Distractions

I’m sure you’ve all seen this news. It’s been everywhere now for days.

“The National Transportation Safety Board wants every state to ban all cell phones used by drivers — no texting, no talking, not even hands-free. But are cell phones more distracting than any of the other distractions inside our cars?”

I saw this on so many talk shows last week it wasn’t even funny and you can SURE tell who uses their cell phones and don’t want to lose the use of them in the car. It also didn’t take long for these same people to point out ALL the MORE distracting and dangerous things there are than a cell phone.

I heard everything from cigarette smoking, changing the radio, talking to another passenger in a car and people putting on make up or shaving to be much worse than talking or texting while driving.

I’ll answer my phone if I’m driving and there’s no traffic. If I was on a busy road or the conditions are poor, I’ll wait till I got where I was going or where it was safe to pull over and then check and see who called but I NEVER text and drive at the same time.

Virginia Tech Transportation Institute did a study and found, among other things, “that drivers typically take their eyes off the forward roadway for an average of four out of six seconds when texting, and an average of 4.6 out of the six seconds surrounding safety-critical events. The study revealed that when traveling at 55 miles per hour (89 km/h), a driver texting for 6 seconds is looking at the phone for 4.6 seconds of that time and travels the distance of a football field without their eyes on the road.”

A football field. Wow.

I’m sure most of us remember this accident too’

It seems outlawing texting won’t work and actually made things more dangerous as people are trying to hide their texting now and they tend to look (down) away even longer. Some are saying that texting is more dangerous that drunk driving.

So, what do you think?

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14 Responses to Distractions

  1. Sue says:

    When I heard this, I thought WTH! Texting while driving is banned in our state already, but more people seem to be doing it now more than ever! I don’t text and drive. I do talk on my phone while driving. I have also eaten while driving. And changed the radio station. And messed with the windshield wipers, and talked to my kids, and talked to my passengers and broken up back seat fights and sang to the radio and the list goes on and on. There are so many things that are distractions that how can you say “ban all cell phone use”! Have you ever looked in a cop’s car and seen all the gizmo’s and gadgets that they have and that I’ve seen some USE while operating their vehicle?? Are you going to ban those, too?? Personal responsibility. Whatever happened to that?

  2. mssc54 says:

    Okay, was this brought on by my texting arguement on Facebook? Lol

    Look, texting while driving isn’t any more dangerous than any other form of distracted driving.

    Walking the high-wire is deadly too unless you ARE the high-wire walker. The more you practice texting while you drive (and live to talk about it) the better you get at it. At least that has been my (personal) experience.

    And don’t be texting while you walk down the street either!

  3. SKL says:

    Well, I don’t think talking on the phone is anywhere near as dangerous as texting (except when you’re dialing a phone number). But I do think that texting while driving is just asking for trouble. Honestly, I would not mind if they made it illegal to text while in a moving vehicle. But checking the emails/texts while stopped at a red light and such should be OK. So it would depend on how they wrote the laws.

    When it comes to talking on the phone, I’d be inclined to leave that up to people’s judgment, possibly with restrictions for those who have not proven themselves good drivers (e.g., minors and those with a history of moving violations). Most of the time, it’s no less safe than talking to another passenger, and nobody’s trying to ban that. When I am in a situation that requires extra care (e.g., in a storm or in icy conditions), I have enough sense to leave the phone alone and grip the wheel with both hands, LOL. I have a friend who blabs on the phone (on business) every chance she gets. If she could not talk on the phone while driving, she’d probably get more speeding tickets in an effort to get to a place where she’s allowed to make a phone call. Granted, she ought to put the phone down when she’s merging in traffic etc., but frankly, she was a lousy driver long before she had a cell phone. I don’t think everyone else should suffer because a few people can’t drive properly.

  4. Joseph says:

    My experience is that anyone driving slow, side to side, just plain strange, usually has there eyes on their lap texting, not talking to someone or changing the radio.
    Texting whilst driving should be verboden.
    Talking on the phone whilst driving is not as distracting (MOO) than texting. If talking on the cell phone is banned, it should totally be banned, including hands-free talking. To me there is no difference, so why treat the two separate? Politics I guess.
    I have no problem with banning texting, as my first hand experiences (set aside official surveys) show an increased amount of stupid drivers because of it. Talking on the other hand is no different that eating or changing whilst driving (both I have have done) LOL!
    We have banned texting and talking on the cellphone whilst driving (excluding hands-free) here. Interesting note in the same session they made it illegal for adults to smoke in the car with minors inside.

