Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Driving and Cell Phones



Here's an article on a study of folks who drive and use cell phones. Looks like it's just as bad as drunk driving.

I think those little gadgets are addictive. Funny thing is, folks use safety as an argument to have them handy, but they seem to cause more accidents instead of preventing them.

I can still see having one for emergencies, but they rarely are used for such. I just hope they'll create/strengthen laws resticting their use while driving.

Perhaps this study will be a catalyst.

92 comments:

Rachel said...

Lots of things can become a distraction to driving. Cell phones are some of the worst. But I seem to recall the other night mentioning that it's just as bad to keep one hand resting on the armrest while stretching or scratching or whatever with the other... Look Ma! No hands!

Jamison said...

I would go so far as to argue that more people have wrecks fooling with the radio than with cell phones... I talk on the cell phone pretty much at least once a day while driving and my "closest calls" when it comes to almost having an accident are when I am changing the radio station or something...

I think we should ban music in cars...

FYI, glad yall are back in town and safe and sound (A slight poem)

bigsip said...

Stay on the subject, you! ;)

Yes, other things can be distracting. Eating, drinking, music, and conversation in the car can be distracting.

But, I'm sure we've all seen people weaving and going too fast/slow or alternating speeds while talking on cell phones.

These devices are things that can be regulated.

bigsip said...

See, denial...

The article also says that folks who talk on cell phones while driving won't admit they have a problem.

Thanks, my friend. We'll see y'all this eve!

Jamison said...

ah, the american way... living in a free country where practically everything is regulated, banned, illegal, and prohibitted...

of course, people who weave and drive wrecklessly while on phones exist... in fact, prob the majority of cell users... but if we ban that, what next? Will it be illegal to cry in the car? Have a scraming baby in the car? talk to fellow passengers?

Ive seen studies that said the "phones" arent the problem, the conversation is. People started using hands free devices and studies showed those werent any safer because the consentration on the conversation was the distracting part.

New law; no talking to anyone in the car...?

bigsip said...

I see what you mean and I figured this would come up.

I think it's the frequency of conversation that's the issue.

People, in general, will call someone or be called by someone and will talk from the time they start the car till they get home.

In other words, it's like having someone there with you distracting you all the time.

Here's my take:

I don't care if they ban cell phones from cars and I hope they do.

I look at it the same as banning cigarette smoking in restaurants. If it's bad for everyone around you, ban it.

But, it won't affect me if they ban cell phone use in cars except that traffic conditions will improve.

Jamison said...

if they ban cell phones with cars and i rear-end another angry black man, im likely to be injured.

banning and making things illegal does not ensure safety of others. It is illegal to own certain guns, crooks still have them.
Drugs are illegal and people still use them. Drunk driving is illegal and people still die from it.

Jamison said...

Let me preface by saying that I agree that people talking on phones while driving is annoying. I do it, but certainly not to the degree that many others do. But since you are proposing a new law, we need to get some specifics here...

Will it be illegal to have a phone in the car at all? Or just turned on?

Will it be okay to talk to someone at a red light or in a parked car? Can the parked car be running?

Will there be a speed limitation? Like you can only talk on the cell phone if you are going under 20mph?

If my wife is being chased by someone in another car or is followed home suspiciously, is she allowed to call the me or cops or will they fine her for using the phone while she is driving?

Honestly, I am really turning a new leaf politically. I am really tired of new laws all the time. Im really turning libertarian. I say legalize weed. If people want to smoke it, go for it. If people wanna talk on cell phones while driving, go for it. Just don't hurt me and expect stiff pentalties if you cause damage or death while doing it.

bigsip said...

I don't know the answers, but I do like serious penalties for users who wreck and cause damage due to cell phone use.

I like legalizing weed and taxing the heck out of it. But, I also have seen studies on how it's a stepping stone drug to harder stuff.

I think it's best to prohibit the use of phones while driving with a stiff penalty if they are used.

But, overall, I'm just happy that scientific studies have confirmed what I've said all along.

mullinz8 said...

Who are you people and what did you do with my friends Jamison and Josh???

Just to get it out of the way, I think weed should be legalized too but only into the model of a place like Amsterdam or Quebec. Smoking it in specific places and circumstances, no carrying it around over # of grams, etc etc.
Tax it; sure, you would have to. Age limits, of course. Still I see 12 year olds smoking regular cigs too.
The gateway thing is media propaganda. Usually a dealer will deal other “items” along with the humble herb. It’s in the best interest of a dealer to ruin someone’s life by offering something stronger. If you’ve been eating plain corn chips for a year and the store you got suddenly offers you Cool Ranch would you try it? Maybe, maybe not, it’s a preference.
Doing one does NOT lead one to do the other, the opportunity does not the substance.
I was telling Jules that it’s silly that she can buy on any street corner something that is chemically addictive but another plant that makes you feel 1000 times better and is not chemically addictive is “wrong”, how stupid.

About the cell phones, sadly you’ve entered into a world where black and white bleed into each other. In the big picture cell phones are a good thing and I would imagine help more people than the random problem of an auto accident or what ever.

There is no way to really legislate this because calling the babysitter to see if you left the iron on is in no way an emergency, yet, but it is a necessity.

Like so many things it comes down to personal responsibility. I don’t use the phone too much in the car but I have and will continue to do so as needed. Needed is the key word obviously.

