Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Cellphone Drivers Drive Like Drunks

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the cut-me-off-right-there-in-the-left-lane dept.

Communications 1032

TDavid writes "A University of Utah study claims that drivers who use a cell phone will be 'more impaired than drunken drivers with blood alcohol levels exceeding 0.08.' The study also says that use will turn a driver who is age 20 into age 70. Hands-free systems apparently don't help much either as they still require a driver to 'actively be part of a conversation.' What about in vehicle systems like OnStar?"

cancel ×

1032 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Cellphone Drivers Drive Like Drunk (4, Funny)

TeleoMan (529859) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552668)

Indeed. And /. editors spell like dumb.

Re:Cellphone Drivers Drive Like Drunk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11552781)

OLD NEWS, this was posted hours ago on other sites.

Re:Cellphone Drivers Drive Like Drunk (1)

Open_The_Box (620252) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552798)

Hah! Nicely spotted! They've changed it now though. Right between me noticing the link on the front page and clicking through to the story.

Never mind. At least someone believes you. ^_^

Re:Cellphone Drivers Drive Like Drunk (-1, Troll)

TeleoMan (529859) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552861)

Thanks for the props. timothy is a mongrel bitch, IMHO.

Not to mention (4, Funny)

paranode (671698) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552859)

The study also says that use will turn a driver who is age 20 into age 70.

They have no skills for paraphrasing. If the blurb was true I'd never drink alcohol again for fear of instant wrinkled skin, white hair, and random cancer.

Old People (3, Interesting)

AsnFkr (545033) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552670)

If it is a proven scientific fact that old people drive like they are drunk, why are they allowd to drive?

Re:Old People (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11552688)

Reference, please?

Re:Old People (1)

AsnFkr (545033) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552748)

uhh...... http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/02/0 2/1811240&tid=215&tid=14

Re:Old People (0)

ravenspear (756059) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552724)

In my experience, old people don't really drive like they are drunk, just like their car is governed at 35.

Re:Old People (3, Funny)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552878)

" In my experience, old people don't really drive like they are drunk, just like their car is governed at 35."

I think Dennis Miller summed it up best years ago..."I don't think people should be allowed to drive if they're old enough to remember when there weren't any cars..."

Re:Old People (4, Insightful)

damiangerous (218679) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552759)

Because the AARP is one of the most powerful lobbying groups there is, and they fight tooth and nail against anything that even resembles competency testing.

Re:Old People (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11552771)

I guess because the Senior Lobby is more powerful than the Drunk Driving Lobby?

Re:Old People (2, Insightful)

the_mad_poster (640772) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552776)

I believe the idea is probably that older people have slowed reaction times and limited senses in many cases. Similarly, you're less likely to notice and process something happening on the road ahead within an acceptable amount of time if you're concentrating on something else while you're driving.

Re:Old People (2, Insightful)

nfdavenport (599530) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552848)

Because that demographic has a high percentage of active voters, and no one wants to piss them off.

Re:Old People (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11552851)

Because they vote!

Difference (4, Insightful)

NETHED (258016) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552672)

Then what is the difference between talking to someone in your car, and talking to someone on a hands free headset.

Re:Difference (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11552717)

A person in the passenger seat can generally point out if you are about to rear-end someone...

Re:Difference (1)

k4_pacific (736911) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552749)

The other guy in the car can scream if the car is about to hit something, alerting the driver to take action.

Re:Difference (4, Insightful)

david.given (6740) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552753)

Because the other person in the car is exposed to the same environment you are, and you are aware of each other's body language. It's a small matter, but a crucial one: it requires far less attention to communicate with someone who is physically present than with someone who's a disconnected voice on the other end of a telephone line.

For example, if a truck suddenly pulls out in front of you, you will suddenly focus on it; your passenger will tend to notice this and stop talking. Someone on the other end of a phone won't.

Re:Difference (5, Funny)

ad0gg (594412) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552807)

My passenger is blind you insensitive clod.

Re:Difference (1)

TGK (262438) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552853)

Could be worse....

