Despite Understanding Risk, Drivers Gab Away on Cell Phones

June 7, 2006

  • June 7, 2006 at 1:58 am
    . says:
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    This entire poll failed to ask one question: why? Why do people talk on cell phones when they know it is dangerous?

    This poll is typical of similar ones that assess a situation based on a pre-conceived assumption. The assumption here is that it is horrible that anyone talks on a non-hands-free cell phone while driving. That is true. But instead of trying to shed light on what motivates this behavior, all this survey does is document the behavior.

    I suppose it is much easier to obtain confirmation of one\’s views and provide additional fuel for further tounge-wagging (\”oh, these people are awful, they\’re to BLAME\”)…but that merely adds heat to the debate, as opposed to shedding light that could be used to craft a solution.

    For instance, maybe people fail to use hand-held devices because they are poorly designed, and need to be redesigned. But we will never know if that is the case from this survey.

  • June 7, 2006 at 2:21 am
    Drewboy says:
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    Yesterday a driver talking on her cell phone pulled out in front of me. Had I not been anticipating idiocy, I would have likely killed her. This is the 3rd time in the last decade that this has happened to me. Do people not value their lives? Turn the phone on silent when you\’re driving or get a hands-free device.

  • June 7, 2006 at 2:55 am
    Respondent says:
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    I wish I could find it, but a study was done that indicated that there is no difference in safety in using a hands free device versus not using one, which was surporising. The study concluded that use of the phone was in itself a safety hazard as the driver was focused more on the call than driving, irregardless of what method was used to communicate.

  • June 7, 2006 at 3:02 am
    Curious says:
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    What percent of people reading this article found all those percentages ridiculous to read?

  • June 7, 2006 at 3:13 am
    Deborah Leah Kegley says:
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    Just to agree with your point of \”Rare\”

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    To date: Same story!

  • June 7, 2006 at 3:49 am
    El Squid says:
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    In my collection of automobile magazines I have some very old issues that warn us of some motoring hazzards we never consider today.

    In my oldest magazine there is an article quoting some clergymen who believe that if people ever spend a lot of time travelling at over a mile a minute, their souls will be torn from their bodies.

    Another issue from the WWI era says that if wireless sets (radios) ever become common in automobiles that our roads will be flooded with the blood of distracted drivers who had been listening to tunes in their cars.

    Since I seldom drive below a mile a minute, and I listen to tunes in my car, and I use my cell phone from time to time when I drive, I must have died in a fiery crash some time ago.

    Alternatively, because I pay attention to my driving and I move into the slow lane if I\’m going to use my phone and because I don\’t grill hot dogs or paint portraits while I\’m driving I am not very likely to crash my car or hit anything.

  • June 7, 2006 at 4:33 am
    mom says:
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    Actually, yes – I too saw the study that it didn\’t really matter – the greater risk is diverting your attention (even if its semi-mindless attention) from the road to the conversation. So any phone conversation is dangerous because you tend to focus more intently on phone conversations which are less clear & devoid of visual cues.
    And if your attention is equally focused on the music or talk radio as opposed to having the radio as background noise, it\’s dangerous.
    Even highly emotional or intellectually challenging conversation should be tabled between occupants in the car. I always made my kids be quiet when I was merging in traffic or dealing with some other particular driving hazard. Distraction from your primary duty while at the wheel is the issue.
    I pass on the mile a minute issue.

  • June 8, 2006 at 5:11 am
    Anonymous says:
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    What about make up , reading a map, eating, and so on. All of this was going on before cellphones. So why don\’t we focus on all drivers diverting thier attention.

  • June 8, 2006 at 9:26 am
    Larry Krause says:
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    Respondent is correct, and in fact there was also a study done at the University of Illinois about drivers using hands free devices. No difference from holding the phone, and similar to having had several drinks in the way it hampers reaction time.

  • June 8, 2006 at 11:04 am
    Max says:
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    Don\’t know if it was ever repealed but CHICAGO used to have a 1920s era law that banned playing the \”wireless\” while driving.
    How stupid does that sound today?
    Almost a dumb as the ban on driving and talking will sound in 20 years
    My anger at RUSH LIMBAUGH is far more distracting than any phone call.

    I got my 1st Nokia Bag phone for $2200 in 1988 – at about 0.40 a minute. I now have cell two phones on two services – one with email. I have corded headsets and bluetooth. Neither work that well – Hands-free speakerphones just suck. In my job I manage 3 sales people coving 5 states, drive around all day in my luxury sports car and NEVER [ok twice a year] go in to the office. 20 years ago I would have been stuck behind a desk in a office and never get to wear flip flops to work.

    I live by the cell phone and a ban on use in the car will just be another law I regularly disregard.

    Being a BAD DRIVER is the cause of accidents – not radios, not cell phones, just BAD DRIVERS.

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