Here is the next issue coming your way. Text messaging. Jules (not to pick on my wife but) has begun text messaging her friends rather than calling them. The thing is that she’s doing it while driving down the F-ing road. Talking’s not an issue to be but to text you’ve got to actually remove your eyes from the road and focus on something else entirely. I’ve gotten pretty ticked at her doing this and like the phone will continue to do so because it is an involved distraction and many times more dangerious. Sadly it’s not just my wife it’s a whole generation of silly people

bigsip said...

I won't get into the weed thing since it's been overdiscussed and I have not and never will smoke it.

Cell phones are fine in some circumstances. We had one (a Trac Fone) that Rachel took to school and back when we were driving so much. It had only enough minutes for emergencies.

That is a good thing.

People talking all the time, endlessly texting, talking in restaurants, movie theatres (which have really started to crack down btw), and other places where you simply want to strangle them, is bad.

MOST of the people I see with phones abuse the heck out of them. They're rude, dangerous, and stupid.

There are exceptions, but they're few and far between.

I must admit, though, that this is somewhat like bad things happening during a full moon. You think it's the moon, but it's the coincidence.

However, I see crazy phone people all the time. So, something's not right.

bigsip said...

If you want to know the truth, I'd love to have a phone right now.

Rachel has been having some major contractions. She still has 6.5 weeks left.

Should be fine if she takes it easy, but it's still scary.

Y'all keep us in your prayers and if I ask to borrow your phone, please let me :)

Brewster said...

Though I don't know how I'd vote if it came to it, and I can't phathom a way to enforce a law against driving with cell phones here are some arguments anyways.

My response to just about any reason to be talking while driving is "pull over."

There is hardly any reason that you really need to be talking while driving.

Actually that's pretty much my argument. How hard is it to pull over if you have an emergency, need to check on the iron, the pregnant wife calls to inform you she's in labor, etc...?

The few instances where you couldn't pull over and it was an emergency (somebody is shooting at you on a road with no shoulder due to construction) and there happened to be a cop around to pull you over could easily be contested.

Yudelka said...

What a debate! Good one on the radio thing, Jamison.

Here's the crazy thing, I think. In some states, it's legal to talk on the cell phone only with a hand-free device. But correct me if I'm wrong, is not dialing the number the hardest part of using a cell phone while driving? That's the only time it takes your eyes off the road.

Talking on the phone while driving requires good judgement. Here are some things I consider:

*Once I get in the car, I place the phone where it's easily accessible in case it rings.

*When I NEED both hands on the wheel (as I'm a one hand-on-the-wheel driver), I put my phone down, put the person on hold, use 'speaker phone'--whatever I have to do to continue safe driving.

* When making a phone call, I have someone else dial for me unless, of course, I'm by myself.

*And finally -- and most importantly; I put the phone down out of view when I see a police car--HAHAHAHA!

I think it's a matter of responsibility, which in turn leads to the question of maturity.

BTW; I think legalizing weed would only be one step closer to legalizing heavy drugs. I vote, HECK NO!

And thank you guys once again for letting me jump in.

Yudelka said...

You guys have to remember, cell phones are not a necessity in any way--we once did well without them. It's merely one of technology's good works. Another form of entertainment.

I don't like the 'it's good for emergencies' argument (like credit cards). I think that's a crutch. I'll be honest, I enjoy the cell phone almost as much as the computer. Of course, I only have a cell because my mommy pays the bill--yes, I know!

And btw Josh, isn't talking on the phone in a restaurant just like talking to the person sitting in front of you? Of course, some people are loud, some are not. Either way, people in restaurants talk all the time.

Jamison said...

I dont think the govt will EVER legalize weed or any hard drug... why? They get more money by cracking down on dealers and taking the money they find. Honestly.

I've never used weed before. But I know of 3 people, one of which was a girl I dated, that used weed in the past, and quit, yet STILL smoke cigarettes. One of these friends told me she has quit drinking, weed, and gotten over horrible childhood tramas, but she can not quit smoking cigs as much as she wants to.

I am here to say that I think cigs are more dangerous, and much more addictive, than weed.

FYI, to all my friends, if I am on my death bed in pure and utter pain, please find a dealer and buy me some good weed to ease my last days of suffering. I've never had it before, but if itll get rid of some pain, ill take it... (I am for legalizing it in cases like this, maybe hospice uses ... of course the hospice workers will find a way to steap it for themselves haha)

bigsip said...

Thanks for jumping in, Yudelka!

There are 3 extrememly rude things I've encountered due to restaurant cell phoners:

1. The loud talker - This is the person who practically yells on the phone. Not only do they yell, they have the volume on the phone turned so high, you can hear the entire conversation! Do these people have hearing loss?

2. The "may I take your order" talker - "May I take your order?" the kid at the register asks. "Hahahahah, thats funny!" the talker says into the phone. The people waiting in line are growing more impatient as the line grows longer...

3. The ignore your spouse/kids/family talker - She walks into the room with her phone glued to her head, gabbing away as she follows her family to the table. They order as she talks loudly. They eat as she continues he conversation. They pay the bill and leave. She follows them out, still talking.

I've seen these 3 things and many others happen many, many times...

Jamison said...

the number 3 is the WORST. I see it all the time, at least some parents are nice enough to buy their children gameboy devices so they, too, never have to have any interaction with other humans and they dont bother mom or dad while they are on the phone...

You guys are all aware that I am going to start a commune. You are all invited. Say goodbye to your day jobs, and just be sure you can build, labor in the fields, and grow food, and perhaps slaughter the occational cow or chicken.

Yudelka said...

Jamison,
the thing about weed is that under the influence thereof, one loses his soberness. Like alcohol, it subdues (if you will) a person's mind to an uncontrollable state.

