Discuss: Cell Phones and Driving

December 16, 2011 at 07:24:36
Specs: Windows 7, 1.4 GHz / 5610 MB

Hi all,

This week's poll question is about a recent NTSB report that recommended banning all drivers from using cell phones, including hands-free adapters. Discuss here what you think about this recommendation, and, if you like, the poll results themselves.

Thanks!
Justin


See More: Discuss: Cell Phones and Driving

Report •


#1
December 16, 2011 at 07:34:56

I have built-in bluetooth available in both our vehicles. If the bluetooth is turned on on my cell phone, it links automatically. To activate my phone, I hit a button on the steering wheel and use verbal commands. I never actually have to take my hands off the steering wheel to use the phone.

I have no more problem talking on the hands-free cell phone while driving than I do talking to a passenger. Are they going to recommend we not be allowed to converse with occupants of the vehicles we operate too? If not, then banning hands-free it just plain stupid.

If you can't talk to a passenger (or on a hands-free device) and drive compatently at the same time you really need to stop driving and stay the hell off our roads!!

Banning use of the cell that involves your hand (or hands, plural) makes sense. I almost got ran off the road while on vacation by a semi driver who was texting while climbing a mountain. I had my wife call his company and report him and his unit number and I hope the dumb a$$ got fired. He almost pushed me into the oncoming traffic lane as he floated into mine because he was distracted while texting on his "smart phone" while trying to operate a freaking semi!

We recently have had a "distracted driving" law be passed in the province I live in. I've noticed and increase in the number of vehicles sitting on the side of the road while the driver talks on a cell phone. That's good. Now if we can just get the idiot texters who think they can drive and text to quit I'll be a lot happier. I don't mind if they kill themselves, any more than I'd mind a drunk driver killing themselves, but typically, they kill others and it needs to be stopped.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***


Report •

#2
December 16, 2011 at 08:32:35

I'm torn on this issue.

On one hand, it forces the removal of a distraction for a driver (by force), which is good. (I guess.)

On the other hand, it doesn't fix the root cause. Some people are just terrible drivers, and nothing short of removing their ability to operate a vehicle will stop them from driving terribly.

How To Ask Questions The Smart Way


Report •

#3
December 16, 2011 at 11:53:42

Curt R
It has been proven that talking to passengers is distracting. Some places limit the number of teen occupants. People just multitask poorly.

Report •

Related Solutions

#4
December 16, 2011 at 13:09:04

Curt R
It has been proven that talking to passengers is distracting. Some places limit the number of teen occupants. People just multitask poorly.

You might want to make that "Some people multitask..." instead. Within certain parameters I multitask quite well. For instance, I can walk and chew bubblegum without falling over. I can also walk and talk without falling down. I can also talk while driving without it detracting from my driving. Perhaps it has something to do with having driven over 1 million miles in my life (I spent most of the 80's herding semi's around Canada).

Sneezing or coughing is a distraction. Listening to music is a distraction. Where does one draw the line? Should we outlaw music, passengers and GPS's? Should it be illegal to drive while you have a head cold?

If you can't drive adequately while talking to a passenger, perhaps you shouldn't be allowed to operate a motor vehicle at all. I'm all for that one myself as there seems to be (to me) far too many lousy, stupid drivers out there.

There is no easy answer I know. Stupid people don't suddenly get smart. Lousy drivers don't suddenly get good. I don't have an answer myself other than to say we should penalize people who prove they can't drive while talking. All I know is I'm perfectly capable of driving and talking either to a passenger or on a hands-free bluetooth so I shouldn't be penalized because some other person can't.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***


Report •

#5
December 16, 2011 at 14:24:18

Razor hit the nail on the head.

While talking on a cell phone is a distraction it is only one of many. The cops only seem to focus on writing radar speeding tickets so folks have gotten to be worse drivers for it.

I have been driving for 50 years. When I first started, you were just as likely to get ticketed for excessive lane changing or catching the traffic light on red before clearing the intersection.

I can't begin to list all the violations and inconsiderate behavior I see. Just this morning I pulled up next to a young girl a a red light. When the light turned she didn't move until I was a couple hundred feet down the road. When she finally caught up with me I saw that she was texting while driving. That explained her inability to stay in the middle of her lane.

I think texting is much more dangerous than talking on the phone while driving. Same goes for reading a newspaper, applying makeup, eating breakfast, shaving, etc. All of which I have seen on numerous occasions. The issue is not to pass additional laws but to enforce the existing laws. The issue is that speeding tickets have become a form of revenue enhancement for many local communities or even entire states (think Ohio).

Cell phone use is so ingrained into society today that even if the suggested ban on all cell use while driving is enacted I doubt it will be enforced.

Write your congress person with your feelings and ask them to pressure enforcement of existing laws before passing more.


Report •

#6
December 16, 2011 at 15:21:46

There is one big difference when talking to a passenger compared to talking on a phone (hands free or otherwise). The passenger will see and know when the road conditions are such that it would be best not to disturb the driver and therefore accept a consequent cut in the conversation.

A caller can't see what is going on ahead, so will expect the conversation to continue come hell or high water. Phones are more demanding than talking to passengers and require a higher degree of concentration, which has to be split between that and driving.