Re:Difference (5, Funny)

Beatlebum (213957) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552832)

>> For example, if a truck suddenly pulls out in front of you, you will suddenly focus on it; your passenger will tend to notice this and stop talking

You're obviously not married.

Re:Difference (1)

nosredna (672587) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552757)

Quite simple, really. When you're talking to someone in the car, they are also part of the driving experience, and will react to changes on the road... if somebody nearly rams you, the guy in the passenger seat isn't gonna keep talking like nothing happened, while the person on the other end of the phone will.

Re:Difference (1)

millahtime (710421) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552760)

I would say that most people most of the time are driving by themselves. Especially to and from work. So, now many more people are having conversations while they are driving than there used to be.

Re:Difference (1)

jhines0042 (184217) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552763)

Maybe the fact that in the car the other person is also aware of the fact that you are driving and naturally allows for pauses etc. ? I don't know, thats just the first thing I could think of.

Re:Difference (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11552777)

Then what is the difference between talking to someone in your car, and talking to someone on a hands free headset.

Someone in your car will know when to shut the fuck up because they see what you're seeing on the road.

But in any case, someone in your car can impair your driving too. I tend to minimize conversation in the car. I've seen two accidents happen where the passenger was a distraction. One was with two people arguing and the other was two people were kissing.

Re:Difference (1, Interesting)

Moby Cock (771358) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552797)

Then what is the difference between talking to someone in your car, and talking to someone on a hands free headset

Nothing.

However, there is a big difference for individuals using a handheld phone. They are not capable of operationng the car correctly. Whther they are releasing the wheel to shift or not bothering with turn signals, they are impaired. The trouble comes because it is a sustained distraction too. Using a had to tune the radio take seconds. Phone calls can take minutes. Therein lies the dangers.

Further, the act of dialing a phone while driving is a major distraction. Some phones have voice activation, but many do not. This has led to many accidents. Where I live people drive 120km/h on the highway and the time to react is slim at best. Some dolt dialling a phone is just as bad as an old man with slow reaction times.

Re:Difference (1)

Bastard of Subhumani (827601) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552880)

Nothing. However, there is a big difference for individuals using a handheld phone. They are not capable of operationng the car correctly.
Crap. The problem isn't a shortage of limbs, it's a shortage of mental processing power. (I meant with talking on a phone while driving, not with you - but if the cap fits, wear it).

Re:Difference (1)

Moderatbastard (808662) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552821)

This is either a stupid question (which does not deserve the fine answer from david.given) or a troll. It is most definitely not insightful - metamods please take note.

Re:Difference (4, Insightful)

American AC in Paris (230456) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552823)

Talking to a passenger isn't as distracting as talking on the cellphone, but it is certainly more distracting than not talking to anybody.

A passenger is aware of the traffic situation. If you suddenly stop talking to a passenger, they'll look and see it is because a bunch of brake lights just came on up ahead, you need to pay attention to traffic, and the passenger should just sit quietly until it's smooth sailing again.

In a cell phone conversation, the person you're talking to has no awareness of what traffic conditions are like. You, the driver, could suddenly need to jam the brakes and swerve to avoid somebody drifting into your lane--and the person on the phone would just keep on chirping away about how "so anyway, then I said that there's no way my card is overdrawn because you paid those bills, right, and so..."

It may not command all of your attention, but in an emergency traffic situation, every slightest bit of attention that gets pulled away from the road can make the difference. A cell phone conversation can make the difference between missing that other guy's bumper by inches and getting clipped into an uncontrolled spin at 60 miles per hour.

Re:Difference (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11552845)

There's a huge difference: if you have a conversation with a passenger in the car, the passenger is more aware of traffic conditions and can adjust the tone and intensity of the conversation accordingly.

To give a rather local (to me) example, having a chat while stuck in a major traffic jam on the inside lane of the M25 (i.e. the only way is forwards, slowly) is a whole different thing from having the same chat while trying to navigate Piccadilly or Hyde Park Corner (lots of action, lane changes etc, by both you and your fellow Londoners).

PS: I talk on the phone all the time while STUCK in motorway/dual carriage-way traffic (I also drive an automatic so don't absolutely NEED my left hand while driving), but not when moving at any considerable velocity. Flame away.

