Distracted driving: ‘Deadly epidemic’ or storm in a teacup?

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by olias, Mar 31, 2011.

  1. olias


    "Distracted driving: ‘Deadly epidemic’ or storm in a teacup?
    Safety measures enacted in a number of states; critics say the plans do not go far enough

    When a dump truck carrying 24 tons of rock salt crashed on I-81 in Pennsylvania recently, police linked the collision, which killed one motorist and injured several others, to distracted driving.

    The incident is not unique. A quick search of news headlines for car accidents shows federal regulators linked texting, cellphone use and other forms of distracted driving to 5,500 deaths in 2009 — the latest year for which data is available — and to at least a half million injuries.

    “Distracted driving has become a deadly epidemic on America’s roads,” insists U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, the country’s leading — and perhaps most outspoken — proponent of rules that would bar drivers from texting, making cell phone calls or using other high-tech devices while behind the wheel of a vehicle.

    Such measures have already been enacted in a number of states across the country. But activists believe these steps don’t go far enough. Some would go so far as to even bar the use of hands-free Bluetooth cell phones, and even some technologies that claim to improve driving safety.

    Critics — and not just those involved in the automotive industry — contend that LaHood and his allies are going too far. They question some of the more frightening claims about distracted driving, and they point to the latest federal data showing that, if anything, the number of traffic fatalities has actually fallen quite sharply even as the use of supposedly distracting technologies has risen dramatically.

    “If cell phones and all the other new technologies are so dangerous, why aren’t we seeing carnage on the highways?” asked Aaron Bragman, an automotive analyst with the consulting firm IHS. “We’re not. The number of highway fatalities is lower than it has been in years.”

    The reality is that both sides do agree on some key issues. ..."

    continued http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42338592/?gt1=43001
  2. olias


    this is a topic I've got some ideas about, but I've never really debated with anyone. I think you should be allowed to talk on your cell phone while driving. For one thing, making it illegal means that a lot of people will resort to texting instead, which is obviously more of a distraction; but they'll do it thinking it would be easier to escape police detection.

    I'm allowed to eat a sandwich while driving right? Or talk to other passengers...or change the radio station or CD, or MP3 player. I don't think using one hand to talk on your cell phone is that big of an issue.

    Now they are talking about making even hands-free calling illegal, but how much different is that than talking to somebody in the backseat?

    The line has to be drawn somewhere, but where to draw that line?

    Is it legal to get a hummer while driving? because that should totally be legal.
  3. Hello


    This is precisely my problem with the whole vendetta against driving while on a phone. Bottom line is that stupid drivers will always find something to be distracted with while they are driving. Some people basically just have ADD, and they will always find a distraction, and thus they will always get in an accident based on a distraction. I highly doubt that there are many, if any people who get in accidents solely due to a cell phone, who wouldnt have been screwing around with some other device/food/drink to begin with. These tests say you are supposedly worse then a drunk driver when you are talking on a cell phone, but i highly doubt that, the only time i would answer my cell while driving is if i was going straight with nothing to worry about anyways, its not like i would answer my cell phone while im doing 90 MPH on the free way and weavin in and out of traffic.

    A normal person doesnt choose to answer their phone or change the tune when taking a left hand turn, its the idiots who have caused this mess that would think ofdoing something like that. And of course it always comes down to these dumbasses being distracted by something. I would rather have the government make a person do an obstacle course whereby there were lots of distractions inside and out, and see who is still able to pass.

  4. Have you seen a recent driving test.

    20 questions, perhaps 5 questions pertain to driving, the rest are alcohol related.

    Suppose we could include how to drive while texting as a condition of passing, maybe a little training? They won't and can't, this would come across as "approval".

    Anyways, years ago they said the same thing when radio first appeared in cars. Too much of a distraction.

    People do not take driving seriously.
  5. Eight


    When I'm walking I don't cross in front of a car until I've made eye contact, too many people nearly rolled right over me while looking at their phone, forget it...
  6. larkin


    Exactly. It's that people are not aware of the physical force that is connected to all that speed. I hate it when people go over speed limits or do not keep a decent distance from the car in front. At a certain point, you just can't help but crash into that car or a kid crossing the street, because going at a certain speed ad taking a certain time to react will make just that happen, period. Nobody is that awesome a driver that he/she can beat physics.

    But back to the whole ban discussion: before anyone considers banning hands free blue tooth, they should ban food, hot and cold drinks, high heels, flip flops, and make-up. I hate it when women touch up their make-up at traffic lights... :mad:
  7. I do the exact same thing and always make sure these idiots are actually going to stop at the red light.

    Basically, I just assume everybody behind the wheel is out of his/her mind and careless, it makes me a far more defensive driver and pedestrian.
  8. Eight


    some of them can flick their eyes forward and still not see somebody walking... The EU is banning cars in cities by 2050, great move, park the frigging things out somewhere and take a shuttle to the city and then ENJOY!! These fat ass American Women will think you nuts if you tell them to get rid of their car.. but it would cure nearly all their problems, they would get sun, exercise, they would actually SEE the stuff they are passing by..

    Driving is so GRIM! Not too fast, not too slow, not over the line, not over the other line.. what a task that is! For my commute I got a Camaro and raced through some canyons that I knew like the back of my hand, otherwise I would have to kill myself after driving...

    I live in this college town, the kids on the bicycles rule the place! I tried driving through and got overruled by bicycles, then I got rid of the car and wound up walking through the town and I still get overruled by bicycles! It's fun though...