The Bible tells us to be sober, of sober judgment. It's not just a matter of addiction, it's a matter of keeping your mind clear.

I don't believe Christians should smoke cigarettes, though I don't think it's a sin per se (where would that leave my very 'caffeinated' Bustelo and Pepsi) but cigarettes don't clutter one's mind. Yes, it's very harmful, which is the reason I don't believe we, as Christians, should smoke.

Josh,
I see where those situations are a nuisance, but I would think they fall under the category of rudeness/folks with no class/lack of etiquette, etc. not cell phone users.

Yudelka said...

And btw, I've never done weed. Alcohol--yes, unfortunately, but thank God I'm saved now. No more a need for such entertainment.

bigsip said...

Perhaps...

I just think that cell phone use can grow into an ugly, addictive, divisive thing, no matter who you are.

As far as smoking goes, I believe that addiciton to anything is going too far, but using something every once in a while is fine.

Having a drink with dinner or smoking a pipe once a month with dear friends doesn't bother me.

However, if I smoked a pack of cigs per day and stayed drunk all the time, there'd be a problem.

As far as marijuana is concerned, I agree with the medicinal use completely. It's absolutely no different than having a morphine drip. In fact, morphine is far more addictive and harmful.

But, if you're getting high every day for pleasure, something's wrong.

It's called moderation or temperence in the Bible.

We're not to be given to drunkenness. But, a glass of wine with dinner is a different matter.

That's my general take, anyway.

bigsip said...

After all, Jesus' first miracle was turning water to wine (yes, I'm sure in the context it was alcoholic).

While drunkenness is forbidden, drinking apparently is not a problem when done moderately.

Yudelka said...

Yes, Josh, but consider the opposite...if you get drunk once a month, or twice a year, would that be okay? If you get high every now & then, would that be okay, too?

I don't think so. As I stated, it's not JUST a matter of addiction, because doing the above would still be wrong. I wasn't addicted to alcohol, but when I drank, I did so to get drunk. And in doing so, I made a fool of myself, as all people do when they are drunk or high.

Cigarette smokers are for the most part addicted, but does that mean they're condemned to hell? I know of some who would answer yes to that question. To me, that's one of the gray areas of Christianity.

Though I've been taught differently, I don't agree that any one thing is wrong simply because it can lead to sin. Nowadays,walking in the mall can lead to sin, especially for men. You know, with girls half dressed, or half undressed, either way-by half.

I've also been taught that it wasn't alcoholic wine. But I don't believe them.

Jamison said...

Though YOU drank to get drunk, most of my friends don't. Nor have I. In a typical year, I can count on one hand how many alcohlic bevs I have had.

I've been on both sides of this argument. I used to come down HARD on people who freakin' COOKED with wine... so I have been there. Yet, for some reason, the more I think on the subject, and the more I read, I really don't see anything wrong with it.

Drunk? Yes. I see something wrong with that. But I guess there is something wrong with eating sweet tarts. Now THEY DO impair my mind and judgement.

And in all honesty, it all comes down to your heart in many cases I think. To you, someone who may used to get drunk alot, a drink once in a while WOULD be bad. Do I condemn you for thinking that way? Heck no! To someone who quit a 40 year habit of smoking, having a cigar at a friends son's birth WOULD be bad. But to me, someone who not only has NEVER been high, never touched an illegal drug (Well, i touched a joint at a further fest, but didnt smoke it) and has never been drunk, doing any of those activities in moderation and once in a while fills me with zero guilt.

And I guess one would have to know my heart to condemn me... and no one but God knows it...

Yes, driving with cell phones is dangerous (Sorry to fule the off-topic-ness)

bigsip said...

LOL...love the way you brought it back to cell phones and driving!

Yes, I feel the same as Jamison.

Drunk = bad

Addiction = bad

etc.

Yudelka said...

That's exactly my point;
Drunk=bad
Addiction=bad

Hence, my other point; it's not JUST a matter of addiction.

Jamison said...

Count Chocula = bad
Fiber One = good (but lots of poo-time)

Brewster said...

Its amazing to me that we have the internet and cell phones - two devices that have made communication a million times easier and yet they seem to have moved us to the stone age in terms of real face to face communication.

I've told this story before but while instrasbourg we often went to this little irish pub. The english students went there to speak english and thus become better at it.

Often we would go and they would all be sitting at a table with their cell phones out texting their friends.

We can e-mail each other, text each other, talk on the cell phone but then be extremely rude to other people face to face.

The past week I've seen a strong surgence of drivers flipping each other off too. Sometimes when it was deserved, other times not so much

Jamison said...

phones and internet allow us to be a person without a face. to be someone who no one can see, hence we become mean, and primal. That probably simply spills over into face to face convo.

I am the same way kind of, but at work. I prefer people to email me, but when they call me, come to m y office or stop me in the hall, I cant help but be a little pissed... however, lately, I have made a commitment and efforts to be nice even to those who bug the crap out of me... it has been pretty good.

Diana said...

There is so much self-righteousness and judgment getting thrown around here. I’m almost ashamed to be on this blog.

I don't know who Yudelka is, but they must not be a young college girl who needs a cell phone in case a guy who's been watching her car by the library decides to attack her and rape her. So, um, yes, a cell phone for emergencies is sort of important to me. We got Charlie a cell phone about a month ago because, as you recall, we got in a very scary accident in February, and had I not been with him and had my cell phone, we'd been trapped in the ditch a while.

I talk on my cell phone while driving. Not very often and never under unsafe circumstances (i.e. rain, on the interstate). And until I hit someone I don't appreciate being judged for it.