Damn (1)

Mantorp (142371) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552673)

I was hoping the effects would cancel each other out, two wrongs don't make a right?

Two Wrongs... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11552726)


Damn (Score:2)
by Mantorp (142371) on Wednesday February 02, @01:23PM (#11552673 [slashdot.org] )

I was hoping the effects would cancel each other out, two wrongs don't make a right?


Two wrongs don't make a right, but three left turns do.

"Like Drunk"? (1)

worst_name_ever (633374) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552674)

Also in the news today: Slashdot Editors Post Stories Like Drunk.

Re:"Like Drunk"? (1)

worst_name_ever (633374) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552733)

...aaaaaaaand, they've already corrected it. What a pity, there goes my karma...

THIS AFFECTS YOUR CHILDREN! (-1, Troll)

garcia (6573) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552684)

And it doesn't matter whether the phone is hand-held or handsfree, he said. Any activity requiring a driver to "actively be part of a conversation" likely will impair driving abilities, Strayer said.

First off, I love the word "likely" which means that they really don't know. Second off, we should create only single passenger cars as talking to other people in the vehicle requires you to be actively involved in conversation and we should ban CB radios from all delivery vehicles and Police cars. Should this move on to airplanes as well?

Strayer said they found that when 18- to-25-year-olds were placed in a driving simulator and talked on a cellular phone, they reacted to brake lights from a car in front of them as slowly as 65- to 74-year-olds who were not using a cell phone.

And what? I don't see the point here. The elderly can still drive.

The numbers, which come down to milliseconds, might not seem like much, but it could be the difference to stopping in time to avoid hitting a child in the street, Strayer said.

Ahhhh yes, this affects your children!

The only silver lining to the new research is that elderly drivers using a cell phone aren't any more of a hazard to themselves and others than young drivers. Previous research suggested older drivers may face what Strayer described as a "triple whammy."

Hah. So it's only the younger generations that have these problems. The older people have learned over the years how to walk and chew gum at the same time. Driving and cell phone use... The TRIPLE WHAMMY THREAT against your children! News at 11!

Re:THIS AFFECTS YOUR CHILDREN! (4, Insightful)

GuyMannDude (574364) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552784)

First off, I love the word "likely" which means that they really don't know.

Actually, it's very possible that they are using the word "likely" to refer to the probabilistic nature of the data they have. You can't say that everytime you are involved in a conversation there is a 100% chance that that you will be a poorer driver. "Likely" refers to "likelihood".

GMD

Re:THIS AFFECTS YOUR CHILDREN! (1)

cjh79 (754103) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552872)

Second off, we should create only single passenger cars as talking to other people in the vehicle requires you to be actively involved in conversation

I think there is a difference here. When someone is in the car with you, they are sharing the same driving experience with you. This means when a situation comes up that requires your full attention (a busy intersection or a car pulling out in front of you for instance), they'll pause the conversation just as you do, to allow you to concentrate on the situation. However someone on the other end of a phone doesn't have a clue what is going on so they will just keep jabbering away, stealing some of your concentration. Whether you like it or not, this is very distracting.

After almost getting hit this morning... (2, Funny)

lukewarmfusion (726141) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552686)

That should read:

"Cellphone Drivers Drive Like Women."

Re:After almost getting hit this morning... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11552817)

Despite the fact that women are better drivers on average than men? Rate car insurance lately?

Re:After almost getting hit this morning... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11552863)

And women cellphone drivers are like WMD.

actively involved in conversation? (1)

danboy (48146) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552691)

I better stop driving with passengers!

Re:actively involved in conversation? (1)

Jhon (241832) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552762)

No. Just stop TALKING to pasangers with your head stiff and tilted to one side, hand off the steering wheel cupped to your ear or trying to "read" their 'display'.

turn SOME drivers (2, Insightful)

xThinkx (680615) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552693)

Let's be fair here, cell phones turn SOME drivers into worse-than-drunk drivers. ANYONE with a .08 BAC is going to drive poorly, only some folks who talk on a cell phone while they drive will drive poorly.

I'm going to be preemptive here, the solution lies in education, training and responsibility, not prohibition.