I've seen drivers on mobile phones at traffic lights and predicted that they would move forward into a narrowing road ahead without even knowing I was there. I've then see my prediction unfold. I am happy to have avoided an accident for them but it is a pity that they went off not even knowing that there had been a potential near miss.

I would never use a mobile phone while driving a vehicle - the cops are right to clamp down on it as hard as they can. Texting is just about beyond belief.

As an aside I have the same feeling towards persistent tailgaters - folk who have no idea about speed versus distance. They might not cause the accident but a stack of them can then turn it into a carnage.


Report •

#7
December 16, 2011 at 15:37:33

The passenger will see and know when the road conditions are such that it would be best not to disturb the driver and therefore accept a consequent lack of response.
This is funny. I was almost rear-ended last year by a guy who was arguing with his wife (a passenger) while in rush hour. He swerved to the left and hit the center divider. She didn't even look at the road until he yanked the steering wheel.

I ride a motorcycle, and the number of people who have pulled out in front of me or merged into my lane is staggering. Sometimes they're visibly distracted, oftentimes they're not. They just don't see your bike. And yes, I knew a few who are not here because of it.
Next bill: Outlaw driving with your spouse. Bill after that: Outlaw drivers.

How To Ask Questions The Smart Way


Report •

#8
December 16, 2011 at 16:06:26

Well, sure, having a fully blown argument can happen I guess but that is a rather extreme example and not what I had in mind. For that matter you can have arguments on a phone too.

Some distractions might be hard to avoid but the phone remedy is simple. You just turn off your phone and put it away before driving. Those who's lives are totally dictacted by the mobile phone can always pull up at service stations every hour or two to get their fix. Bosses in charge of transportation systems should be the first to realise that there will be no reply at times because their charges are driving.

Using the same "bold" as #1, I would say "If folk can't drive without having to use a moblile phone then they really need to stop driving and stay the hell off our roads!"


Report •

#9
December 16, 2011 at 16:50:55

I think the best thing is for phones to have a motion sensor installed which will give loss of signal while a vehicle is moving. that way there wouldn't be anymore texting, etc while a vehicle is in motion.
Many drivers can't chew gum and drive at the same time...it's a proven fact!

Some HELP in posting on Computing.net plus free progs and instructions 7 Medals


Report •

#10
December 16, 2011 at 17:05:19

Yes, good point, I've often thought that there must be some technological way of dealing with this - either yours or some other.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


Report •

#11
December 16, 2011 at 17:21:34

Personally I think cell phone users (hands free or not) should be charged the same way I feel drunk drivers should be charged. They should all face attempted murder charges or at the very least attempted negligent homicide. I don't give a rats behind how competent you think and or claim you are, when behind the wheel there is nothing else that should be getting your attention.

What is so important that you are not only willing to bet your own life but others anyway? Yes I have a cell phone and yes I turn it off when I drive. Leave a message if it’s important. The distraction, in my opinion, is not removing your hands from the wheel but in getting too involved in the conversation. Is it really that difficult to drive with one hand? Come on! If I can roll down the window and give that jack@ss in front of me that is on his phone the finger without any danger how am I not capable of holding a little box to the side of my head with one hand and driving with the other?

To me this is all a mute point. People die because some people are not capable of holding a conversation over the phone and driving at the same time. The same argument used for the competency of said driver can be used for drunk drivers. Should everyone be allowed to drive drunk because some have been able to do it many times without killing anyone yet?

<Edit>

I'm sorry but I've buried enough that couldn't figure out why no one else could handle it but them. So that argument holds no water with me. I agree many aren't competent enough to be driving with no distractions at all but that doesn’t change the fact for me that people have died because they or someone else had something more important to do than control their vehicle.


Report •

#12
December 16, 2011 at 20:13:29

There will always be responsible users & there will always be abusers. Legislation isn't worth a damn if it's not inforced but aren't there better things for our police to be doing?

If the goverment is really serious about this issue, they need to develop some sort of technology to disable a phone within a moving vehicle, then force carmakers to install it. Simple enough - as soon as a vehicle is shifted out of Park, all cell signals are blocked. I'm sure some people would figure a way to disable the "jamming device" (or whatever it is), so legislation would have to be passed to punish them & a menu of stiff fines created - $250 for 1st offense, $500 for the 2nd, mandatory "cell phone abuse awareness training", etc. And a "jamming check" could be added to our yearly vehicle safety inspections (additional fee, of course), & those with a disabled jammer would have to be reported & fined some more. Older vehicles could be policed by using some sort of "cell signal detector" which piggybacks on the police radar device, that way they can check speed & cell phone use at the same time. Or the device could be attached to red light cameras at intersections. Maybe a fleet of domestic cell phone abuse drones? Yes, it is "Orwellian", but look around, the Police State is upon us.

I say this all tongue-in-cheek, but something does have to be done. And while I agree applying makeup, shaving, eating, drinking coffee, etc. are "bad", how often have you read about a carload of kids being killed because the driver was eating a Big Mac? I'm not saying it hasn't happened, but it ceratinly isn't common. Deaths directly attributed to cell phone distraction are all too common.


