Thursday, August 24, 2006


On the cell phone while driving


Isn't this taking a good joke too far? In this picture, he's stopped the vehicle, but a few seconds before, this guy was driving that thing on the construction site along the edge of a busy street, using one hand while holding his cell phone with the other.

In this next picture, he's driven back into the excavation pit, which obscures the massive tank treads. But it gives you some idea of the vehicle's size. And, to be clear, moments earlier, while I fumbled to get my camera out, he was driving that one handed on the sidewalk.


When are we going to stop to the madness?

It gets worse. Some governments are making laws against driving and talking on your cell phone about the same time the Blackberry is gaining popularity.
Mythbusters, the very popular show on cable, did a nice segment on how driving while talking on your cellphone is just as bad as driving drunk. For those that aren't familar with the show, its hosted by two guys who are special effects wizes and they put commom urban legands, myths, or movie stunts to the test to see if there is any truth in it. The best part is that they actually teach science while doing it.

In the cellphone one, they took two members of their team and had the drive a road course as best they could then they both did the test while talking on their cell phone and then again at .075 BA. (California would not allow them to even do a closed road test while over .08.) The results were staggering in that they performed horribly while both at .075 and while talking on the cell phone.

Oscar, the main story on Yahoo today is about possible employee law suits over blackberrys, claiming that they are addicted. I didn't read the whole article, but thought I'd to hear your take on that.
I heard a news report that it's not so much the holding of the cell phone as it is the talking on the phone while driving that interferes with one's driving. So, driving while using an earphone thingy to talk on your cell phone is just as bad as holding the phone in your hand.

Just wanted to share that little detail.

(but I agree -- we need to stop the madness!)
I read someplace that your reaction time to a traffice problem if you are on a cell phone is equal to a few stiff drinks.
If it's the talking that's the problem and not the one-handed driving, then what about talking to someone who's in the car?

yyzrs - affirmative
It's got to be a combination of the talking and the one-handed driving. But I do think talking on the phone is different mentally -- the process of visualizing a person on the other end of the line is a mental distraction you don't have while talking to someone in the car. Unless "someone" is an unruly kid in the back and the driver is half turning around and saying "stop it, or I'm gonna smack you!"
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