As a Myrtle Beach resident, my greater fear is a stupid tourist, not a cell phone user.

And p.s. I've been the person behind the counter trying to cheerfully ring someone up and talk to them about their lotion purchase and have been completely ignored. I've also seen people very politely pick up their ringing phone, say "Can I call you back?" and hang up. Just like anything in this world (like pot or alcohol) there is an evil and a good in it and how we use it is our choice.

bigsip said...

I think some folks are just rude.

I try my best to be honest on and off the box.

But, yes I can see how feeling like you can say what you think and feel like there are no ramifications could spill over into personal relationships.

bigsip said...

Nobody's judging you, Di.

Yudelka least of all.

We're just discussing the pros and cons of cell phones and cell phone users.

I don't think anyone on here has said anything about you. If they did, they'd have to answer to all of us.

The fact of the matter is that studies have proven that driving and talking on the phone incapacitates the one driving, making them as unsafe or more so than someone who is drunk.

People still have the freedom to use cell phones while they drive or whatever, but that doesn't remove the fact that there's an inherent danger in their use while driving.

Don't take it personally. We're not here to point fingers.

mullinz8 said...

Yudelka, again welcome to the blog.

Drinking to excess for the purpose of drinking to excess, is an issue that some people don’t have. I like a drink every now and again because it is relaxing. There are times when I will have an extra drink when I’m in a very controlled environment but it has never been something I’ve been compelled to need to do. I know my limits and I do not exceed those limits.

I’ll admit that booze can put people in an “uncontrollable” situation. I’d never suggest that you should but had you every tried anything from bottom rung to ultra potent herb you’d know you can’t smoke so much to ever put you in the same intoxicated and stupid state as alcohol.

I like a drink but I’ve seen first hand what it can do so it’s something I could care less about. Herb on the other hand is not the endemic “gateway” drug people consider it to be.

I’m sure Sipper is rolling his eyes that I’ve gotten on this rant again but for Pete’s sake it’s a plant. I’m not sure who you guys think made this plant but according to Gen 1:11 & Gen 1:29 I think it (along with all the others) was once considered “good” and useful.
-----------
If someone believes in God because they are told to do so I will question their faith until they can account for it. Christians are told to study the scripture and pray for enlightenment in its words. I don’t read a single passage out of my Bible without praying for guidance and understanding first. When I find a tricky verse I try and figure out the situation it’s relating to, who is saying it, why, what is their motivation, what is the desired outcome of relaying the information, why, etc. Sadly I try and scrutinize everything like this.

The only thing that I ask people to do is to consider the source of the “facts” they know about the plant. Study the history of the subject considering its huge roll in American history, pharmacology, world history, along with its prohibition and its possibilities before casting judgment.
-----------
Cell phones, drinks, credit cards, herb, dancing, prescription meds, hobbies, sports, possessions, money, internet, relationships, status, etc are all things that have benefits in SOME people’s lives. For other people they are the stepping stone to damnation and ruin. I can find a lot more people who have ruined their lives over stuff and debt than an occasional toke. Addiction is an affliction of the mind not the item.

I think our job is to consider realistically, practically, prayerfully and rationally how those things effect our walk and the walk of those who are subjected to their rewards and abuse. Brothers and sisters I’m afraid it’s a sliding scale and not black and white.

sorry for the pet peeve rant...

mullinz8 said...

Di has a point though. Missed you by the way. Her examples are wonderful and show the benefits of having a cell phone.

To a point she also supports the idea that we’ve been discussing. The phone didn’t cause the wreck it facilitated the rescue. The phone didn’t prevent someone being attacked but it notified the authorities in time. By the way as Yudelka pointed out talking on a cell isn’t an issues for me but going to the mall is a problem for me. Hip hugging, low cut jeans and tops on a mall rats arse…

BTW the next time we see each other I expect to use signal flairs to find the zoo rather than calling.

I think we’re an odd group. We’ve got out quarks and bugs but for the most part we’re fairly rational and have our heads on straight enough to realize that we’re trying to live a good life. I think we need to invite some secular folks to this so we can get some more perspective on our subjects.

Damn agreeable white people…

bigsip said...

Yudelka is Latino...

And she's a really good lady. She's one of my good friends from the Writer's Digest forums.

The original issue, again, wasn't about rudeness or emergencies. It was concerning a scientific study that proved that using a cell phone while driving was dangerous.

If you read the article, you'll also notice that the study showed that cell phone drivers will not admit they have a problem.

Every person here who has a cell phone has argued to the teeth for their gadget...interesting...

As the stats continue to bear out the fact that driving and talking on a phone is dangerous, you'll see more studies, laws, etc.

But, yes, they're useful and helpful in many ways. I'd like to have one eventually, but only for emergencies and never for use while driving.

Brewster said...

Whoa, Mullins, chill that rant down.

I’m rather for weed, but I hate the God made it so it must be good argument. God made lots of stuff, it doesn’t mean we should smoke it. God made tobacco, but that doesn’t mean we should toke that. God made the cocoa plant, doesn’t mean we should snort Coke. God made fruits that ferment and turn to wine. Doesn’t mean we should get snickered. God made poisonous plants doesn’t mean we should kill ourselves.

But mostly, I agree with Mullins. Weed can be helpful. It’s bad parts have mostly been exaggerated and demonized for whatever reason.

Brewster said...

Whoa, Diana. Nobody is telling you not to have a cell phone. I think everyone here but me has one. Sometimes I think everyone in the world but me has one.