Report •

#13
December 16, 2011 at 21:38:46

Derek

There is one big difference when talking to a passenger compared to talking on a phone (hands free or otherwise). The passenger will see and know when the road conditions are such that it would be best not to disturb the driver and therefore accept a consequent cut in the conversation.

It's not up to the passenger to drive safely. That is the sole duty of the operator at the wheel. If they're not smart enough to know that arguing is distracting then perhaps they shouldn't have a drivers license.

Using the same "bold" as #1, I would say "If folk can't drive without having to use a moblile phone then they really need to stop driving and stay the hell off our road!!"

It's not a matter of not being able to drive without using the phone, I put in over 1 million miles driving in the 80's and early 90's without ever owning a cell phone, much less using one while driving. But I did frequently talk to passengers while driving (still do and always will too, just like you) and managed to do so safely. So I say again, if I'm fully capable of driving safely while having a conversation, be it on the hands-free or with a passenger, why shouldn't I be able to?

shelbyclan

Personally I think cell phone users (hands free or not) should be charged the same way I feel drunk drivers should be charged. They should all face attempted murder charges or at the very least attempted negligent homicide.

Then you must feel the same way about people who talk to passengers while driving.

Oh wait, you do that too don't you!

Sorry dude, but you can't convince me talking to your spouse while she's in the car is any less distracting than talking to her on the phone via a hands-free....I won't buy that. And, you'll never convince me you haven't talked to a passenger in your vehicle while you're driving so how about dialing that unrealistic attitude back a notch and come down to earth and join us here in reality.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***


Report •

#14
December 17, 2011 at 05:29:21

Sure, there's only one person driving the car but the phone has unique social implications. Whenever a phone rings most of us stop what we are doing and answer it. This extra priority and importance is what makes it dilute driving concentration more than most other distractions. There might be some people around who are imune to these social aspects (or think they are until they hit something) but for practical reasons laws can only be made for the general public at large.

There will always be distractions and accidents but to my mind there is a lot of sense in getting rid of one which is quite unecessary and so simple to avoid.


Report •

#15
December 17, 2011 at 05:47:15

I agree 100% with making texting or holding a phone and dialing it manually or talking on it while driving illegal. But I maintain you must be an exceedingly lousy driver if you can't talk and drive safely at the same time.

I noticed you most carefully avoided saying anything directly about talking to a passenger while driving. That's because we all do it, and it's impossible to justify making talking on a hands-free illegal without also making talking to your passengers illegal.

Yes you're right. Laws tend to be general. My suggestion would be, craft the law in such a way that if you get into an accident while talking on your hands-free, then there should be an extra penalty for you because you're obviously one of those people who can't talk and walk (drive) at the same time without falling over.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***


Report •

#16
December 17, 2011 at 06:40:21

Profiling drivers. I was just in a car with a person who had to dig her phone out of one of those huge bags, connect the charger, connect the handsfree, had to dial, then redial and left voice message. We took the phone away when she was considering a text message. She had her eyes away from the road for periods up to 7 seconds. Luckily the traffic was slow.

Report •

#17
December 17, 2011 at 08:32:01

There was an experienced lorry driver on our TV, who was pulled over by the cops.
He had been caught using a mobile phone while driving but they also found he had got through three cans of lager. That is, I accept, a very extreme case of confidence in abilities (probably helped by the booze). Maybe he thought he could have done a bit of juggling too but there are many lesser degrees of driver self confidence than that bizzare example.


Report •

#18
December 17, 2011 at 10:39:28

There was an experienced lorry driver on our TV
Who is Lorry?

Some HELP in posting on Computing.net plus free progs and instructions 7 Medals


Report •

#19
December 17, 2011 at 10:52:21

@ Curt R
I applaud your self confidence sir although I feel it is sadly misplaced. You are correct in assuming that I speak to others in my vehicle while driving. It does shock me that you do not recognize a difference between speaking to someone in person and speaking over the phone.
To make things a little simpler I like everyone else I have ever met tend to use physical gestures when speaking. I think some call this body language. This language, in my opinion, aids in the conversation. Over the phone this option is removed. One now must search for other words or ways of stressing the same words differently to get their point across in the way they would have in person. All this leads me to believe that talking to someone face to face and talking to them over the phone are two different things.
I know this is something you will never believe or comprehend because you have said so. That’s okay. I have no want or need to convince you to see my side of things as long as I am comfortable that it is not you I see in my rearview mirror or approaching the intersection in front of me.

Grab your phone, a bottle of tequila, as I am sure you are exceptional at that as well, and your keys and hit the road. Enjoy.


Report •

#20
December 17, 2011 at 10:55:48

Is that Larry's little sister?

Report •

#21
December 17, 2011 at 13:02:52

Ho Ho.

UK -to- USA translation: Lorry = Truck.

But I bet you knew that LOL.


Report •

#22
December 17, 2011 at 15:56:54

LOL...sounds pretty femme to me

Some HELP in posting on Computing.net plus free progs and instructions 7 Medals


Report •

#23
December 17, 2011 at 17:15:26

Err...Boats are she's, never been sure about trucks.


Report •

#24
December 18, 2011 at 05:31:12

shelbyclan

I'm simply amazed by your last response. Your first one was bad enough but you've gone from extreme to just plain ridiculous.

