any cell phone maniacs reading this, that you content yourselves with knowing that the forced sharing of your banal conversations in the bank queue, or at the supermarket or on the train (“I’m on the train. What’s for dinner?”) makes a misery of the lives of large numbers of us already.
And of course, even though it’s illegal to phone and drive in Australia, multitudes do it and get away with it.
The man in the white station wagon who overtook me yesterday on the wrong side, cigarette in one hand, phone in the other, his single “driving” hand resting as lightly on the steering wheel as it would on a virgin’s knee, well he certainly got away with it.
In short - don’t do it, not as safe as you think.
[sub]I never post in Great Debates. I wasn’t too Pittish, was I?**
Have you ever seen all the electronic equipment in a cop car.They talk and drive all the time.
Talk about not concentrating on your driving.
I’ve seen chase sceens on Cops where the officer was relaying his position to the dispatcher and conducting a chase.
Q the M: *So enforce laws for inattentive driving, even mandate hands-free phones, but for god’s sake, don’t ban the things! *
Can’t we compromise here, Dr. Q.? Considering the circumstances you describe, I can certainly see an argument for giving some MDs and others in similar situations a special exemption on cell phone use (the same way doctors get, or used to get, MD plates that let them bend parking regulations, presumably also because of the demands of medical emergencies). That doesn’t mean that we’re obliged to let everybody else use them while driving too. After all, police officers are allowed to speed like crazy when they consider it necessary, but that doesn’t mean that everybody else should do it.
Good. I hope the law passes. I got cut off by some inbred dumb fuck today that was gabbing on the phone. Didn’t even notice me at all. No signal lights or fuck all. If the light wasn’t about to go green I really could have seen myself put my fist through the dumb ass real-estate agents window.
Sorry folks. Nobody here is saying that “YOU” are not able to talk on the phone and drive at the same time. Its “OTHER” people. I am sure there are people that shouldn’t smoke/drink/talk/pick their nose while driving either. However, unfortunately since governments aren’t about to screen everyone with a drivers license for their ability to gab and drive at the same time, I hope to hell they start banning it. Personally, I think everyone that talks on a phone that is not hands free should be pulled over and their fucking phones thrown in the twigs. Jesus Christ people, wait until you are where your going, pull over, or spend the big bucks (what, $50?) for a handsfree kit. I am not saying that “YOU” can’t do it, but I see enough “challenged” people driving around I am going to take for granted that person next to me is.
I was on the scene of a fatal that was caused in part by the brain dead hick talking on the phone. As a matter of a fact, I go to court about it in 2 weeks as a witness for the crown (prosecution).
I have seen several TV shows saying that studies have proved it increases your chance of a wreck, but I haven’t searched on the net to find them.
In over a million kilometres of driving I have never had an accident so I think I can consider myself a pretty good driver.
I have a cel phone with a hands free kit; any important numbers are on speed dial and I can dial or answer the phone without having to take my eyes from the road. All this being said I still don’t like talking on the phone while driving, especially in the city. I don’t like to be distracted when I am commanding that 3700 pound missile that is my car through rush hour traffic.
The people I see whipping down the road with their phones to their head annoy me to no end. It means that they have only one hand on the wheel and their mind elsewhere. I won’t say that all people who use a cel phone are a hazard but there are people who are barely able to drive in a safe manner, many of these people seem to be the proud owners of cel phones as well.