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Explain to me why

 
 
Mame
 
Reply Sun 14 Jun, 2009 03:33 pm
Okay, this is something I just don't understand.

All this talk of how cell phones are a driving hazard, and that may well be the case, but why is it so?

Why or how is talking on a cell phone is any different than talking to someone in the car? Or holding a phone is any different than holding a cigarette.

Any enlightenment for me?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 16 • Views: 2,915 • Replies: 46
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dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Jun, 2009 03:36 pm
@Mame,
before enlightenment
chop wood
carry water;
after enlightenment
chop wood
carry water.
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Jun, 2009 03:39 pm
@Mame,
It's not the actual talking - it's answering it when it rings or making the call, if you're the one calling.

Both of those tasks call for a driver to divert his or her attention from the road.
I don't answer mine while I'm driving and I don't make calls.
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Jun, 2009 03:42 pm
@aidan,
No, there are many cases I've heard about (news) where someone was TALKING on the phone, not answering it, when they caused a collision. And you can voice-activate your phone and wear a headset, so it's about talking... not to mention you could be distracted doing other things and not cause an accident.
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Jun, 2009 03:42 pm
@Mame,
My personal experience is that it is much harder to hear over the phone, so you must focus on it very intently. It also requires one hand to be away from the wheel.
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Jun, 2009 03:43 pm
@engineer,
not if you're wearing a headset.
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Jun, 2009 03:45 pm
@Mame,
Then I don't know - once the phone is answered -and you can keep your eyes on the road and still have both hands free - I don't know. But I do know I don't really pay very much attention to what the person on the phone is saying when I'm out walking and it rings - I always just say - let me call you back when I get home so I can concentrate on what they're saying.
Maybe those people who have collisions when they're talking are like me - they find it hard to really fully concentrate on more than one thing at a time.
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Jun, 2009 03:47 pm
@aidan,
Then what do they do when they have passengers? Not talk?
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Jun, 2009 03:58 pm
@Mame,
Maybe - I talk when I have passengers - but like Engineer said - they're usually easier to hear and not such a distraction. Also, if they're adults and in the front seat - they're seeing what you see and can actually help you monitor what's going on instead of unwittingly causing a distraction by being on the phone and unable to see or be fully aware of what you yourself are doing.
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Jun, 2009 04:00 pm
@Mame,
I don't know the technical, scientific answer to your question, Mame, but I do have personal experience of being royally rammed by a person yakking on the cell-phone. Think back. San Francisco. Seagless and I had just dropped you off at your b&b and were driving back to our hotel through one corner of the Mission district. Red light. I come to complete stop and wat for light to change. The car several yards behind me keeps going at full speed and rams my rental neatly at maybe 20 mph. Didn't even slow down to apply brake. Ear glued to mobile phone. Young chick in her 20s, apologized profusely. Moderate damage to my rental. Had to turn it in and get a replacement next day.

It seems that people talking on the phone get all wrapped up in the conversation to the exclusion of all other considerations. People talking to a passenger in the car tend to still be mindful of the traffic situation. Why? Don't ask, don't tell. I'll never make a call while behind the wheel. I'll answer a ringing phone but only to tell the caller I'm driving and will call back when I'm off the road.
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Jun, 2009 04:06 pm
@Merry Andrew,
Yeah! I remember that, MA. Boy, that brings back some good memories.

Well, I'm confused as to why it's so, but I believe it. I see it myself all the time. Weird.
0 Replies
 
Reyn
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Jun, 2009 05:25 pm
@Merry Andrew,
Merry Andrew wrote:
[...]
It seems that people talking on the phone get all wrapped up in the conversation to the exclusion of all other considerations. People talking to a passenger in the car tend to still be mindful of the traffic situation. [...]

Yes, definitely! I've seen it too many times to believe otherwise.

Not too long ago, my wife was crossing a street in a marked crosswalk, controlled by a traffic light, and a walk/don't walk light. She was okay to go, and she was halfway across and had a guy in a pickup cross immediately in front of her and he was looking down at his lap. This was, by the way, while he was making a left turn!

How much you want to bet he was texting /email checking /making a phone call?

It never phased this young driver that he could have nearly maimed or killed my wife.....and for what?
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Jun, 2009 05:48 pm
I dunno, people may vary. I have always pulled over and parked to make a call, and don't check the cell if someone called until I get to a stopping place. But, if I were on an open road, no cars around, no curves, and there was cell access, I might at least take a peek at who was calling and then find a pull-out.

But.. hey, I could list both male and female friends who have trouble with driving and talking even without a phone at hand, again, depending on the driving situation. And not just older friends.

0 Replies
 
spendius
 
  0  
Reply Sun 14 Jun, 2009 06:02 pm
@Mame,
I don't have a cell phone so I have no idea what to say about them.

But I try to respond on Mame's threads when I see them because that's the way I'm built by the evolutionary determinants which are not of my doing.

If I had designed things we would have been able to buy moist, clinging red lips from the shops at 10 cents a kiss.
Reyn
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Jun, 2009 06:18 pm
@spendius,
spendius wrote:
If I had designed things we would have been able to buy moist, clinging red lips from the shops at 10 cents a kiss.

Ah, you're such a romantic! Wink Laughing
0 Replies
 
NickFun
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Jun, 2009 06:20 pm
The short answer is, this is another way for the state to make money. California has outlawed cell phones while driving. Of course, everyone in CA drives and uses cell phones. Thus, many people get pulled over.

However, they have not outlawed eating ice cream cones while driving so it ain't about keeping two hands on the wheel.
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Jun, 2009 06:52 pm
I agree with what aidan said.

talking on the phone, you don't have the input of the other person saying "look out; slow down; etc"

I don't know about you, but when I'm on the phone, any type of phone, I tend to not be doing the same amount, or type of things as if I'm talking to a person face to face.

If you're in a kitchen talking with someone in person, and they see you're about to take a large pot of boiling water off the stove and cross the room with it, you'd both probably stop talking for a moment. Especially if you look like you're trying to concentrate on not spilling boiling water anywhere.

On the cell, they have no idea that you're in a concentration situation. Even if you said to them. "hey, I'm going to be carrying a pot of hot water...stop talking for a moment.", odds are they will to stay at least something. They can't see what you're going through.

Chances are, you probably wouldn't tell someone to stop talking while on the phone, although it would make sense.
Joe Nation
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Jun, 2009 07:08 pm
One evening we were going out with S. and her husband, C. Very nice people, I loved them both. C. was driving and we were in the backseat of his SUV. We were talking about the usual things, bike rides, movies, food. C. kept turning around from his driver's seat position to face us in the back seat as he spoke.

Sometimes for as long as six or seven seconds........... .

I finally had to ask him to please---just drive the car and talk to us while PAYING ATTENTION to the traffic. He said OK.

It was a lovely dinner.

Joe(pay attention to driving...that way you won't kill us.)Nation
0 Replies
 
Reyn
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Jun, 2009 07:23 pm
@chai2,
chai2 wrote:
[...] On the cell, they have no idea that you're in a concentration situation. [...]

That's quite a brilliant observation! I believe you're spot on.
0 Replies
 
parados
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Jun, 2009 07:48 pm
@aidan,
Quote:
Maybe - I talk when I have passengers - but like Engineer said - they're usually easier to hear and not such a distraction.

Plus passengers tend to gasp or scream when they notice you are about to go off the road.
0 Replies
 
 

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