Re:turn SOME drivers (1)

drunknjew (734994) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552770)

not really ANYONE with a .08 is going to drive poorly. some of us are pretty well practiced, and can do quite well until a reasonably higher BAC.

Re:turn SOME drivers (1)

sfontain (842406) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552842)

Perhaps. When I'm on the road and somebody pulls some idiot move on the road near me--e.g., weaving in/out of traffic at inappropriate times, turning out in front of people--literally 80%-90% of the time that I get a good look at the driver, he/she is on a cell phone. This is a great study, but, additionally, I hold a theory that people who use tend to use cell phones while driving are just worse drivers, even when they're not on the phone.

traffic increase (1)

millahtime (710421) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552694)

I know where I am at one of the things they have attributed to traffic increase is people on their phones. They drive slower so there is more conjestion.

Hands free systems (5, Funny)

k4_pacific (736911) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552696)

I bought a hands free system so I could talk on the cell phone in the car and IT DIDN'T WORK. As soon as I turned it on and let go of the steering wheel, the car drifted off the road and hit a Big Boy statue. What a rip off.

In related News: (0, Offtopic)

Artie_Effim (700781) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552697)

No Shit Sherlock!

OnStar (2, Insightful)

b0lt (729408) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552699)

OnStar is nothing like a cell phone. If you're using OnStar, you have most likely already crashed. It's a system for helping you when you're in trouble, not a cell phone with speaker phone enabled. Slightly useful service :)

-b0lt

Re:OnStar (1)

PriceIke (751512) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552843)

That's just one service OnStar offers. it is actually a full concierge service for your vehicle. You can hit the OnStar button and get all kinds of information about where nearby hotels are, restaurants, best routes to suchandthus, places to park, and so on. GM touts the emergency services because they make better commercials (and more people will buy it if they think they might NEED it than if they think it is just a frivolous extra they probably won't use). So, yes, it is an appropriate comparison.

Order today (4, Funny)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552705)

Click here [customphones.com] to order the ideal telephone for the "drunk talker" driver.

So what's next? (1)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552708)

Mothers aren't allowed to drive with children in the car?

Partitions between the driver's and passenger's side seats so that I don't distract myself by talking to the person in the car next to me?

Ban the car stereo?

Wouldn't it all be so much safer if we were all kept in our homes so that our annoying presences won't cause unhappy things in the lives of all those other, perfect people out there?

Re:So what's next? (1)

gustgr (695173) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552839)

So what's next?

A driver android developed just to drive your car. Humans will not be able to drive since they are so distractable, you'll have to get a license for your droid. That's where we are going to.

In soviet russia... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11552709)

Drunks drive cellphones. And in Korea only the old drink. And...oh fuck it.

Distractions in General (1)

rootmonkey (457887) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552711)

The study focused on cell phones but really anything that distracts you from the road will most likely have the same results. ie eating and driving, changing cds, kids in the back etc..

I scared the CRUD out of myself last night (4, Interesting)

jhines0042 (184217) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552712)

Driving while talking on the cell I almost ran a red light.....

I'm usually a very good driver. On the cell phone though.... Ok... From now on, no more talking and driving.

Re:I scared the CRUD out of myself last night (2, Interesting)

Retrospecter (807978) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552874)

I've seen many people make lousy decisions, or completely ignore the fact that they face a decision, while driving and talking. For instance, 3 drivers have recently nearly run into me because they failed to look both ways before pulling onto a main road. It seems like such a basic task.

I'm glad you recognize that you don't drive as well when you're talking, and I've come to the same conclusion about myself. But I know many people who are too stubborn to make an objective judgement on their own talking/driving abilities, and that sucks.

20 = 70? (1)

TeleoMan (529859) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552718)

Then, by that logic, if you're 70 do you drive like you're 120?

Re:20 = 70? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11552865)

No, but you do drive like you're 245, assuming a linear scale.

Re:20 = 70? (1)

jaguar5150 (822144) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552879)

Unless the math was 3.5 times your age... 70 = 245

One reason (2, Insightful)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552721)

I'm sure one reason for this is when you've been drinking, and you make the decision to drive, you make DAMN sure you are doing all you can to focus on driving.