I had nothing against you personally but in light of your personal attack in your last response, I do now. I take serious exception to what you said.

"Grab your phone, a bottle of tequila, as I am sure you are exceptional at that as well, and your keys and hit the road. Enjoy."

I haven't touched a drop since 1988 and as a recovering alcoholic who's been sober longer than you've probably been alive (at least judging by the complete immaturity of your last post) I'm 100% against drunk driving as drunk drivers have killed my best friend's mother, my auntie, and one of my cousin's.

Speaking of drinking and driving, I'd wager you drink and drive a lot more often than I do, or ever have. And even one drink counts because even one drink can reduce your effectiveness and alertness behind the wheel.

You're obviously not very bright if you don't realize that "body language" also includes looking at the person you're conversing with. You're just what I don't like seeing on the road, some dick with his head turned while he's gabbing, and gesturing, to someone on the passenger side, or worse, in the back seat. At least if I'm talking on my hands-free while driving I'm actually watching the road and traffic around me......unlike you.

If you can't have a conversation without gesturing then you're an idiot and mustn't be able to walk and chew bubblegum without falling over.

Your whole bit about body language was both lame and stupid and I wager the majority of people here looked at that last post and shook their head. We all grew up talking on a telephone and have plenty of experience conversing without being able to see, and gesture, at the person we're conversing with. If you can't do it don't expect everybody else to be as lacking in coordination as you are.

Do me a favor, don't bother responding to me. I have nothing left to say to you.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***


Report •

#25
December 18, 2011 at 07:50:55

This is a 2006 study:

http://unews.utah.edu/old/p/062206-...

But the last two paragraphs sum it up nicely

Even WIKI weighs in on the subject:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile...

see the section: Comparisons with passenger conversation

MIKE

http://www.skeptic.com/


Report •

#26
December 18, 2011 at 08:36:02

Even if conversation with a passenger posed the same risk as using a mobile phone, it is illegal to throw your passengers out of the car while driving but you can't get done for keeping a mobile switched off.

Report •

#27
December 19, 2011 at 12:58:58

@ Curt R
I am sorry for your losses and will admit that basically calling you a dumb drunk behind the wheel was a bit of a stretch and somewhat mean spirited. Personally I don’t care if you like or dislike me. I am not here to gain your respect or even to convince you of the error of your ways. Just to state my lowly opinion about the subject at hand. As for your sobriety I congratulate you. I realize for some this is a big thing. Personally I have not drank since ’95. Not that I am going after the whole sobriety thing I just haven’t had a use for alcohol.
I too have lost someone close to a drunk behind the wheel. In ’86 I was hit head on by a drunk. The impact killed my fiancé in the car with me. This is one of the reasons I view drunk driving as murder and always have. That person was not injured, lost their license for one year, and was given probation for three years after taking a life because he felt he was better than the idiots that said drinking impaired the judgment. I hear basically the same argument from you about this issue over cell phones. So yes I may come across as offensive as that is how your attitude towards this situation is perceived. I find you to be a very closed minded individual and do not expect much from you.

Report •

#28
December 19, 2011 at 14:12:58

I too have lost someone close to a drunk behind the wheel. In ’86 I was hit head on by a drunk. The impact killed my fiancé in the car with me. This is one of the reasons I view drunk driving as murder and always have.

My sincere condolences. Just for the record, I too consider drunk driving murder.

I hear basically the same argument from you about this issue over cell phones.

Incorrect. Go back and reread what I wrote. You equated cell phone use while driving to drunk driving and murder.

I was talking specifically about the use of hands-free technology and comparing it directly to talking to a passenger with regard to how much distraction it causes Something you, I, and every other driver on the road, do.

I find you to be a very closed minded individual and do not expect much from you.

I can say the same thing right back at you.

How about this. We'll both admit to having taken something a little bit wrong and reacted poorly and we'll call it even. Works for me. Does that suit you?

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***


Report •

#29
December 19, 2011 at 16:28:56

Good response Curt R, shake hands and call it quits.

Regards.


Report •

#30
December 20, 2011 at 20:25:07

The way I see it we both agree the others opinions are all wrong, well for the most part anyway. I hold no ill will becuase you don't see things my way. To be honest I feel it rare that anyone would see things my way. This to me is one of the great things in life. We do not have to agree to continue living. Now if we could just teach the leaders of the worlds countries that.

Report •

#31
December 22, 2011 at 10:47:28

All of you are missing the point. Talking on a phone and driving takes away from the mental processes that are used for both. You can't do both effectively. It has to do with the brain and how it processes information.

Something like 85% of the people consider themselves good drivers and others are good only to about 40%.

Here is the main problem. People are generally very stupid. Vis a Vis, Jerry Srpinger, Maury, World's Dumbest, All Fired Up, the Kardashians, Survivor, Judge Judy, X Factor, the stock market, believing the 1% banks give you back on purchases really matters, The show Cops, and the list is endless.

People are idiots and the sooner you start operating under that premise, the little bit safer you'll be.

You cannot talk on a phone and drive giving full attention where needed.