  5. Laura says:

    I see this very much like the gun laws. No amount of legislation is going to force people to use common sense. So they can ban all the cellphones, radios, food, people, etc., in the car, and the only ones who are going to follow that law are the ones who follow ALL of the laws – and those are the ones who aren’t texting now anyway!!!

    I don’t text while I”m driving. If I’m in a text-conversation, I’ll send a message, “I’m driving,” before I leave, And then if anything comes through after that, it can wait. ‘course, I’m “just” a mom, so nothing is all that important, but even if I’m in business… not text is that important. Two years ago, it would have been accepted that I was on the road. It should be accepted now.

    But I also agree about the other distractions. It’s the “slippery slope” argument that applies here. The way the NTSB’s advisory was worded, “all distractions” should be banned. And that means everything from children and pets to power windows and heat. And I don’t think we want to go that far.

    People just need to learn to use common sense. We have tons of drunk driving laws on the books now. Have they stopped people from driving drunk? No. There will always be arrogant bastards out there who think that they are the ONE person who can do it. Or the one person who thinks they’re not “that” drunk, or whatever. It’s the same with cellphones, eating, the radio, etc.

  6. Joy says:

    I’m still having trouble with driving the length of a football field without looking. WTH?

    I pretty much agree with everyone else. I do think talking is okay unless you don’t have automatic dialing. I know that playing with the radio and doing other things that take your mind off the road are “just as bad.” I don’t think texting should be allowed but what’s really sad is that people are so stupid that “they” think they can do it while nobody else should. Everyone I know that does this says “they know how to text and drive at the same time.” I sure hope my dog or my grandchildren aren’t on the same road as they are the next time something is so important that they don’t see them. Or us. Why can’t people use the brains God gave them when it comes to stuff like this? Why do we “need” to make a law for all this silly stuff?

    I can honestly say I’ve never shaved or changed my clothes while driving! LOL Joseph!!!

    • Laura says:

      what really ticks me off is…. I know someone who regularly photographs herself while driving down the expressway. “I was bored!” “There was nobody else on the road!” (um… there’s a semi in the photo, behind you. “he wasn’t THAT close…”)

      This is actually what people think. THEY’RE BORED. Ok, so driving might be a little boring. But you still need to pay attention.

      Stuff like that REALLY pisses me off, because THOSE people are the reason people like me get saddled with all these idiotic laws.

    • Joy says:

      What ticks me off also are the people who say “they know how!”

  7. Nikki says:

    It all comes down to common sense. A lot of people just don’t have any, sadly. I think I read somewhere there were upwards to 7000 deaths this year because of distracted drivers. That isn’t just texting. I could be totally wrong there too, with that number. In my opinion texting while you’re driving is just stupid and selfish, but so is putting make up on, or shaving. Anything that takes your eyes off the road for a second, but even I do that some of the time. If it’s not busy, I’ll look down real quick to change the station on the radio. I know something could happen in that millisecond.

    It’s hard to make laws like this. I don’t know how they’d get away with pulling people over for talking to the passenger beside them? And I can put chap stick on without taking my eyes off the road, but if a cop saw me he give me a ticket? And I can talk without taking my eyes off the road. I do understand that some of your attention is being taken away from the road, even if your eyes aren’t. I just don’t think that’s fair to put a “blanket” law over this.

    Texting while driving should be banned in all states. Talking one the phone, I wouldn’t be upset if they did that too. But then again, I am not a cell phone user, for the most part. I like the idea of hands free. Your hands should be free (on the stirring wheel) My 17 year old niece posted on Fb that she thought it was so sweet that her boyfriend refused to take his hand off her leg to turn the stirring wheel, and change gears, so he used one hand. It’s ignorance like that, that I can’t stand.

  8. SKL says:

    I have to admit that when we were 17 and 19, my sister and I switched seats while driving. It seemed cool at the time. Probably not legal, though. (Nothing happened and we were not drinking.)

  9. mssc54 says:

    Well at least you weren’t on a cell phone or texting!

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