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People know texting and driving is dangerous but continue to do it

States all around the country have laws on the books prohibiting drivers from texting or making phone calls while behind the wheel. A new survey has been published that claims over 50% of drivers in the state of Michigan use cell phones while driving and 8% claim they text while driving.
The survey was conducted by the state Office of Highway Safety Planning. The survey also found that 80% of drivers within the state believe that people talking on cell phones are more likely to be involved in an accident. Despite that 80% figure, 56% still admit to taking phone calls while driving. The survey found that 96% of drivers within the state believe people texting or e-mailing while driving are more likely to be involved in an accident.
Data collected by the state shows that nearly 4,000 accidents in 2010 listed the drivers being distracted and use of a cell phone was noted in 881 of those crashes. The survey polled 600 people and was conducted to coincide with National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, which is the month of April.

[Source: Mike Luckovich]
"It appears drivers are aware of the dangers of being distracted by cell phones and texting," said Michael L. Prince, Michigan's OHSP director. "But the ability and pressure to be constantly connected and available seem to trump traffic safety as motorists continue to talk and text while driving."
State residents under the age of 30 were found to be more likely to use their cell phone to make and receive calls or text messages while driving. About 5,500 deaths are attributed to distracted driving on the nation's highways each year.
Distracted driving has become such an issue for lawmakers that the NTSB has previously considered trying to ban hands-free calls while driving. The NHTSA released the first distracted driving guidelines in February of 2012.

Source: Detroit News

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I text and drive
By Mitch101 on 4/3/2012 10:53:20 AM , Rating: 1
Sure you might get away with it but it will eventually catch up with you as your confidence builds. While I am concerned with the person doing the texting I am more concerned for the people that will eventually be harmed by the person texting but Im not sure how you make people stop doing it. You can increase the laws but until they see the danger or hurt someone they wont stop. Speaker phone and hands free dialing does amazing things but I still see many people fumbling with the phone and holding it to their ears. Sadly you cant fix stupid people.

Ive got the Ford Sync with Microsoft Windows Phone and never have to take my hands off the wheel. Because I don't have the fancy display either there is nothing for me to look at. Meaning no visual distractions for me but Im not sure that everyone can do even this.

RE: I text and drive
By Creig on 4/3/2012 11:03:26 AM , Rating: 2
Sadly you cant fix stupid people.

I agree. Stupid people really should be "fixed". It would eliminate entire new generations of stupid.

RE: I text and drive
By mindless1 on 4/3/2012 11:58:54 AM , Rating: 2
It wouldn't work. Kill off all the stupid people then the least of the smart people become the new stupid people.

... essentially that's what we already have, darwinism and all...

RE: I text and drive
By jimbojimbo on 4/3/2012 4:40:44 PM , Rating: 2
So what's wrong with that? The newer stupid people would still be much smarter than the typical average person now so it sounds good to me. The other alternative is occurring now with dumber people reproducing like hotcakes while the smarter people produce less children and later in life since they are taking into account the future welfare of their offspring and planning things out for them. It's Idiocracy.

By the way as long as dumb people can vote the politicians will try to win over their votes with obvious lies and pandering and you know what, it works! As long as dumb people will vote they will try to make their lives easier by trying to get politicians in office that will give them whatever they want by taking from those that plan out their lives, mostly the middle class.

RE: I text and drive
By mindless1 on 4/4/2012 12:18:14 PM , Rating: 2
The problem is society still has classes and menial work to be done. People need a certain amount of challenge, validation, mental activity to stay preoccupied.

Ever notice how some dumb people jump at the chance for a certain job but a (supposedly) smarter person will stay unemployed looking for a job in their "skill set" or that's good enough for them, even if it takes months because they just won't do certain types of work until then?

Then there's the other problem, who is to decide this? Do we decide all those who memorize things like parrots and would be good playing the game show Jeopardy are "smart"? Do we make a list of stupid decisions and anyone who makes them dies?

It's not so easy. What if we just nuke an entire civilization that had no access to schooling and ship the dumber of the US citizens there? I'm kidding, if there is anything an intelligent human being is, it's someone who can coexist and be content instead of blaming supposed "dumb people" for their unhappiness.

RE: I text and drive
By masamasa on 4/3/2012 5:13:55 PM , Rating: 2
That is roughly 50% of the world's population. Brain dead morons with no common-sense.

RE: I text and drive
By Samus on 4/4/2012 2:30:07 AM , Rating: 1
The new DSM so broadly defines new mental illnesses from narcissism to obessity. People have an excuse for everything, especially if a diagnosis can get them some SSDI income.

Now don't get me wrong, there are definately people who need government support: low functioning adults with downs, aspergers, severe developemental disorders.

But being self-centered and not giving a shit about the lives of others on the road isn't a disability. It just makes you an asshole.

RE: I text and drive
By acer905 on 4/3/2012 1:02:35 PM , Rating: 2
I'll never quite fully understand the hatred of holding the phone to your head. I know a lot of people who never drive with both hands on their steering wheel, unless the weather is very bad. If you would have your hand dangling, why is it any different?