When people are driving with cellphones, rather than realizing how hindered their attention is, they just continue on thinking their fine, because hey, they're not drunk!

And yes, I realize this is not the exact thought process, but my point was that for the vast majority of people, they do not see in-car cellphone use as a huge risk compared to say...drinking while driving. And good luck convincing people otherwise. People aren't going to like being told that they cannot talk to other people while driving. Thank god for cordless headsets and speakerphone.

More studies please! (1)

shoolz (752000) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552725)

I am thrilled to see scientific data regarding this. In order to affect change in law, studies and data like this are required. The more studies that come out to support the position that cel phone use while driving is dangerous, the better!

Isn't that an improvement? (1)

shoppa (464619) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552729)

Isn't turning your typical 20 year old driver into a 70 year old driver actually an improvement?

Your Grandmother Would Be Hurt (1)

sfontain (842406) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552731)

Saying old people drive like drunkards...

What about old people driving with cellphones? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11552732)

Wow, they must be like 120!

in other news... (2, Funny)

revery (456516) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552735)

Nokia and Apple team up to create the iFlask. For all your driving impairment needs.

Um... (1)

nuclear305 (674185) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552738)

Duh?

I would think it's common sense that anything that detracts from your concentration on the task of driving would decrease your quality of driving.

Related article on The Register (2, Informative)

sczimme (603413) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552742)


Clicky. [theregister.co.uk]

The folks at El Reg had a question:

"Which means that a 70-year-old yakking away on his cellphone has the reaction times of a 120-year-old, or have we misunderstood this rather poor analogy?"

Onstar? (1)

Ars-Fartsica (166957) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552743)

Isn't that just a cellphone that only dials one number (911) and charges $19 a call?

What is really scary is... (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552746)

drunk cellphone-using drivers having a blowjob at the same time. I always avoid those.

This is silly (1)

Astro Dr Dave (787433) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552751)

If talking on a cellphone while using a headset is so detrimental to driving safety, is it also a problem to be talking to someone in the passenger seat?

I don't understand... (1, Interesting)

Bobman1235 (191138) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552756)

... how people can say that handsfree systems don't help. If it's just having a conversation that impairs your driving, are we supposed to not speak with fellow passengers either? Maybe we should make it a law to have soundproof opaque padding between all vehicle compartments.

You're responsible for everything you do behind the wheel. We can't just outlaw everything that could possibly be a distraction while driving. If you smash into someone because you were talking on a cell phone, YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE and will be punished accordingly. If you smash into someone because you were eating a burrito, it's the same thing. Can't outlaw burritos (yet).

My point is, reckless driving is an arrestable and punishable offense. If cell phone use is causing someone to drive recklessly, they should and will be punished, whether it's due to cell phone use or anythign else. This war against cell phones is just useless and silly.

Well... (1)

megarich (773968) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552764)

I'm not sure about more impaired now than drunks. Are you impaired..yes. Do you have the ability to become unimpaired if you want to unlike when your drunk or high...yes.
More people die from drunk driving in a year than all of those that died in vietnam.
So until I start hearing cell phones cause as many or more deaths/mangled bodies than drunk driving(which it is estimated more than 50% of fatal car accidents involve alcohol), I wouldn't start comparing the two....

To all the women who pick on guys... (1)

MisanthropicProgram (763655) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552768)

who don't talk in the car and who turn down the radio when lost:

SEE WHY?!

But it makes you wonder... (1)

sfontain (842406) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552780)

I wonder what the reaction time would be of an 80-year-old drunk driver talking on a cell phone...

What kind of drivers were these? (1)

Spl0it (541008) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552782)

I'm interested to know if certain drivers are unaffected by this. I often drive while making calls, especially if traffic is slow and road conditions are good. I ignore the phone, not the road... I'm often saying 'say that again' because I was concentrating on some moron cutting infront of me as opposed to the phone call. I think its safe to say a lot of cell phone users ignore the road, not the phone. I believe I am an exception..even though I'll probably be called a flamer or be told one can't ignore sound coming from a device. But just my $0.02.