In fact nobody is saying cell phones are bad. They are a tool. A very helpful and useful tool at that. But like any tool it can be misused and abused, and often is. It makes plenty of sense that talking on a cell phone while would be dangerous. Studies seem to be showing that sense is fact.

The debate here really started as to whether or not there should be a law against driving while talking on a cell phone. A sensible debate, I’d say. How we got off on smoking pot I’ll never know.

So use your cell phone, keep it with you all the time, but be choose wisely as to when you should be talking on it.

bigsip said...

Yeah, I must agree with Brew on that point, too.

Go all the way back to Adam and Eve.

God told them NOT to partake of fruit He had made.

Satan came along and convinced them to do so by saying, "Hey, you'll be like God if you eat it!"

Even though they could partake of whatever else there was in the Garden, one thing was forbidden.

I think it's an interesting commentary on some things we should or should not do today.

Is one person's forbidden fruit (e.g. alcoholic --> alcohol) another person's apple?

No matter how you see it, it's something to be very careful with.

Jamison said...

1) Di, dont get offended or ashamed becasue of something said in this blog. If you hung out with us in the cafe you'd probably hate us all today.

2) Yudelka, welcome, again. Always welcoming outsiders views.

3)I am only anit-weed because it is illegal. Ill never touch it and I dont want any of my friends near it, as long as it is illegal.

4) But Brew is right, just cuz God made it don't mean it is good. I mean, that's a fine line. Sure everything God makes is "good" but anything God makes can be used for sinful and damaging purposes. God made womens bodies to look like works of art... but the p0rn indusrty aint a good thing.

5)I am searching google for smoke signal lessons... like Mullins said, I guess we will need it. And I suppose the Sips can't really call our cell phones if they need us or need to find us because, well, they would be putting us in danger...?

6)I said it earlier, I shall say it again... NO MORE LAWS!!! The goverments job is not to protect idiots from killing themselves. Maybe to some degree to protect us from being killed by idiots sure, but I am so sick of people saying "this is dangerous, the govt needs to come to our rescue and make a new law!"

7) ill try to be done with this...

Brewster said...

Jamison brings up something we have never really touched on here. When should the government make laws? Obviously there have to be some laws or there would be anarchy. I think we would all agree that having laws of protection against others is a good thing. Murder, assault, rape etc is bad and should be punished. Poisons in our water, food and air is bad and should be monitored and regulated. We’ll disagree on that one as far as how much goes, but in general no one wants there water to be full of arsenic.

But should a government regulate our ability to hurt ourselves? Should it be illegal to commit suicide? What if I want to cut my fingers off? Drink myself into oblivion?

The other day a lady I work with got a ticket for not wearing a seatbelt. I lit into her pretty good because its such a stupid thing to do. Why would you not wear a seat belt? This was after weeks of commercial advertising saying the cops were gonna crack down on it. “click it or ticket”

Another fellow went on a rant about how the law was stupid. His point was that if he didn’t want to be safe, if he chose not to wear a seatbelt and possibly die from it, that was his choice not the governments. It kind of threw me off, because I can’t understand why you would not wear a seatbelt. I don’t even think about the law because it is so common sense. But it raises this very question. Should the government be in the business of protecting ourselves from ourselves?

Brewster said...

You guys are just nuts with this cell phone thing. Um, we’ll still call everybody on your cells. If I’m ever in Montgomery again and I get lost, I’ll call you on your cell to ask for directions. I’ll leave it up to you to decide to answer it. If that means you have to wait a minute until you get out of traffic, I think I’ll make it. People survived thousands of years without cell phones. I think I’ll be able to make it 10 minutes while you get out of traffic.

Or if you decide to answer it, and from what I’m hearing you will, don’t blame me if you cause an accident.

Let’s get real a minute. This is one study. It doesn’t “prove” anything. There will be more studies and they’ll also show driving while talking on a cell phone is dangerous. There will be outcrys for laws to be passed. I suspect they will fail at first. But eventually there will be enough dead bodies and a law will be past. Some will praise it, some will decry it. People will still use their cell phones while driving.

Is it dangerous to talk on your cell while driving? Yes. Will you definitely have an accident? No, probably not even. Do people drive drunk as a skunk everyday? Absolutely. Do they all have accidents? Hardly.

Yudelka said...

Thank you all again for welcoming me.

I don't know where I went wrong, but I don't think I've made myself clear. Please understand that I am not, by far, trying to judge anyone. For goodness sake, I have a cell phone and even use it while driving.

And, no Diana, unfortunately I am not a young college girl. I'm a old college girl with a cell phone.
It comes very much in handy, too.

Self-righteousness? I sure hope I didn't come across that way. It's certainly not a characteristic I have.

BTW Brewster,
What is the one crime that, if succesfully carried out, is not punishable by law?

bigsip said...

Again, it's a lot like banning cigarettes in public, enclosed spaces, to me.

In most cities, even here in Montgomery, it is ilegal to smoke in a restaurant that is not divided by a wall into smoking/non-smoking.

It's a public health issue.

As far as protecting us from ourselves, the government saw a high death rate in auto accidents and took steps to protect the public by creating public services and laws for wearing seat belts.

I don't really see any thing wrong with that.

Jamison said...

I think it should be left up to the states, not the feds. Like motorcycle helmets... yes, it is STUPID to not wear one, but in many states, it is legal to ride without it... so what? Go for it you morons!

Yuk... is it suicide the answer you are looking for?

Yudelka said...

Ding-ding-ding!!! You get a cell phone with a hands-free device, Jamison.

