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Old 09-09-2011, 09:57 AM
 
Location: South Whidbey Island
1,774 posts, read 1,522,076 times
Reputation: 1919

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
Cool story, bro.

I do know a few people who can type and speak at the same time. Unfortunately, if I try that, and I have on occasion, I just end up typing whatever it is I'm saying which obviously comes out as a garbled mess as, like most people, I cannot type nearly as fast as I can talk; however, you are speaking of two linguistic activities and while I cannot speak and type at the same time, it really is not that difficult to speak and walk or speak and tie my shoe or speak and drive a car at the same time. I guess that's not something everyone can do as I often see people on the freeway weaving around and fluctuating their speed by as much as 15 mph while they, perfectly legally I might add, talk on their hands-free device. I also see many more people who are at least capable enough that they can actually hold a small object in one hand, speak into said small object, and operate a car without any obvious outward demonstrations of distracted driving.

What shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone with a half-functional brain is that it is the more complex task that is more distracting than the less complex one. For most people, participating in a conversation is far more complex than holding a small object. Even if that outlandish concept were too difficult for one to grasp, just about every empirical study done on driving distraction confirms that it is the act of holding a conversation that causes any distraction there might be and not the act of holding a small object in one's hand. Whether the conversation is had with a hands-free device or handset is irrelevant. Why then do we have these completely asinine laws requiring hands-free devices?
I can see how it is the conversation, and not the holding of the device that is the distraction. I'll concede on that. I think I remember reading about some studies too that said the same. But that only suggests that all phone usage be banned, hands free or not.

My point is simply that someone using the phone, and especially someone texting (texting is at another level), is paying no more attention to the road than someone moderately impaired (note I didn't say totally smashed). I predict that it's just a matter of time before it is treated with the same severity. I often say in the legalize pot argument that no society is logical. Some things are as bad as pot (alcohol) but will remain legal simply because it is accepted by society. Likewise, society isn't quite ready to treat someone texting on the phone (while driving, not just at a stoplight) the same way they would someone who had a BAC of .08%. Yet, I am absolutely serious about me rather driving alongside someone moderately impaired than someone texting.
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Old 09-09-2011, 07:00 PM
 
Location: California
25,486 posts, read 16,813,372 times
Reputation: 17892
One of the problems for me with the cell phone ban is you can actually get written up for just holding a phone if a police officer sees you. I agree that looking at your phone at stop lights, etc. isn't any more dangerous that a dozen other things people do in the car every day. I used mine not long ago when I was picking someone up at the airport and trying to figure out exactly where they were and was paranoid the whole time that someone would slap me with a fine if they saw me. I also use mine to check the time since my car clock is broken. I completely understand the reason for these laws, I just hate knowing that every law will be abused and used as way to generate income on the backs of people who can least afford it.
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