Pope dead at 84! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11552785)

The pope died peacefully in his sleep about 6 minutes ago. It is a sad day for all christians everywhere. May god rest his soul.

Pull 'em over! (5, Insightful)

Bluesman (104513) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552787)

If police would do their jobs instead of sitting on their asses at speed traps, we wouldn't need cell phone laws, or studies like this.

Inevitably, anyone on a cell phone is breaking about 15 other driving laws because they can't concentrate. The drunkenness or cell-phone conversation is not the problem -- the swerving and going 20 miles an hour under the speed limit in the passing lane is. Pull them over for those things, and the idiot cell phone holding driver would quickly become a thing of the past.

Logic (1)

dfj225 (587560) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552788)

"A University of Utah study claims that drivers who use a cell phone will be 'more impaired than drunken drivers with blood alcohol levels exceeding 0.08.' The study also says that use will turn a driver who is age 20 into age 70."

So by use of some faulty logic here, this would mean that everyone who is age 70 drives like they are drunk? :-P

Your Answer (1)

suwain_2 (260792) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552793)

"What about in vehicle systems like OnStar?"

Thought I'd answer this question:

"Hands-free systems apparently don't help much either as they still require a driver to 'actively be part of a conversation.'"

What about passengers? (1)

Headw1nd (829599) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552794)

Ok.. the question I have for this is the same question I have every time they do this *same* type of study and produce the *same* type of results.. If the conversation itself is what impairs the driver, wouldn't that apply when the driver is having a conversation with a passenger? Certainly they're not suggesting that people who are driving shouldn't be allowed to talk? The only counterargument I can think of is that having a passenger could provide a benefit to the driver that would offset the penalty of conversation, perhaps by spotting things the driver might have missed. This assumes the the passenger can or would assist the driver- kids, the elderly, and the unobservant wouldn't count.

Studies show... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11552800)

Hands-free systems apparently don't help much either as they still require a driver to 'actively be part of a conversation.
======

What does the study say about talking to your buddy in the passenger seat? Come on.

Re:Studies show... (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552864)


"What does the study say about talking to your buddy in the passenger seat? Come on."

Your buddy in the passenger seat has the ability to scream when he sees imminent danger, whereas the person on the other end of the phone call can't.

"Hey, I just crashed my car, I can't feel my legs. I'll have to call you back ok?"

A little un-coordinated (1)

Mostly Monkey (454505) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552804)

Things are probably even worse for the idiots driving home drunk while chatting away on their cells after the bars close. I wonder what type of cumulative there would be.

hmmmm...... (1)

commo1 (709770) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552813)

Looks like a safe place to point out that "retirees" really shouldn't be driving. - RED HERRING anyone?

Problem is: we (the people) won't accept driving without a cell phoneas the only option, and it simply fuels the fire for people who, for reasons not limited to but including old age (sight, height, reflexes, etc...), wish to continue operating motor vehicles to continue to do so.

I'm not trying to be a biggot or a pensioner -basher, just pointing out how this type of drivel can really backfire for the wrong reasons.

It logically follows from this article... (2, Interesting)

nganju (821034) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552814)

..that the use of cell phones while driving should not be outlawed. From TFA:
when 18- to-25-year-olds were placed in a driving simulator and talked on a cellular phone, they reacted to brake lights from a car in front of them as slowly as 65- to 74-year-olds who were not using a cell phone.

If these elderly people are allowed to drive with these reaction times, then young people using cell phones should be allowed to drive if they have equal reaction times. Also from TFA:
...elderly drivers using a cell phone aren't any more of a hazard to themselves and others than young drivers... more experience and a tendency to take fewer risks helped negate any additional danger.

So elderly drivers should be allowed to use cell phones as well.

New law coming.. (1)

aero2600-5 (797736) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552827)

Conversations in cars will be completely outlawed. No chatting on the phone. No getting directions from your passenger. If your kid needs to use the bathroom, you'll have to pull over so that it can ask you stop.

Aero

Crap (1)

wombatmobile (623057) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552828)

I am posting this now via Nokia 3650 left handed maintaing 80mph in a 40 zone, no problems.