I heard that one years ago...at one point, it was a punishable crime to attempt to committ suicide. In some cases, even to do so successfully. In the latter, punishment included the estates, which in turn punished the heirs of such. What a shame!

BTW, I forgot my cell phone at home today, and I actually felt good about it. It was nice to go out and not be on the phone for whatever reason. Upon my return, I noticed I had missed a few calls...felt even better.

kellieja said...

Jamison,
If you are on your death bed...I will get you the weed you need. No worries!
Just adding my two cents....
I drive a bunch. More than most people. Easily 80,000 miles in three years. I wear my seatbelt and sometimes wear a helmet. I drive alone for 8-10 hours at a time. For someone who gets tired of listening to the radio I turn to my cell phone for entertainment. I will talk with someone on the phone just like they were in the car. I am a good driver and I think my good driving skills hold up while I am on the phone(I know I am supporting the study). I can tell when I need to get off the phone...driving through downtown
ATL, Orlando, Tampa....I will be the first to admit I dont need to be on the phone and I hang it up promptly.
Please dont ban the phone. It makes me feel safe. I've been picked up twice on the interstate(when I didnt have a cell phone)after a breakdown. Its the worse feeling for a person to be alone with a stranger.

Pro-Cells unite!!!!!!!!!

Jamison said...

pro helmets it the car unite!
Kellie J comes through with the zingger, bravo!

Diana said...

Please understand that 95% of what I say is meant to be devils advocate.
5% is offended.
But I'm sure I offend y'all all the time.

bigsip said...

Does your helmet have a built-in cell phone?

If so, down with helmets!

Side note: Yet another cell phone defender who won't admit to having a problem...I'm seeing a distinct pattern...

Jamison said...

i REALLY think Sip is being sarcastic, at least I HOPE he doesn't classify every human on earth who uses a cell phone while driving as having a "problem".

Honestly, when I couldn't get a hold of ya'll saturday, after knowing your wife was having contractions, and was told to take it easy, and I could nto get a hold of yall at your house OR your parents, all my wife and I could say is "I wish they had a cell phone right now..."

Side note: dont feel bad. We dont expect yall to call us everytime you see a movie. We just over-worry sometimes.

And i do not have a problem, ill call you from my cell next time i get in my car and discuss it with you.

Rachel said...

Ah, but even if we did have a cell phone, it wouldn't have been on in a movie theater!

Thanks for worrying. It makes us feel loved.

bigsip said...

I appreciate y'all worrying, too.

If we ever do get a cell phone, there will be strict rules for its use.

Turning it off while in the car, movie theatre, etc. will be a must.

I don't think people who have cell phones have a "problem", but I do think that everyone who drives and talks on a cell phone has a problem concentrating. Yet, I haven't seen one person on here admit they have that issue.

That was one of the main things the article said. People will not admit to being impaired by the cell phone, even when there's hard data that proves otherwise.

Some people who own cell phones do have a problem, though. And they always seem to gravitate to me. I see them at the theatre, at the restaurant, and on the road. I wish they'd get help...

Yudelka said...

And so there it is, Jamison. Not only does he think we have a problem because we drink--er--talk and drive, but simply because we have cell phones.

Josh, honestly! We don't even know the details of the study.

Who conducted/financed the study? Was it the DMV? It could be biased, you know.
Was it a 'random sampling?' I mean, they could have picked all these guys up at the local college. And let's face it, those guys have enough of a hard time focusing on anything.

Okay, I'm over-reaching here. But, if I will be accused of having a problem or denial, I want more proof.

Jamison said...

I have actually seen a similar study like this on TV. A set of about 10 folks were given a few drinks, then let out in a car on a test track. They drove as expected.

Then, when sober a day or so later, they were put on the same track, and were given a cell phone and were to talk to someone on the other end, someone doing the study. They made many mistakes there too.

Certainly not REAL world stuff, but I will say I have used a cell phone since 1994. My dad always had me take it when I went out with friends. Strict rules of course. In college I didnt have one, ever. But I did get one when I worked at Alltel. And have had one ever since. I have had 3 speeding tickets and maybe 2 fender benders since the Alltel days... and NONE of that happened when i was talking on the phone. One happened when I was driving too close, another when I was changing the raido station, and the speeding tickets were because I was a fast driver...

so in the past 7 year or so, talking on the phone at least once a day while driving, I am still here and havent had an accident as a result of it. Big problem...

Yudelka said...

Confession time?
Okay, Until two years ago (anniversary coming up), I used to get a speeding ticket every year for about 4/5 years straight. One year I think I got two.

I've gotten into two car accidents, only one was my fault and was very, very, very minor.

Never has anything happened to me while on the phone. Either we're among the problem-less or among the ones in denial. And yet have never had a problem with this supposed problem.

My kids in the car are more of a driving hazard to me than anything else.

Jamison said...

oh, i forgot to add this:

Jesus walked on the water,
He turned the water into wine.
He went down to the drunkard,
To tell him everything was fine...

You are loved, you are loved, you are reaaaaaally loved...

Brew, how's that for a blast from the past?

Yudelka said...

There's a study for you.
Out of two people--Jamison, me--none have a had problem with this problem.

That's another thing, 40 people...
There really should be a very high minimun number for such studies.

Jamison said...

Oh, there is this lady who lives two doors down from me and her kids go to the school I work for. So sometimes, in the mornings, she will be behind me all the way to work (Very very close behond me).

She has two girls, they sit in the back of her SUV... she turns around often to say something to them, scold them, etc. She also eats food and drinks beverages while driving (I watch it in my rear-view mirror. Very entertaining and jaw-dropping... of course, that is dangerous too). She also fixes her hair and puts on make-up. Tunes her radio, and OCCATIONALLY talks on the phone.