RE: I text and drive
By jimbojimbo on 4/3/2012 4:43:10 PM , Rating: 2
I ride by bike to commute to work and turn signals are a huge importance to me. Most of the time a car turns in front of me, almost hitting me, without a turn signal is usually because the person is driving a Mercedes, BMW, or Lexus and or talking on a cell phone. Of course if your left hand is pressing a phone to your head it excuses you from using your left hand for things it was meant to be doing.

Also, steering reaction time and agility is greatly reduced when driving with just one hand.

RE: I text and drive
By acer905 on 4/3/2012 6:19:41 PM , Rating: 2
Correlation or causation? Do you really think the people in those Mercedes, BMW's or Lexus care about anyone but themselves?

RE: I text and drive
By ET on 4/4/2012 4:35:04 AM , Rating: 2
The problem is that the people who hold the phone with one hand don't easily let go of it. If they need to reach for something, they'll keep the phone to the ear and use the other hand to reach, so they won't hold the wheel at all. If an emergency happens, and they need both hands on the wheel, they won't just drop the phone immediately and grab the wheel. Even if they do drop the phone, it will slow down their reaction.

So for normal circumstances it probably doesn't matter that much, but when anything happens, the people holding the phone are at a serious disadvantage compared to one hand drivers.

RE: I text and drive
By jimbojimbo on 4/3/2012 4:45:01 PM , Rating: 2
I test and drive
Is this a confession? Can someone ticket this a-hole? Also, these things should definitely be moving violations, not just a ticket. I also believe 3 of these and permanent revocation of driver license and loss of the vehicle to the city.

RE: I text and drive
By Mitch101 on 4/3/2012 7:22:42 PM , Rating: 2
I guess there are a number of you just reading the title and not understanding Its all voice controlled with voice to text translation I never need to take my hands off the wheel or my eyes off the road.

Like I said cant fix stupid. Might as well lump in people who comment without reading the text.

RE: I text and drive
By Mitch101 on 4/3/2012 7:28:41 PM , Rating: 2
What if...
By Dorkyman on 4/3/2012 12:04:22 PM , Rating: 2
Hey, here's an idea. Rather than rely on Big Government to pass more laws and increase their intrusiveness, how about leaving the issue to the insurance companies? After all, they're the ones who have a vested interest in keeping you accident-free.

So if a young person is in an accident, the insurance company can check to see if they were texting at the time, and if so, the claim is denied or reduced.

This should be easy to do. There was a big commuter-train crash in LA a few years ago, and they found the engineer had been texting at the time.

RE: What if...
By LSUJester on 4/3/2012 12:21:50 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not so sure I like giving insurance companies yet another excuse to not pay for accidents.

"It looks like you sent a text message 7 minutes and 28 seconds before the time of your accident. Based on this information, we are going to deny your claim."

"What? It was 7 and a half minutes earlier. That was before I even left my house in the vehicle."

"I'm sorry, but this close of a time frame signifies that you were in a conversation on your phone, therefore we refute this claim. Our policy states that we reserve the right to deny coverage based on phone calls or text messages sent thirty minutes prior to accident. Thanks for using The General."

RE: What if...
By Dorkyman on 4/3/2012 5:29:08 PM , Rating: 2
Okay, so if that policy says you can't talk or text 30 minutes prior, then get a different policy. Competition is good.

My point is that it is possible in many cases to narrow down the time of an accident to the point where it is relatively easy to see if the driver was texting at the time.

And there is no need to deny the claim, just reduce the benefit. If you have car insurance with a premium based, in part, on your grades in school, then have an accident, the company has every right to check out your story about good grades. If you were lying, the company has the right to reduce your claim based on what they would have paid under a policy that didn't take grades into account. That's only fair.

RE: What if...
By FITCamaro on 4/3/2012 6:14:04 PM , Rating: 2
His point is valid. You're speaking about something that wouldn't be justifiable in a court of law if someone sued the insurance company for it.

RE: What if...
By Sebec on 4/3/2012 5:46:47 PM , Rating: 2
That sounds great, but it doesn't stop the people driving without insurance (even if that is illegal).

RE: What if...
By TSS on 4/3/2012 7:23:39 PM , Rating: 2
Every once in a while i see a news article about a guy who's been driving for 30+ years without a licence, never had an accident, and was only now discovered on a routine alcohol check or something unrelated like that.

Making something illigal isn't some magical cure that'll make bad and stupid things go away. A law that isn't enforced isn't much of a law. And you can't force people to be intelligent (much to my dismay).

Only thing you can do is make the penalties severe enough to make stupid people think twice for when you do catch them. And accept that people will die over this weekly and possibly even daily.

By GotThumbs on 4/3/2012 11:07:55 AM , Rating: 1
There will ALWAYS be those who 'feel' they are uniquely able to beat the odds and will NOT have an accident. I just hope that if/when they do...its with a poll or concrete wall and not some innocent individual or a family.

