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Driving + Cellphones May 4, 2009

Posted by baldricman in General, News.
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I get very frustrated by the many people who drive everyday in peak traffic, while talking on their cellphones. You can spot them immediately, because they look drunk. They drift gently across the road, back and forth; their following distance is erratic, breaking is either early or late, often unnecessary, and their cars buck with every gear change. And the worst part is, they don’t have a clue its happening.

I just read another interesting article on the dangers of using a cellphone while driving, that my brother sent me. It may be news to many people that using a handsfree kit while driving doesn’t really help that much. Its only purpose is to keep your eyes on the road a little bit longer, but the impaired concentration of doing 2 tasks at once (conversation and driving) is the real danger. Obviously, until handsfree kits can answer your questions for you, you’re better off just staying off the phone entirely, while driving.

I’ve also read studies that indicate talking on the phone while driving (again, with handsfree kits) is equivalent to driving under the influence of alcohol (I couldn’t find the article I read originally, but here is a reasonable substitute, from an American study)

Anyway, according to the article, the current penalties and fines in the UK are doing little to curb this dangerous habit, but:

Only by making it socially unacceptable can people be convinced to get off the phone when driving, and even then it won’t be easy.

drivingFinally, check out this little game from the British Department of Transport, which is quite illustrative of the dangers. Bear in mind that if you try it out, you are probably giving the attention extra effort, and even if you “pass”, 81% of people don’t.

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Comments»

1. Deems - May 4, 2009

Didn’t answer 2 questions quick enough and I was one off from the total points. But it does well to illustrate the fact that it’s very difficult to perform more than one task at the same time while driving.

A bit more “real” would have been if you needed to accelerate and brake on your own as well as you would under normal driving conditions.

2. Andrew - May 4, 2009

Apparently another much more dangerous cellphone problem as recently surfaced. People are actually attempting to SMS while driving nowadays. Actions like these that aren’t even amusing anymore. One merely shakes one’s head at the stupidity of it.

P.S. A scary thought. At 120km/h you cover 33.3m every second!

baldricman - May 4, 2009

Yes the SMS thing is pretty bad, thought I have to admit I’ve done it once or twice too. Extremely dangerous though; the only advantage is that people doing it probably know they’re being dumbasses… 🙂 Thanks for commenting!

3. baldricman - May 4, 2009

@deems: yeah I answered all the questions, but was one over the count… and I was trying pretty hard 🙂
Point is, in my opinion, its just as dangerous as drunk-driving, partly because people *also* think they’re fine while doing it, and they don’t see how badly they drive.

4. Integer square root » Blog Archive » Raptadu - May 5, 2009

[…] Driving + Cellphones « Baldric's Blog […]


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