I am not kidding when I say this, that less that 50% of her drive time is spent with her eyes on the road, I kid you not. Her phone plays a very minor part.

By far she is more of a danger from her idiotic driving behaivor than me or yukalaylee are...

She really is a site to behold, very entertaining... that is if you consider putting innocent little girl's lives in jeopardy due to mom's foolish driving habits...

bigsip said...

Wow...

OK, y'all don't have a problem driving and talking on the phone simultaneously...

Nobody in that study admitted to it, either. And yet, the data is there...

I'm not accusing y'all of having a "problem"; I'm accusing you both of being human beings. The human brain, when it gets into conversation mode, lets go of many other issues at hand.

Just because you haven't been caught doing something because your mind wandered on a cell phone conversation doesn't mean it hasn't happened.

You may not have realized it, which is probably why you won't admit it, but it happens all the time.

Either way, I'm not accusing anyone of anything, just saying that human beings have a one-track mind.

BTW, here is another article. It cites studines by NHTSA and other govt and independent agencies that show that people who use phones while driving are 4 times more likely to get into an accident:

http://www.iii.org/media/hottopics/insurance/cellphones/

If you find any recent research to the reverse, post it.

kellieja said...

Just to add to the others in denial, I have never been pulled over or in a car accident. I have never been flicked off by someone or honked at....EVER. But seriously.
Pro-Cells in Denial!
Cant I get that in a tshirt Jamison?

Yudelka said...

Impressive! She hasn't even been pulled over.

If I drove as much as you did, Kellie, I would probably get a few tickets per year. I just can't see them coming, I tell you!

Jamison said...

"Motorists are more accident-prone and slower to react when they talk on cellular telephones - even hands-free models - because "inattention blindness" makes the drivers less able to process visual information, University of Utah researchers found."

So, it is the same as if you are talking to someone in the car with you, if hands-free modles made no difference...

Of course this same study asked them after the test if they recognized 41 bilboards during the drive...

What? Who is looking and memorizing billboards, on or off the phone?

And of course the government will give a grant to almost anyone for any kind of study... just so the ones doing the study can validify what they beleived to be true all along.

Yes, tis dangerous.
Outlaw them? Why? How will cops enforce it? They harldy turn around to get someone for following too close? You think they are going to have their eyes peeled to see who has a hand to their ear? Should children not be able to ride in cars until they are 5?

See, I think we agree with you, but your idea to "outlaw" them is ridiculous... if you outlaw them, then car makers in the future should just make cars without radios. Is On-Star going to be legal? It is pretty much a hands-free phone...

Yudelka said...

Okay Josh, I'll compromise here.

No really, I'll admit that talking and driving is, GENERALLY, a problem. But it's like smoking. You may smoke a cigar once a month, but would you say you have a problem? You may drink a beer every now & then, but would you say...? Just because those things represent a problem for some folks doesn't mean that they are a problem for all.

Yudelka said...

Heck, I say we go back to horses!
Though I don't think I could manage talking and driving. I would have a big problem then.

There you go, that's it! Some people can manage, others can't. As with anything else.

bigsip said...

I still haven't seen any hard studies to counteract the copious studies about how bad driving and phones are...

Yudelka said...

Hold those horses, Josh!
I'll see what I can come up with.

kellieja said...

I haven't either. I am making a three hour trip today so I think I will conduct my own study. It won't be my first study. At Faulkner for my statistics class, I documented how many people actually came to a complete stop at those three stop signs by the dorms.
Josh you rolled right through them!:)
Cell phones are dangerous while driving but like Jamison said I think it would be impossible to regulate it.
The End.

You guys are great!

bigsip said...

Yeah, you're right about regulating it.

But, I can still be pissed when I see someone on a cell phone swerve toward me while my wife and children are in the car. Or tell someone who is driving with me or my kids or wife in the car to put their phone away.

Then there are the people stopped at a light who are so engrossed in their conversations that they forget to drive when the light changes...Yeah, I could go on and on...

I think I'll write an article about it or something. As if there aren't a million already out there...

Yudelka said...

Okay, none of this isn't exactly 'hard study,' nor does it ONLY support my point, but it's something.

Some of these merely point out that talking on the cell phone is as much a distraction as using any other electronic device in the vehicle.
Which brings me to this question about the study you made reference to..did the study include any passengers or any other distractions? Because, yes for some people, again, it is clear that compared to NOTHING else going on in the car, the cell phone might be a problem for them. Compared to other distractions, the cell phone is right up there with the radio, CD changing, GPS, eating, drinking, make up, etc.


http://www.phccweb.org/ContentItem.cfm?ContentItemID=762

http://www.cars.com/go/news/Story.jsp?section=news&story=060905storyaDN&subject=recent&referer=&aff=national

http://www.aaafoundation.org/projects/index.cfm?button=disdrvtest

Yudelka said...

So we're back at Jamison's comment. Should they ban or limit the use of these other handy-dandy gadgets?

bigsip said...

Nope, they should just ban cell phones. It would make me happy and also make me feel better about myself, so it should happen.

The End.

OK, I'm kidding. I honestly don't know. I just know I have seen so much rudeness and stupidity because people misuse the little things.

Again, I think we'll get one or two eventually, but I think there should at least be some sort of class on how to properly use them. Maybe even a new driver's license code.

As far as regulation goes, it's pretty easy to tell if someone has a phone up to his or her ear. Headsets stand out, too. I can see cops spotting it from a mile away and pulling over perps.