This IS why we should implement camera's for help enforce current laws. People of low moral / ethics will continue to break they simply feel the laws are beneath them. To hell with the statistics as far as their concerned.

By GotThumbs on 4/3/2012 11:12:50 AM , Rating: 2
Blue-Tooth - Hands-free technology has been around for years...and is getting even better....Yet there are those idiots who CHOOSE to continue to ignore the laws.

Texting related deaths will continue, I just hope they only kill themselves.

By bobsmith1492 on 4/3/2012 11:56:55 AM , Rating: 2
Sure, maybe if you blow 30 grand on a brand new car. Most people can't do that.

By Mitch101 on 4/3/2012 2:06:27 PM , Rating: 2
Its built into some GPS units so you can make hands free calling and use it as a speakerphone.

By Gungel on 4/4/2012 7:37:58 AM , Rating: 2
When is the last time you checked out new cars? Most new cars under $20k come with Bluetooth today. Ford Focus, Dodge Dart, Chevy Cruze, just to name a few.

By Reclaimer77 on 4/3/2012 6:44:32 PM , Rating: 2
WOW a whole 8%. This is no doubt a massive problem and we need to get all these "idiots" off the road.


This IS why we should implement camera's for help enforce current laws. People of low moral / ethics will continue to break they simply feel the laws are beneath them. To hell with the statistics as far as their concerned.

We need to monitor EVERYONE with cameras because 8% of a population is doing something?

Go move to the UK if you like cameras monitoring everything you do. There is simply NO justification for something like that here.

People don't realize...
By andre-bch on 4/3/2012 1:05:18 PM , Rating: 2 dangerous this is.

Talking while driving, is perhaps less dangerous cause at least your eyes are on the road and you can see what's going on, although one of your hands is busy holding the phone, unless you're using a bluetooth headset, and your brain isn't fully committed to the task of driving, so it's not completely safe.

Now texting; not only your one hand, and in some cases TWO, are busy and your brain is under pressure even more, your EYES are not looking at the road most of the time. It's seriously dangerous.

I'm not even counting the instances when you drop the phone and try finding it while driving which is even more ridiculous.

To all the people who do it; you will have an accident some day if you continue doing so, but most importantly, you're putting other people at risk.

RE: People don't realize...
By acer905 on 4/3/2012 1:13:12 PM , Rating: 2
Devil's Advocate.

How many people are fully able to touch type using a standard QWERTY keyboard? How many people gained the same ability with traditional phones with T9? How many of these people *could* send a quick one handed text without ever looking at their phones?

And now finally, how many of those people are trying to do the same now, knowing for years that they had no problems, only to find the same feat nearly impossible with a touch screen? How many of them are so used to doing it that they keep doing it? How many can't acknowledge that the situation has changed, and will keep doing it until something happens?

Don't blame talking, texting, or simply cell phones in general. Smartphones kill. Or something like that...

By Beenthere on 4/3/2012 10:44:46 PM , Rating: 2
The percentage is probably 98.2% not 8.2%. :(

Even God can't fix stupid, irresponsible, dangerous behavior.

I'm from Michigan.
By Dean364 on 4/3/12, Rating: -1
RE: I'm from Michigan.
By GotThumbs on 4/3/2012 11:14:37 AM , Rating: 3
Says the idiot raising his hand.

Thanks for self-identifying, now just put a sign on your car so people know to avoid you on the roads.

RE: I'm from Michigan.
By hughlle on 4/3/12, Rating: -1
RE: I'm from Michigan.
By BSMonitor on 4/3/2012 2:15:26 PM , Rating: 2

So, to sum up. 5,500 deaths per year, of the ~35,000 per year, are attributed to "distracted" driving. So, where are the other 30,000 thousand?? Do police investigating talking to other people in the car?? Road rage?? Pure incompetence??

Let's just take a small sample of a problem. Find a niche that certain groups hate. Aka old generation hates technology, especially people using cell phones. And make pro-active laws about it that serve no purpose but to add $$ to state budgets.

If someone is going to text while driving, they were probably staring at the person next to them while driving before cell phones. They were probably reading while driving before that. They were probably daydreaming while driving before that.

Some people ARE careless. If you are going to legislate this one behavior, then legislate it all. The first and most repeated driving test should be to put someone in a chair in a room with one window. If the person cannot sit there for 2 hours without getting out of the chair or texting or using a cell phone or playing with their makeup, then they don't get a license. Sorry, try again next year.

RE: I'm from Michigan.
By AMDftw on 4/3/2012 11:19:16 AM , Rating: 2
Way to be a dill hole. On a different note. Is it just me or does that number feel a little low? It feel more fit if 8.2% ISN"T texting while driving...

RE: I'm from Michigan.
By mindless1 on 4/3/2012 11:56:32 AM , Rating: 2
The number may be impossible to substantiate with accuracy due to the methods of polling the sample group, but mostly it indicates that 8.2% of people ADMIT to texting while driving.

I'd expect quite a few texters have low enough moral character that they'd just answer the poll question with what they felt was most politically correct regardless of the truth.

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