Of men who have a sense of honor, more come through alive than are slain, but from those who flee comes neither glory nor any help.

Homer


Report •

#32
December 22, 2011 at 12:40:16

All of you are missing the point. Talking on a phone and driving takes away from the mental processes that are used for both. You can't do both effectively. It has to do with the brain and how it processes information.

Again, I beg to differ........I wasn't missing the point.

What I said is that I don't consider talking on a cell phone using a hands-free device to be more disruptive than a conversation with a passenger.

People are idiots and the sooner you start operating under that premise, the little bit safer you'll be.

With regard to driving and other drivers, I've always operated under that premise. Considering I rode motorcycles for many years and put many many miles on them. I'm much more well acquainted with the stupidity, and blindness, of other drivers than a person who has never driven a motorcycle would be. The best advice I ever got with regard to driving motorcycles is, "Pretend you're invisible and nobody else on the road can see you". This can, and should be, carried over to driving any other vehicle. I got this advice from an old grey bearded biker before I was old enough to drive and I never forgot it and kept it in mind while driving any vehicle. It's stood me in good stead and helped me to avoid more accidents than I care to think about.

You cannot talk on a phone and drive giving full attention where needed.

Agreed!

But, if you honestly believe that to be true, then logically you must accept that the same is true for talking to a passenger"

You cannot say it's more distracting to talk on a hands-free cell device. Talking, no matter if it's on a cell phone, a regular old fashioned land line telephone, or talking face-to-face employs the exact same "speech" center of the brain.

Would you agree that anything you do that isn't driving, while operating a vehicle, reduces your effectiveness at operating said vehicle?

I believe this to be true. That means anything like chewing bubblegum, whistleing, or listening to music can distract you.

If you agree, then you must also agree that talking to a passenger is also distracting. I don't buy that it's less distracting than talking on a hands-free head set.

FWIW, I don't really care if cell phone use is completely outlawed in vehicles.......it won't bother me a bit. I lived, and drove, for many years without one and would be more than happy to do so again. In fact, I wouldn't even have a cell phone (read: second wife) if I wasn't forced to wear one for work. I don't like the idea of being low-jacked and having anybody be able to get ahold of (read: bother me) at any time day or night.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***


Report •

#33
December 22, 2011 at 13:36:35

Let's for a moment assume that all distractions are precisely equal and therefore present the same potential risk of causing accidents - ignoring any arguments to the contrary.

My point is that it is not easy to deal with passengers who sneeze or talk, kids who squeel and squabble, or even the odd glance a male driver might give to a passing nude in an open sportscar.

However it is simple procedure to turn off a mobile phone before driving. If this reduces an unecessary risk to life and limb then surely it is a good thing to promote and police.
I can't see a good reason to glibly accept and add yet another driving distraction.

As it happens I do believe that using mobile phones is generally more demanding and distracting than talking to passengers, therefore a more risky activity. However, the reasoning has already been given by myself and others so there is little point in repeating it all again. We all have our own views on the detail.


Report •

#34
December 22, 2011 at 15:22:32

My point is that it is not easy to deal with passengers who sneeze or talk, kids who squeel and squabble

On this I think everybody can agree......regardless of their feelings about talking on a cell using hands-free technology.

or even the odd glance a male driver might give to a passing nude in an open sportscar.

ROFLMAO

I almost drove my Harley over top of an old VW bug one beautiful summer's day. I was coming up to a set of lights, fortunately idling along slowly in 1st gear as the light was red and everybody was slowing down, when a girl in the passenger side of the car to my left decided to flash me.

Now, I dont' care who you are, if you're a red-blooded heterosexual man, you're gonna look!

My front tire was less than 2 inches (5 cm) from the bumper of the bug when I stopped.

However it is simple procedure to turn off a mobile phone before driving.

As I stated, I'd happily shut mine off if they pass a law making all cell use while operating a vehicle illegal.

If this reduces an unecessary risk to life and limb then surely it is a good thing to promote and police.

And we're back around to the begining of this difference of opinion.

I'm sorry but, no matter what anybody says to me, I'm just NEVER going to believe that talking on a cell phone using hands-free is somehow mystically more distracting than talking to a passenger.

As far as I know, all speech comes from the same center of the brain. If you can show me valid proof that talking on a cell using hands-free technology uses a different part of the brain, I'll concede it's possible that doing so can be more distracting than talking to a passenger. However, one example does not make proof. I'd need minimum 3 studies made by different, preferably unrelated (ie: non-government funded), groups. Statistics are too easily skewed to accept a single study as proof.

If you can show me proof (again, similar standards) that it not only uses a different center of the brain but is definitely more distracting, I'll stop talking on my hands-free while driving all together.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***


Report •

#35
December 22, 2011 at 15:40:50

Fine, almost agreement. However the last para in #33 was an aside to the rest. Sure, that end part was simply my own personal opinion - "belief" as i put it. Maybe I didn't make that distinction clearly enough, or thought my reference to different views about the detail had covered it.

The main point I was trying to make, assuming all distractions were equal at the outset and including the bit about life and limb, is that it is "another distraction" to add to the list, which can be avoided.

