Let's get started!


Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Yack Yack Yack

This article discusses the effect of cell phone use on driving. Here is a brief summary...

Drivers talking on cell phones were 18 percent slower to react to brake lights, the new study found. In a minor bright note, they also kept a 12 percent greater following distance. But they also took 17 percent longer to regain the speed they lost when they braked. That frustrates everyone.

"Once drivers on cell phones hit the brakes, it takes them longer to get back into the normal flow of traffic," Strayer said. "The net result is they are impeding the overall flow of traffic."

Strayer and his colleagues have been down this road before. In 2001, they found that even hands-free cell phone use distracted drivers. In 2003 they revealed a reason: Drivers look but don't see, because they're distracted by the conversation. The scientists also found previously that chatty motorists are less adept than drunken drivers with blood alcohol levels exceeding 0.08.

I just don't see why all the focus is on cell phones. I would bet that speaking with anyone in the car has a similar effect. Did they bother to see if the cell phone was the cause or the talking? I bet it's the talking since they've found hands-free phones also are a distraction. What about speaking with someone in the seat next to you? Or in the back seat? Are these distractions as well? Does the cell phone have nothing to do with it making the real distraction talking? I wonder.

And what about eating, drinking, smoking, masturbating? Could these also be the cause of some percentage of deaths/accidents? I guess it doesn't matter since cell phones are so popular the focus should be on them.