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Cell phones users across the country are slowing their less chatty counterparts' commutes

Drivers irate at the slow speeds of their work day commute may have found a new group to target their anger against -- cell phone chatterA new U.S. study at the University of Utah's Traffic Lab, headed by civil and environmental engineering professor Peter Martin, revealed intriguing insight into why new and innovative traffic control systems have done little to curb the problem of traffic jams.

Martin's team discovered that drivers using cell phones were the major cause of the delays.  They observed that cell phone chatting drivers impede the flow of traffic and clog highways resulting directly in longer commutes for the American worker.

"It's a bit like breaking wind in the elevator. Everyone suffers," Martin states, with regret.

Previous studies have shown that driving while talking or texting on a cell phone is as much of an impairment to safe driving as being mildly intoxicated from alcohol or other substances.

This new study focuses more on how the use of cell phones affects the flow of traffic.  The key is the slow reaction times of cell phone users leads to choppy breaks in the traffic flow.

"When a driver who is not distracted is in a traffic stream and the vehicle in front slows down, the driver will brake in response. When a vehicle speeds up in front, the driver will respond and speed up," Martin explains.

The tests were conducted by 36 university student drivers, traveling along a 9.2 mile stretch of freeway in scenarios in low to high density traffic and speeds resembling an interstate highway.  Half of their trips they used a hands free phone, while the other half they used no phone.  They had to obey traffic laws, but all other decisions and maneuvering preferences were up to them.

The hands free phone conversations proved to be a distraction, slowing the drivers, making it harder for them to react and change lanes.  On average they drove over 2 MPH slower than drivers that weren't distracted.  The net result was that not only did their commute slow -- everyone else's did as well.

Studies show that up to 10 percent of U.S. drivers are using cell phones on the road at any given time.   Also, many of these drivers aren't even using hands-free headsets like the University drivers, so may experience significant physical distractions and impairment as well.

"Delays in traffic streams of very small amounts grow into massive numbers when you project it across a highway and across a nation," Martin says.

Martin and his team for their next project plan to estimate the total financial loss based on this usage.   He has already stated that he thinks the numbers will be very, very high based on this preliminary information.

The U.S. currently has no nationwide ban on cell phone use while driving, although more than 50 nations enforce such a ban.  The U.S. does ban cell phones on planes and many states do have laws in place upping penalties for traffic violations when using a cell phone.  Perhaps when faced with hard numbers of the financial impact of this use, some in the government may be compelled to contemplate tough decisions such as banning cell phone use on highways.



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Oh man!
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 1/3/2008 3:37:36 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
"It's a bit like breaking wind in the elevator. Everyone suffers"


That about sums it up :)




RE: Oh man!
By bfulcher on 1/3/2008 3:45:22 PM , Rating: 2
So what about passengers in your vehicle who might be talking to you?


RE: Oh man!
By gmw1082 on 1/3/2008 3:51:12 PM , Rating: 2
Well then they would have to ban passangers in vehicles so everyone could go fast without distractions. Of course that would be a problem for the whole car pooling crowd.


RE: Oh man!
By TimTheEnchanter25 on 1/3/2008 4:25:24 PM , Rating: 3
Passangers are fine, they just aren't allowed to talk. It might be a good idea to also ban radios to be safe.


RE: Oh man!
By Polynikes on 1/3/2008 5:47:11 PM , Rating: 2
Indeed, there should be microphones put in every vehicle in America so we an make sure people aren't talking, leading to distracted drivers clogging our highways. We must not stand for this atrocity.


RE: Oh man!
By grath on 1/3/2008 8:02:49 PM , Rating: 4
I feel sorry for the poor government monitor that has to listen to me singing to myself. Might as well put a mic in my shower while theyre at it, better acoustics in there.