HAPPY CHRISTMAS


Report •

#36
December 23, 2011 at 05:35:59

The main point I was trying to make, assuming all distractions were equal at the outset and including the bit about life and limb, is that it is "another distraction" to add to the list, which can be avoided.

Ok then, all things being equal, I agree, it's a distraction that isn't needed. Just like talking to a passenger is also another distraction that isn't needed. Music and the radio are also equally distracting so we should outlaw all that stuff as well as cell phone use at the same time. I mean, all things being equal.......right!?!?

Merry Christmas to you too!

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***


Report •

#37
December 23, 2011 at 07:43:03

Yes, agreed, strictly all those things should be outlawed so that we concentrate purely on driving in the interests of safety. However it is a matter of practicalities and being realistic. The phone is something that can be turned off and then it is sorted. Not sure about you and yours but my passengers would object strongly to having their mouths taped.

In fact for absolute safety cars should be bolted to the driveway their engines removed. It is all a matter of extent, balance and reasoned judgement.

I don't think music is so distracting because, once it is running, it is only an input and requires no response. Passengers can often do the track or station selecting etc.


Report •

#38
December 23, 2011 at 10:17:08

In fact for absolute safety cars should be bolted to the driveway their engines removed. It is all a matter of extent, balance and reasoned judgement.

You can say whatever you want to but you're not going to change my feelings on this subject.

I do not feel that talking on a hands-free device while driving is any more distracting than talking to a passenger

I don't think music is so distracting because, once it is running, it is only an input and requires no response.

Of course you don't because like most folks, you like to listen to music while driving. But, it is, and can be, a distraction. Especially when you, the driver, are adjusting volume, changing 8-tracks/casssettes/CD's while driving. Sure, the passenger can do it but we've all done this ourselves while actively driving.

You also don't feel talking to a passenger is distracting.

So please explain to me how talking to a person that is in the car is less distracting than talking to a person that isn't in the car with due consideration for the latter process requiring the use of hands-free technology.

The ONLY difference between the two that I can see, other than physical location of the other party involved in the conversation, is the requirement (in my case specifically) to press a button on the steering wheel (which I can do without taking my eyes off the road) and say "Phone" and then next say "Call ????" all done without touching the phone or removing my hands from the wheel.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***


Report •

#39
December 23, 2011 at 11:54:18

Especially when you, the driver, are adjusting volume, changing 8-tracks/casssettes/CD's while driving.

8 tracks...that is HILARIOUS! I guess MP3 players are out of the question? LMAO!

Some HELP in posting on Computing.net plus free progs and instructions 7 Medals


Report •

#40
December 23, 2011 at 12:01:57

The ONLY difference between the two that I can see, other than physical location of the other party involved in the conversation, is the requirement (in my case specifically) to press a button on the steering wheel (which I can do without taking my eyes off the road) and say "Phone" and then next say "Call ????" all done without touching the phone or removing my hands from the wheel.

It is NOT the physical that is the problem. It is the mental. Just like 18 year olds that think they can make adult decisions. They can't. It's a proven scientific fact that their brains are not fully developed until their mid 20's.

It is the function of the mind that requires great attention to a voice than it does body in presence because the body in the car conveys, as does the face, however minutely, visual signals that help the conversation. Much more concentration is required for a voice on the phone where no visual input is available.

Ever talk to someone on the phone who is doing something else? Even if they don't TELL you they are doing something else, you can tell by their speech pattern. That takes concentration which you do not have to give someone who is with you.

Of course those that who argue for being able to talk on the phone and drive will state otherwise because they want it their way.

I want to live in spite of the fact you're too selfish and entitled to do the right thing. If I'm ever in an accident and I know the person was on the phone who hit me, I will get out of the car and beat their ass into the ground before the cops come. And they will look like they were in an accident.

Selfish little prigs.

Of men who have a sense of honor, more come through alive than are slain, but from those who flee comes neither glory nor any help.

Homer


Report •

#41
December 23, 2011 at 13:38:27

Re #38.

"You can say whatever you want to but you're not going to change my feelings on this subject"
I'm not trying to change your feelings. There is an implicit acceptance of different view points in all my more recent responses if you care to read them properly. Several times I have made the point about using a mobile phone being an unecessary additional distraction, which you seem to have disregarded in preference to harping back to this earlier comparison with other distractions.

Frankly I'm now fed up with all this. Once It gets to the stage that points I am no longer making are being argued against it is bizarre, and definitely time to move on.

Over and out.


Report •

#42
December 23, 2011 at 14:31:50

8 tracks...that is HILARIOUS! I guess MP3 players are out of the question? LMAO!

I knew I forgot one! Yeah, both our vehicles have a USB port and I plug my ipod in to them and again, control them from the steering wheel controls. I only mentioned 8 tracks because those were all the rage when I was a teenager.

seawatch1

First off, I'm not 20. Not even close. The above regarding 8 tracks will tell you I'm way past 20. In fact, I'm nearly 50. So my brain was fully developed before cell phones ever were invented.

It is the function of the mind that requires great attention to a voice than it does body in presence because the body in the car conveys, as does the face, however minutely, visual signals that help the conversation. Much more concentration is required for a voice on the phone where no visual input is available.