But, I guess we'll see how it all plays out over the next few months/years. There's really no telling!

Rachel said...

I've gotta say, I am a much worse driver when I'm talking with someone in the car, no cell phone involved.

Also I feel compelled to read signs (referencing earlier comment). I often have to tell myself I am not obligated to read billboards. The world will not end if I don't know what that sign said! But it might if I do!

Anyway, I do feel like having that cell phone available, for some people, is like having 50 of their closest friends riding in the car with them. The phone makes multiple people available to converse with whereas you might have one or two available without the phone. I have a feeling that a lot of folks pick up the phone when they're bored.

They also, in my opinion, make it more difficult for some people to feel comfortable alone. Like "Ack! I'm not talking to anyone! Must....dial....make....human....contact!

Yudelka said...

I can relate to the concept. You're very passionate about the issue. I feel this way about rudeness in general. I see it around me all the time, cell phones or no cell phones.

I used to tell my hubby, "I'm sure rudeness is something God detests."

I'm sure I've portrayed my share of rude behavior, but it's certainly not my style, one of those I'm always conscientious about.

Yudelka said...

Rachel,
I believe that's the mommy in you. Always eager to talk to any adult who can speak back with any level of clarity in their dialect.

mullinz8 said...

I’m only in for five minutes after a shoot and will be on one tomorrow and thusly away form the computer.

Yudelka, I’m glad that you’re here and for the record I love poking a stick into a bees nest and running away for a few days, especially because we’ve unwired the house, no TV no web for the summer.

I’ll grab a hold of this blog on Wednesday and try to fill in the gaps.

Btw, I was making a joke about our agreeableness not out lovely Latino guest.

Brewster said...

Oh and I've got to see Kellie J in a helmet while driving a car.

Diana said...

However, cell-phone use is far less likely to be the cause of a crash or near-miss than other distractions, according to the study. For example, while reaching for a moving object such as a falling cup increased the risk of a crash or near-crash by 9 times, talking or listening on a hand-held cell phone only increased the risk by 1.3 times.

-http://www.iii.org/media/hottopics/insurance/cellphones/

Diana said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Diana said...

That's a direct quote, btw.

I'll say it again, If we're going to start banning things that cause accidents, I would be SOOOO happy if no more tourists came here. Thanks.

And p.s. the only two speeding tickets I've had were while listening to music that was too loud. If anything should be banned from my car, it should be my ipod.

Yudelka said...

Viva la cellulites--er--I mean los cell phones.

Yudelka said...

BTW, Thanks Mullinz!

Brewster said...

Ok so we'll make a law against using cell phones, adjusting your radio, catching falling objects, talking to people in the car, wearing helmets, falling asleep, having sexual relations, doing crossword puzzles (had a friend actually do this), put on make up, reading novels, and playing air drums on the dashboard while driving.

The roads will be so safe.

BTW I read billboards all the time. Especially when I am a passenger and often out loud which really confuses people.

bigsip said...

There should be a law against Brew in my car. Not only does he read the signs out loud, he also points them out and makes you look.

Well, I'm glad we discussed this. Now you all know to never use a cell phone while someone I love is in the car. So, you should never use a cell phone in the car :)

That goes double for my wife and children.

Jamison said...

holy cow! 83 comments and still going!
2 more posts and this blog will be on page 2, never to be seen again...
Josh, what have you created?

and your concluding thoughts still confuse the crap out of me...

bigsip said...

"Well, I'm glad we discussed this. Now you all know to never use a cell phone while someone I love is in the car. So, you should never use a cell phone in the car :)

That goes double for my wife and children."

It means that I love you all very much and don't want you to be unsafe driving and I especially love my wife and children and don't want them to talk on phones while driving or be in a car with someone talking on one while driving.

Comprendez vous?

Jamison said...

I wasn't sure if you were saying I had to call you to check and see if your wife and child were on the road before I made a cell phone call...

Brewster said...

I think part of the issue is that those of us without a cell phone don’t understand the ease and convenience of a cell to its fullest extent. I get a long perfectly fine without a cell. If I need to call someone while I’m out and about, I either wait until I’m home or I use a pay phone. When I drove to Montgomery recently I had to stop twice to call Jamison for directions. It was a little inconvenient, but no big deal. This is just part of life for me. I’ve also been lucky enough that nothing major has happened while traveling in which I had to have a phone to get a tow truck or whatever. And I tend to believe if something did happen, someone would pull over and help.

But for those who have a phone it probably seems impossible to be without it. Kind of like the internet for me. I survived for years without an internet connection, but if you took it away now, I’d be lost.

It’s easy for me to now say not to drive while talking on the phone. But once I actually break down and get one, that convenience might be hard to turn away. Somebody calls while I’m driving how hard will it be to not answer? I don’t know.

Jamison said...

Well, it is like when I was working for Alltel. Back then, caller ID was an extra you had to pay for and minutes were few and far between. We would sell the 3 bucks a month caller ID feature as a way of "saving money". We would say "If you see a number that you dont know, then you can not answer it, thereby, saving you minutes used!" When, in actuallity, the marketing department knew perfectly well that humans are creatures of curiosity and will either pick up to see who it is, or call the number back and say "Who is this?"

ok, maybe not the same, but I guess what I am saying is to those who didnt have caller ID, they were fine, but when they got it, it was needed.

kellieja said...

Per Mat
  

Brewster said...

Thanks Kellie J

Jamison said...

too too funny... i think we all owe Kellie a big thank you.

bigsip said...

Danke schön!

Gracias!

etc.

Very funny!