RE: Oh man!
By roadrun777 on 1/3/08, Rating: 0
RE: Oh man!
By Polynikes on 1/4/08, Rating: -1
RE: Oh man!
By Polynikes on 1/4/2008 11:47:45 PM , Rating: 1
Wow, you guys wouldn't know sarcasm if it fucked you in the ass.


RE: Oh man!
By SeeManRun on 1/3/2008 4:03:24 PM , Rating: 2
Those passengers act as more eyes for you, so I think they would actually help in some situations. Like a rally car co-driver.


RE: Oh man!
By Oregonian2 on 1/3/08, Rating: 0
RE: Oh man!
By Oregonian2 on 1/4/2008 2:02:12 PM , Rating: 1
P.S. - "The finger" meant the one pointing to the car being talked about, not "THE finger". My wife does this to me all the time when saying "turn right there" like I know where "there" is verbally.


RE: Oh man!
By Micronite on 1/3/2008 4:38:21 PM , Rating: 5
The difference is that passengers are aware of you, your driving, and the conditions on the road. They know when you can consciously comprehend what they're saying and when you can't.
When you're on the phone, the person on the other line unknowingly expects your full attention leaving you to choose between driving and talking.
It's like my old single-core computer. When I asked it to do more than one thing at a time, it was slow too.


RE: Oh man!
By Oregonian2 on 1/3/2008 5:16:28 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
The difference is that passengers are aware of you, your driving, and the conditions on the road. They know when you can consciously comprehend what they're saying and when you can't.


You've got different passengers that I end up with. I envy you! :-)

I've got to yell "be quiet for a second will ya?" (which works on the speakerphone too).


RE: Oh man!
By roadrun777 on 1/3/08, Rating: 0
RE: Oh man!
By lennylim on 1/4/2008 2:01:14 AM , Rating: 3
We need a Cone of Silence in every car.


RE: Oh man!
By Blight AC on 1/4/2008 9:47:24 AM , Rating: 2
That wouldn't work, you couldn't hear the guy you cut off blowing his horn.. well actually... :D

But then again... stuff like emergency vehicles sirens, train horns would be rendered useless, and quite often I hear em long before I see them.


RE: Oh man!
By helios220 on 1/3/2008 4:01:07 PM , Rating: 3
It's no tough sell to get people pissed at cell phone drivers, I think we almost all agree that many are aggravating if not outright dangerous.

Yet I'd like to witness Professor Martin driving home from a long day at work, hear his cell phone ring and completely disregard it continuing to drive un-flinched. Is it your daughter who was supposed to call hours ago, is your house on fire, is it your boss?

It's easy to ignore the call from that heffer you probably shouldn't have taken home the other night, but when you see a number that matters you are most likely going to answer.

I don't approve of idiot drivers who can hardly drive without a phone yet alone with one, god forbid are text messaging and hell maybe had a beer or two before doing all three. But that being said, I sure as hell know when it's someone I've been waiting to hear from I'm going to answer. I use a hands free, I like to believe like all people rationalize that it doesn’t effect me that adversely, but while I try to reduce the amount of time on the phone in the car but I just don't see stopping it completely, legal or not.


RE: Oh man!
By SeeManRun on 1/3/2008 4:05:15 PM , Rating: 3
Simple, answer the phone, say you're driving and you'll talk later. Total time should take less than 10 seconds. If it is a geniune emergency, then talk longer, but 99.5% of calls are not real emergencies (though you'd think it was 50% by the way people justify their cell phones).


RE: Oh man!
By ebakke on 1/3/2008 4:19:34 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
If it is a geniune emergency, get off the road and then talk longer, but 99.5% of calls are not real emergencies (though you'd think it was 50% by the way people justify their cell phones).


RE: Oh man!
By phattyboombatty on 1/3/2008 4:34:19 PM , Rating: 3
Unless the genuine emergency is a psychopathic axe murderer chasing you in his scary-looking pickup truck. Then you may not want to stop and get off the road.