I suggest that in order to "see" these visual signals while operating a vehicle you would be as distracted, if not more so, than talking to someone you can't see.

Ever talk to someone on the phone who is doing something else? Even if they don't TELL you they are doing something else, you can tell by their speech pattern. That takes concentration which you do not have to give someone who is with you.

Yes I have and you're correct, you can tell. Even my wife who claims to be able to multitask so much better than myself. I can tell when she's doing something else.

However, I get to differ with your last statement in that paragraph. You still have to give concentration to someone who's talking to you when they're in front of you.

Ever talked to someone who was doing something else at the same time? I have, and it was no different than talking to someone on a phone who's doing something else. A portion of their concentration is taken up by whatever else it is they're doing.

All you're giving me here is opinion....yours.

Prove to me that talking on a phone (any, not just a cell) uses a different center of the brain from talking to someone in person and because of this makes the person talking on the phone more distracted.

Prove to me that a person operating a vehicle isn't easily as distracted, if not more so, by the necessity of picking up on visual clues (gestures, eye contact etc) from a passenger in the vehicle with them as they would be by talking on a hands-free cell phone.

Of course those that who argue for being able to talk on the phone and drive will state otherwise because they want it their way.

Again, you give me some factual proof, and I don't mean one single study or 3 done by anti call phone groups, that prove talking on a hands-free is more distracting than talking to a passenger and I'll stop.

If it matters to you, I never used a cell phone while driving without using a hands-free. If I didn't have one and I needed to use it, I pulled over and did so, or I just waited until I was stopped. I've logged far too many miles on the roads to wish to get into an accident because of a cell phone.

I want to live in spite of the fact you're too selfish and entitled to do the right thing. If I'm ever in an accident and I know the person was on the phone who hit me, I will get out of the car and beat their ass into the ground before the cops come. And they will look like they were in an accident.

I've attacked nobody personally yet here you are threatening violence.

I expected more from you because I always thought you're closer to my age than you are to 20. Based on previous conversations you always struck me as mature, both mentally and age-wise. Just how old are you anyhow?

I've asked for proof of this so-called "fact" that talking with a hands-free setup is somehow more distracting, and therefore more dangerous, than talking to a passenger. Other than emotional arguements, I haven't recieved any proof of any kind.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***


Report •

#43
December 23, 2011 at 15:35:35

No one can give you the proof you want because no matter what is presented, you'll keep moving the goal posts, so I'm not even going to try.

I wasn't threatening you personally. Nor any one else here. Unless they run into me while talking on a phone.

Over 4000 people were killed last year by people who were specifically found to be talking on phones or texting while driving. I don't want to be one of them just so someone else can talk to their significant other instead of paying attention.

By extension, everyone should be allowed to run red lights once in awhile, because lots of people do it without consequence. That's how the above arguments come across and there by triggering my volatile response.

I'm 63. A Viet Nam vet of SOGs. I'm just tired of all those that feel they are entitled somehow to do what they want despite the consequences to others.

Of men who have a sense of honor, more come through alive than are slain, but from those who flee comes neither glory nor any help.

Homer



Report •

#44
December 23, 2011 at 21:05:18

LOL...Justin opened a good topic here!
Merry Christmas to all and a Happy New Year!

Some HELP in posting on Computing.net plus free progs and instructions 7 Medals


Report •

#45
December 23, 2011 at 21:44:21

Ok let me get back into this by saying regardless of opinion or even fact this is not an attempt to run anyone down. Oh and yes Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays, whatever you prefer, to all.

My opinion and mine alone, probably. I can safely I feel speak to passangers in my vehicle because I am rather capable of ignoring them. Ask my wife. She doesn't complain in the car because she has been my passanger through major cities during rush hour. She can see why I am ignoring her. Has anyone ever ignored someone on the phone? Personally, again just my opinion, I find this more of a distraction.


Report •

#46
December 24, 2011 at 06:21:00

seawatch1

First and foremost

Thank you for your service to your country, and by extension, my own (Canada).

My stepson is a US Marine who's presently posted in Camp Pendleton and did a tour in Afghanistan. My older brother is a lifer still serving in the Canadian Armed forces and is a Major in the infantry. My little brother has the highest non-commissioned rank attainable in the reserves (he's a cop full time) so I have nothing but respect and admiration for anybody who serves their country. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for putting yourself in that place so that I, and everybody else in North America has the freedom to have a discussion, and disagreement, like this. My hat's off to you sir!

Back to the topic at hand. I haven't changed anything. Since the very begining I've maintained that in my own opinion, driving while talking on a hands-free is no more distracting than talking to a passenger.

shelbyclan

The few times I've lived in the big city (Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton) I've told passengers to shut up while driving through rush hour traffic too.

If I were in rush hour traffic in a big city and my hands-free rang, it would continue ringing and go to voicemail. I prefer not to be that distracted when driving in those conditions myself. By that I mean, any conversation would be more distraction than I'd care for driving with that many nutbags surrounding me driving like idiots.

I also wouldn't be changing CD's, playing with my iPod, changing stations on the radio or eating while driving in those conditions.

I'm not denying that any distraction while driving is a bad thing. I agree 100% and always have.

