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No Such Thing as Safe Cell Phone Driving

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by ethics, Jan 28, 2003.

  1. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    A study which will be released in the March issue of the Journal of Experimental Psychology says that drivers who use cell phones tend to be <a href="http://news.com.com/2100-1033-982325.html">more distracted than drivers who stay off the cell phones.</a> The study found that even those drivers who used a hands free style of cell phone suffered from a type of tunnel vision while driving which they call inattention blindness.

    David Strayer, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Utah, who led the study explained that the <a href="http://www.psych.utah.edu/AppliedCognitionLab/JEP_Applied_Final.pdf">study</a> (PDF Document link) was conducted using a group of 20 volunteers in a driving simulator. Their reaction times and driving performance and style were measured while they used cell phones and while they werent using cell phones.

    Strayer said that the study revealed that their performance was clearly negatively affected when they drove while a cell phone was in use, regardless of whether it was a hand held or a hands free phone. Phone users tended to follow too closely, braked too late, and generally were less cognizant of fast changing traffic conditions.

    This results of this study, combined with a 1997 New England Journal of Medicine editorial critical of cell phone use while driving, would seem to buttress the argument of some that cell phone use should be banned outright. It casts into doubt the efficacy of laws, similar to the New York law which allows only the use of hands free units while driving, which have been passed in local communities around the nation. Strayer said that this inattention blindness was not a factor for drivers listening to music or talking to a passenger in the car.

    Should ALL cell phones be banned while driving?
  2. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

  3. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Passed Away Aug. 19, 2006

    No surprise in these findings.
  4. cdw

    cdw Ahhhh...the good life.

    In NY, it is already a law. I was annoyed when it first came out...not that I talk on the phone when I drive. But, as time went on, I realized that a lot of people have trouble walking and chewing gum at the same time, so it was probably a good thing.
    Also, I had a friend here from the UK that explained to me that there, you aren't even allowed to drink a cup of coffee while driving.
  5. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    NY Law ALLOWS cell phones, just with speak free devices.
  6. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    Unless things have changed drastically since I lived there a few years ago, you can drink your coffee while driving. Cell phone use while driving, tho, is strictly banned. Period. No exceptions. I do believe you can have a hands free device. Those weren't readily available back when I lived there.

    Having said that, if the police there see you commit an "unsafe act" while drinking your coffee and driving, you will be pulled over and charged.
  7. cdw

    cdw Ahhhh...the good life.

    Okay, okay, I stand corrected. Geesh. :)

    I guess that was what he was talking about...
    what do they charge you with? Reckless driving or something?
  8. Scott

    Scott Some Assembly Required

    cell phone use should NOT be allowed in cars. neither should eating, doing make-up, reading the paper.............

    i even saw two people having sex on route 3 in new jersey!!! (yes---the driver. full blown intercourse while driving)

    if i were a cop, anyone that swerved while doing any of the above would get at least a warning.
  9. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    I believe the correct term there is "Committing an unsafe act while driving". In laymens terms, you were being an ass on the road.
  10. FrankF

    FrankF #55170-054

    On the way home last night I was being tailgated by a woman who was wearing a cell phone on her ear and was drinking a 16 or 20 oz bottled water (not sure at 70MPH... but she was close enough for me to see it was probably Evian or Arrowhead water).
    Traffic suddenly slowed and she damn near hit me. I am guessing she almost had the bottle of water shoved down her throat. The remaining 2-3 miles I drove, she stayed way behind. I hope at least she had to change her undies when she got home.
  11. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    Something about driving a one ton diesel I guess, but I don't get all that many tailgaters. **snicker**
  12. Sharondippity

    Sharondippity Sweetness and Light

    I have heard of hands free devices- what's a speak free device do?
  13. Sunriser13

    Sunriser13 Knee Deep in Paradise

    rofl :thumbsup: :haha: :thumbsup: rofl
  14. IamZed

    IamZed ...

    Have you read of studies done to measure loss of road concentration due to talking on the phone, even with a hands free unit? Apparently you drive much worse. I always wondered what the difference was between the phone and your wife sitting there and talking to you. Does this mean you can finally tell her to shut the fuck up?
  15. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    Read the articles. They have found there's a huge difference between talking on the cell phone (hands free and non handsfree) and talking to a passenger in the vehicle. In all cases, the cell phone users were far more distracted than those that were talking to passengers in the vehicle. In fact, they found little difference between listening to the radio and talking to a passenger. Very little risk at all.
  16. Jedi Writer

    Jedi Writer Guest

    Hands free are better than hand held but anyone who uses one is still significantly distracted.

    I mean hell, lets me honest here, half the people on the road are distracted or unaware of what is going on when there is nothing external to distract them.

    I am sure none of us have seen for instance on a multi-lane road where the far right lane is going to end. There are signs, the stripping changes significantly and often reflectors and bumps are placed to warn the driver that the lane is ending in say 1/4 mile and he has to merge left. The final warning is big arrows indicating the lane is ending and merge left as the lane begins to narrow and merge to the lane to the left. And we have never seen in such situations where the driver in the far right lane drives all the way to the end of the lane past all that I mention above and only when the lane actually clearly almost comes to a physical end to they see "Damn, the lane is ending, slam on their brake and start frantically trying to move to the left.
  17. ditch

    ditch Downunder Member

    Hands free as they are called here are allowed. The phone rings, turns the radio off, shuts the kids up;) and you talk and listen without fiddling with buttons etc.
    But you still IMO lose your concentration to an extent. We have a points system here. You get caught speeding you lose points, the faster you're going the more points you lose. Any driving offence results in a loss of points up to a max of 12 when you lose your license. Using a phone without the hands free kit, and getting caught, is a loss of 3 points.
    We have the second highest number of mobile,cell, phones per head of population in the world. We're crazy for them. So many people use them whilst driving something had to be done. The excuse in an accident that "The phone rang and I had to answer it, I was expecting an important call", has been used believe it or not.
  18. Copzilla

    Copzilla dangerous animal Staff Member

    I have a hard time understanding why anyone can even justify using a cell phone while driving. It is a driving distraction on par with drunkeness.

    The reason it's even legal at all NOW is money. Money and politics and lobby.
  19. IamZed

    IamZed ...

    I wonder why it is so distracting as opposed to just speaking.
  20. tke711

    tke711 Oink Oink Staff Member

    I have been using a cell phone while drive for about 14 years now. I've never been pulled over, I've never been in an accident. I've never caused an accident.

    While I agree that I've seen bad drivers using cell phones, what's to say that they are not a bad driver regardless??

    What I find really funny though are the cities that have passed a law banning cell phones. I guess having reckless driving or inattentive driving laws on the books wasn't good enough. IMHO, it's simply feel good legislation as there are already laws on the books to handle people who can't drive and talk at the same time.

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