RE: Oh man!
By TheDoc9 on 1/3/2008 4:21:30 PM , Rating: 2
I was thinking about this the other day, it's funny because 10 or so years ago when pocket cell phones and candy bar phones started to be sold - I bought mine only for emergencies on the road. Didn't really care to be contacted at other peoples disgresion. Now my cell is my primary line. Heck everyone knows talking on the cell phone in the car is a very bad idea for most drivers. Just hop in the car with your friend or relative who's always jabbing away and watch just how bad they drive. It's almost like being in the car with a 16 year old student driver - And getting them to stop is like telling an old person they can't drive anymore.


RE: Oh man!
By roadrun777 on 1/3/2008 8:15:39 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Simple, answer the phone, say you're driving and you'll talk later. Total time should take less than 10 seconds. If it is a geniune emergency, then talk longer, but 99.5% of calls are not real emergencies (though you'd think it was 50% by the way people justify their cell phones).

I like to count out loud, ONE! TWO! THREE! FOUR! and if they try to interrupt me I hang up. Teach them! Bass turds.


RE: Oh man!
By FITCamaro on 1/3/08, Rating: -1
RE: Oh man!
By roadrun777 on 1/3/08, Rating: 0
RE: Oh man!
By gradoman on 1/4/2008 1:09:54 PM , Rating: 2
So you're a pro race car driver? Too bad even they crash, and pretty often too, so, be careful out there, man. Pedestrians and other drivers may be idiots and slower, so you have to do the thinking for them. Lives are depending on your attention to the road.


RE: Oh man!
By Oregonian2 on 1/3/2008 5:26:58 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It's no tough sell to get people pissed at cell phone drivers, I think we almost all agree that many are aggravating if not outright dangerous.


I've certainly been pissed at cell phone drivers. But AFAIK I'm pissed at a very small percentage of them. Only the painful ones. The others I don't even know they're on a cellphone. They're fine.

It's not the cell phone talking that's the problem, it's the driver. The driver who is selfish enough to put their talking at a higher priority than driving. When I'm talking to my wife on the speakerphone in the car, I'll often say "hang on for a minute" when I need to do anything other than plain cruising ahead. I don't put talking to her ahead of my driving. And I tell her to do the same thing when roles are reversed. I want her to come home safely. This selfishness could be talking to others in the car, getting something out of the backseat while driving, looking at maps while driving, paying attention to a game on the radio while driving. It's the driver stupid... or it's the stupid driver!

Such tests I think mostly are driver tests. Perhaps not allowing any people or phones in the car is a good thing because they may entice those who are not good drivers.


RE: Oh man!
By anotherdude on 1/3/2008 6:39:01 PM , Rating: 2
It helps I'm sure to try to put driving on the front burner and talking on the back but I'd wager this effort only helps to a degree. I seem to be able to chat without too much effect MOST of the time but it's the odd times I lose focus that are the most dangerous. It only takes one slip up . . .

About other people in the car: I've thought about this and though the situations seem similar there are major differences - for one the others can see what is happening and shut up when traffic gets tight and for another they can raise and lower their voice as needed, not to mention the extreme fidelity of real talking. It's so much clearer. In general it takes much less concentration to have a face to face than a cell chat, for probably many subtle reasons, IMHO.


RE: Oh man!
By Oregonian2 on 1/3/2008 7:49:17 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
In general it takes much less concentration to have a face to face than a cell chat, for probably many subtle reasons, IMHO.


I suspect you're right, however neither talking is face-to-face other than perhaps in the CRASH! scenario I commented higher in the thread. In all cases I'm (as the driver) generally looking ahead, not where there are people. Only see a passenger when looking in mirror or off toward the front passenger window.

My "cell" is a small Motorola bluetooth battery operated speaker that's clip'd onto the shade-flap thingie that's near my head and a bit ahead of me (single large button on it to hit to initiate vocal command to dial or to hang up). So talking on it encourages looking ahead and there's no talking over to the side or such, it's quite near and slightly in front of and above my head. Easy to hear and be heard.