There is no question that holding a phone, dialing the phone, texting on the phone while driving is dangerously distracting. As seawatch1 pointed out, the death toll due to such activities is on the rise because of how distracting and dangerous they are.

I just think it's silly to say talking is a big distraction on the one hand (hands-free) and not on the other (passenger in vehicle) when talking comes from the exact same center in the brain regardless of medium.

Think of it this way. Speech and singing are controlled by different centers of the brain as proved by country/western singer Mel Tillis. When talking he stutters, yet, he can sing without a stutter. In severe cases of stuttering, the afflicted party is taught to "sing/talk" to bypass the stutter. Conclusive proof that speech and singing are controlled in separate areas of the brain.

Question: Is it more "distracting" for a singer to sing into a microphone than it is to sing without one?

I don't think so myself. What do you folks think?

I use this analogy because it compares directly to the issue of talking on hands-free versus talking to a passenger.

It might seem to everybody that I'm fighting to hang onto my belief here. Simply put, I'm not. I'm open to change and new ideas. In fact, I'm hoping someone can offer me some solid proof that talking on a hands-free is more dangerous than talking to a passenger. It would please me to no end to tell my boss I have to shut my cell phone off while in my vehicle..........heh heh heh

Oh and just for the record I rarely use the hands free. In a typical 2 week period I might get one call on it from my wife asking me to pick something up on the way home. I live in a very small community and my commute to work is about the length of one song......say 3.5 minutes. Most any longer trips I go on, like to the big city, my wife's with me nand has her cell phones (yes, phones plural, her work one and "our" cell phone which I've never touched and we've owned it for a year or more) and she handles any calls.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***


Report •

#47
December 24, 2011 at 06:39:50

Your welcome Curt R and thank you.

I've been to many different places in my life and there is, in my opinion,nowhere as great as the US. And I like other countries very much.

I would go again if they needed me. But I may be over the age limit by a few weeks.

An ounce of loyalty is worth a pound of cleverness.

Elbert Hubbard


Report •

#48
December 24, 2011 at 06:50:36

I really think there is a huge difference between talking and texting. Texting is much more distractive and banning it should be vigorously enforced.

Defensive driving requires your eyes to be watching how traffic is unfolding around you. Any activity that pulls your vision away from that task for more than a second is dangerous. (30 MPH + 44ft/sec)

Just as we can set these computers to operate certain tasks in the foreground or background we can also do the same with any distraction while driving.

I may be totally out of touch but I don't get carrying on a conversation using texting instead of actually speaking.

Perhaps the solution is to require drivers to take refresher courses periodically. I know many of the drivers around be could certainly use some brushing up. Of course, I am a perfect driver, don't you know, LOL.


Report •

#49
December 25, 2011 at 15:28:35

I am, as clearly stated above, completely against cell phone use while driving. Not more than a mile from our home there was a four car wreck yesterday. While approaching a red light an older woman got a call on her phone. While slowing she attempted to answer it. Ofcourse she dropped the phone. While reaching for it the light turned green. She was not yet fully stipped. The man behind, talking on his phone, saw that the light had changed and released his brake assuming they would not have to stop altogether. As he hit her she swerved left across the oncoming lane where she was tee boned in the passnager side door by someone on their bluetooth who was in turn hit from behind by someone that while not really drunk had been drinking.

As an ex member of the volunteer fire department and being there at the time I stopped to work the scene(direct traffic). As far as I know the last person involved, the drinker, is the only one being charged. He was doing something illegal afterall. I did not actually see the accident I happened on it a few moments after but from what I saw neither him nor the man on his bluetooth had a chance to avoid anything and did not cause the accident. The other two though had more than ample time and they did cause it.

My point is not everything for everyone is simple cut and dry. Yes the man who had been drinking was breaking the law and in my opinion should have been charged for doing so but I have a hard time agreeing that he should be charged with the accident.

<Edit>
It was not a major wreck. As far as I know the only thing injured were the vehicles.


Report •

#50
January 9, 2012 at 20:44:42

...NO! Flat-out NO!

Report •

#51
January 17, 2012 at 05:00:28

Not a direct correlation, but interesting none the less. Should be a cautionary tale: http://www.medpagetoday.com/Primary...

"Naked man told to Halt! And drop the iguana."

Crime Report headline from the Key West Citizen

Intelligent people don't have time to Tweet.


Report •

#52
January 17, 2012 at 10:47:23

Re #51
Quite relevant in terms of "being in another world" I reckon.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


Report •

#53
January 17, 2012 at 12:13:46

I agree. This from the bottom of the article: "Earlier studies examining other distractors, principally cell phones, have shown that pedestrian users take longer to cross streets and are more likely to take risks."

Apparently, people on cell phones or using music players are actually aware of dangers or risks, but their brain doesn't assign the same "threat" level to these events. So we know they, the risks, are there, we don't process them at the same height as we do when not distracted.

Many of us have walked busy city streets with a friend while having a conversation and I have been pulled back by friends, because I didn't look and stepped into the street with traffic.

My argument is that if this can happen while walking, imagine what happens when you're driving.

"Naked man told to Halt! And drop the iguana."

Crime Report headline from the Key West Citizen

Intelligent people don't have time to Tweet.


Report •


Ask Question