Huh What? (1)

vjmurphy (190266) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552830)

" Hands-free systems apparently don't help much either as they still require a driver to 'actively be part of a conversation.' What about in vehicle systems like OnStar?"

Well, since OnStar is a handsfree system, do the math: it would be the same thing.

Reasoning not well thought out (1)

It doesn't come easy (695416) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552833)

"Actively participating in the conversation" is unlikely to be the root cause, assuming the study's conclusions aren't bogus (a big assumption in my mind). If it were so, then you would see the same bad driving whenever someone had a conversation with other occupants of the car, since I would think they would be just as "actively participating" with those occupants as they do on a phone call.

Speculating, as is my habit to do on topics I know nothing about, I would think one possibility for such results would be the cell phone user/driver gets lost in the virtualness of the experience (i.e. picturing in one's mind the person you are speaking to) and thereby allows their attention to wander away from the reality of the road.

Average DWI violator BAC: .15 to .17 (1)

TheWama (793038) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552834)

So is it that cell phones are too dangerous, or that .08 is too low a blood alcohol level to justify criminal charges?

From the National Motorist Association [motorists.com] :

"People at .1 or .08 are not automatically "drunks" and they are not the people who should be targeted for DWI enforcement. The average DWI violator is arrested with a BAC of .15 to .17 percent. Even in countries with extremely low legal BAC limits (e.g. Sweden at .02), the average DWI arrest involves a BAC of at least .15 percent."

"Myth: Lowering the BAC to .08 % will reduce alcohol-related accidents.

TRUTH: ... because alcohol at low BAC concentrations is typically NOT the CAUSE of the accident, what we have is a commensurate increase in non-alcohol-related accidents. In other words, there are the same number of accidents, with a transfer of the alcohol-related to the non-alcohol related categories."

Here here (1)

baggins2002 (654972) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552835)

I'll drink to that

Here is a practical test (5, Interesting)

syntap (242090) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552857)

I have always maintained that handsfree doesn't do squat... it's the split mental attention and not having both hands on the wheel.

Try this easy test... during the superbowl, call someone up on your phone (with headset or without, doesn't matter). During the conversation, after every play, write down the number of yards gained/lost and the number on the jersey of the player that gained/lost them. You'll probably experience "slave can't serve two masters" syndrome and have to dedicate more attention to one or the other, either by having to say "hold on" or "um, what was that?" to whoever you are talking to or missing play stats to keep up with the conversation. Unfortunately, priority in a car most often goes to the conversation.

Stumped.... (1)

Asprin (545477) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552858)


I'm horribly confused about why humans are adversely affected by talking on a hands-free cell phone, but talking to other passengers in a conversation is completely benign.

Maybe it's the tiny, tiny little buttons?

I dunno, but I find it simply fascinating....

Stop Abuse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11552866)

This is exactly the kind of thing statistics SHOULDN'T be used for. It's math gone wrong.

Garbage studies like these come about because people trust conslusions for data like this without exploring it themselves. If you pretend that the number of motorcycles on the road is the same as cars on the road, motorcycles automagically become statistically safer.

This is exactly what was done in this study. The number of people who drive drunk regularly is far far lower than the number of people that talk on their phone while driving, and the results are skewed by it.

End activist abuse of statistics!

and even more dangerous... (1)

aapold (753705) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552873)

posting on slashdot forums from your phone while (swerve) driving.

70 = drunk? (1)

StuffMaster (412029) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552877)

So 70 year olds drive as well as drunk 20 year olds?

Not that I disagree, but a systematic analogy like this doesn't speak well for old people. Oh yeah, I really hate driving behind 70 year olds.

Wow... (1)

T3kno (51315) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552881)

I drive drunk while talking on a cell phone. That probably makes me the equivalent of a blind, amputated 3 toed sloth behind the wheel. Which is IMHO above average for Southern California.

How does this compare to conversing (1)

winkydink (650484) | more than 9 years ago | (#11552882)

with a passenger? I have a hard time grasping that it takes more concentration because somebody is conversing via a hands-free phone. Perhaps we should outlaw talking while driving?
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>