Only problem is that when the shade flap is pulled down, the bluetooth's slow blinking blue light (the button) then pointed ahead seems to make cars in front of me drive slower for some reason. So in a sense, a cellphone is slowing traffic even when it's not being used. :-)


RE: Oh man!
By anotherdude on 1/3/2008 8:02:19 PM , Rating: 2
Crash scenario LOL

I used the term face to face loosely to include a person sitting, likely, less than a foot from you but not looking you in the face. I feel quite confident these ear to ear conversations also take much less concentration than any kind of cell chatting.

A hands free cell chat with a good headset is likely better than holding the phone to your ear but it still takes a lot of attention. I'd go so far as to say it's worlds away from talking to the guy right next to you.

Look, I'd hate to give up hands free cell chatting as much as the next guy. I'm trying to be honest with myself. It's quite taxing on one's attention. It's subtle. Drunk drivers don't always realize they are impaired either. It's often below the 'noticing' threshold and also subject to much rationalization and denial.


RE: Oh man!
By roadrun777 on 1/3/2008 8:40:27 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
I used the term face to face loosely to include a person sitting, likely, less than a foot from you but not looking you in the face. I feel quite confident these ear to ear conversations also take much less concentration than any kind of cell chatting. A hands free cell chat with a good headset is likely better than holding the phone to your ear but it still takes a lot of attention. I'd go so far as to say it's worlds away from talking to the guy right next to you. Look, I'd hate to give up hands free cell chatting as much as the next guy. I'm trying to be honest with myself. It's quite taxing on one's attention. It's subtle. Drunk drivers don't always realize they are impaired either. It's often below the 'noticing' threshold and also subject to much rationalization and denial.


I have always put drunk drivers and cell phone chatters in the same context too, but did you know that driving drunk and chatting on your cell and being high at the same time actually makes you a much better driver? It's like three negatives make a positive, it's really strange. Not that I am endorsing trying this at all mind you.
About the hands free thing, I have to say that you must speak for yourself here. I can have a hands free conversation while high, driving, getting a massage from the passenger behind me, and thinking of my next blog all at the same time with no problems (I am just a multitask person, and very good at it, some people aren't).


RE: Oh man!
By anotherdude on 1/4/2008 2:07:08 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I have always put drunk drivers and cell phone chatters in the same context too, but did you know that driving drunk and chatting on your cell and being high at the same time actually makes you a much better driver? It's like three negatives make a positive, it's really strange. Not that I am endorsing trying this at all mind you.
About the hands free thing, I have to say that you must speak for yourself here. I can have a hands free conversation while high, driving, getting a massage from the passenger behind me, and thinking of my next blog all at the same time with no problems (I am just a multitask person, and very good at it, some people aren't).
Yes, I thought everybody knew that roadrun777, add a good BJ to the mix and I'm driving like God himself!


RE: Oh man!
By zornundo on 1/4/2008 10:49:44 AM , Rating: 2
So it has nothing to do with increased traffic or the fact that tractor-trailers can't accelerate worth a crap???


By Souka on 1/3/2008 3:47:41 PM , Rating: 2
"The hands free phone conversations proved to be a distraction"

Ok, so they have collected a very small sampling of data that using a handsfree setup is a distraction...

Nothing about texting, holding the cellphone, or what "handsfree" was defined as.

Handsfree....could be a wired headset, bluetooth, or in-car... all very different on how people interact with thier devices.

Anyhow... intersting study regardless, but no surprise... :)




By Hare on 1/3/2008 3:57:11 PM , Rating: 2
Yep. Anything can be a distraction. Even leather seats or dull interior...

I don't think the cognitive load of a handfree is any bigger than talking to another person sitting next to you. So maybe it does affect traffic but is quite irrelevant. Sending SMSs etc is a totally different thing. But yeah, interesting study.


By Souka on 1/3/2008 4:22:41 PM , Rating: 2
:) I have twin toddlers.... let me tell ya... when they get crying, or "I want this... I want that"... NOW THAT IS A DISTRACTION!

Well...lets add wifey chewing you out for not leaving the house quick enough and being dead tired after working a long work week... oh yeah... I'm a distracted driver all right!... OUT OF MY WAY!


By FITCamaro on 1/3/2008 4:28:36 PM , Rating: 2
Screaming children. The best birth control known to man.


By theapparition on 1/3/2008 10:43:25 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Worked on me.

LOL, that explains much........<jk>

Seriously though, when I was young and stupid I also gave the hard line parenting advice. All I can say is it's soooooooooooo much different when they're yours.

You'll see.


By rcc on 1/7/2008 1:32:48 PM , Rating: 2
No, it's not. By that time it's tooooooo late.


By blaster5k on 1/3/2008 4:03:48 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure how they're able to prove anything with this study. The sample size is so small.

I wouldn't be surprised to find distracted drivers are late to adjust their speed and create bigger "waves" in the traffic pattern. They could be distracted by any number of things though -- not just talking on a phone. They could be listening to music and singing at the top of their lungs.

Aggressive drivers who try to change lanes to gain a couple car lengths in traffic can create bigger traffic problems still.


By anotherdude on 1/3/2008 6:50:27 PM , Rating: 2
Lets look at our own experience; anyone here NOT regularly see drivers obviously slowed and erratic with a cell phone stuck on their ear?

Speak up if you don't . . .

Fiddling with you glove box or radio dial might well be the same or worse but who does that 10% of the time while driving? Those momentary distractions are probably even more damaging but thankfully they are very brief in comparison.

I'm not buying the argument that talking to others in the car is just as bad, WAY more attention is needed to have a cell chat than a face to face. Though I'll grant you in car chats may have an effect too, just not as much of one.

If radio tuning while driving became a national obsession we might have to look into regulating that too.


CA to the rescue I hope...
By The0ne on 1/3/2008 7:53:52 PM , Rating: 1
I'm hoping and a bit praying that CA will pass a law to bann talking on phones while driving and requiring the use of mics and such. I hate to use it myself but when I do it's becuase of work. And because it's work my attention is less focus on the road. I hate it and I hate people who do it.

People on phones while driving are dangerous. Females are the worst in my experience, especially in MN during the winter time. They think because they are in SUV's they can drive much faster than anyone else even if the speed is within limits. Of course people never learn and never think seriously about it until they themselves or someone they know gets hurt. Oh well. I'm hoping for the best and that's to rid drivers of being able to use phones, watch TV and other "stupid" actions while driving.




RE: CA to the rescue I hope...
By roadrun777 on 1/3/2008 9:02:30 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'm hoping and a bit praying that CA will pass a law to bann talking on phones while driving and requiring the use of mics and such.

I would pray with you but I can't as I am druwesh, half druid and half jewish, so I light candles and wear fig leaves and antlers (but I also burn really nice smelling incense!). Btw, don't all phones already have mics in them? Or am I being silly?

quote:
I hate to use it myself but when I do it's becuase of work. And because it's work my attention is less focus on the road. I hate it and I hate people who do it.

So you are saying that at times you hate yourself? But since it's for work it doesn't count? What if everyone else is doing it for work too? Would you hate yourself for hating them or just hate them and yourself? Or forgive yourself and them based on the tenants of your religion and smear lambs blood all over the car? Or if your baptist, throw water and shrimp kabobs at people?

quote:
People on phones while driving are dangerous. Females are the worst in my experience, especially in MN during the winter time.

OMG! I think anyone with estrogen in their blood stream is a danger to road drivers. That includes men that are very feminine, like the ones that get pink toe nail polish, etc...

quote:
They think because they are in SUV's they can drive much faster than anyone else even if the speed is within limits.

I know! Don't you hate those SUV driving soccer moms, with their fake boobs and face lifts?!? Always driving withing the speed limits is SOOO anoying! PSSSH!

quote:
Of course people never learn and never think seriously about it until they themselves or someone they know gets hurt.

Actually if your Catholic, all you have to do is cry a lot and go to mass! It's really cool being catholic, you can do anything and get absolved from it, and head to the mall before noon!

quote:
Oh well. I'm hoping for the best and that's to rid drivers of being able to use phones, watch TV and other "stupid" actions while driving.

I agree, there should be an IQ test at every DMV (which by the way is actually a portal to hell). If you can't pass the IQ test, you have to car pool! WOO! that would also save some gas BTW.


By Master Kenobi (blog) on 1/4/2008 11:36:24 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I agree, there should be an IQ test at every DMV (which by the way is actually a portal to hell). If you can't pass the IQ test, you have to car pool! WOO! that would also save some gas BTW.

That would be the smart thing to do, but I would push for an Internet IQ test first. This whole "Web 2.0" has caused more problems than it has solved.


RE: CA to the rescue I hope...
By The0ne on 1/10/2008 3:56:10 AM , Rating: 1
Well, since you seem to be in a sarcastic mood I'll reply.

You see something wrong me personally wanting CA to bann the phones if so then either list them or shut the hell up about what others are doing or want, religion included.

Did you not understand what I said about me hating myself. Yes, I hate myself when I have to use it for the short period of time that I do. How can I not hate it when I myself hate it when others do it? And what's this religion smearing blood thing have to do with it? Lol

Estrogen? What in God's name are you fcking talking about? Read more carefully next time you dumbshit. I said "in my experience" clearly or did you not understand that because religion is all over screwing with your head? In case you didn't understand what you've quoted it means MY EXPERIENCE with close calls have mostly been with female drivers, regardless of religion, race and all those that you don't seem to comprehend and yet be throwing them about.

Your last comments are freaking absolutely stupid. I literally mean it by it's definition. Maybe ignorant is more suited for you in this case. Do you actually read people's comments carefully before making an Ass of yourself on forums or is this how you are? Nevermind, don't answer because I know the answer.

Let me ask you, with all your religious, sarcastic, meaningless and random responses what do you hope to have achieve besides looking really ignorant to others? Your comments took no stance on what I've said other than talk about religious crap that I've no idea why you even bother bringing up.

Here's advice for you in case you come back to laugh at this, take 5 minutes to think whether you ACTUALLY have something useful to talk about regarding the article or not. 5 Minutes, not long. If you don't move on, if you do then MAKE them. Can you understand this? Good. The nerve of some people LMAO.


RE: CA to the rescue I hope...
By roadrun777 on 1/10/2008 7:27:51 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Well, since you seem to be in a sarcastic mood I'll reply.

Well OK! If that french tickler makes you giggle, then go right ahead. MMMMMM HMMMMM <-- forest gump quote
quote:
You see something wrong me personally wanting CA to bann the phones if so then either list them or shut the hell up about what others are doing or want, religion included.

Wow! I think someone forgot to take their estrogen pills. Ok name one reason? Here's a reason : You've just been in an accident on an obscure back road highway and your legs have been decapitated, your stuck in the car and the only thing you have with you is a cell phone. Now aren't you glad you brought it with you? The chances of someone driving by and seeing you are very slim. So in your scenario (cell phone banned) you will just sit screaming about how you never got breast implants and die slowly.
quote:
Did you not understand what I said about me hating myself. Yes, I hate myself when I have to use it for the short period of time that I do. How can I not hate it when I myself hate it when others do it? And what's this religion smearing blood thing have to do with it?

Yes I realize you hate yourself when you go it. It's like eating those chocolate eclairs filled with pudding, you feel so guilty but yet you keep going back for more! My real question here was whether you hate yourself enough to slap yourself, or slap the phone out of your own hand? Btw, the lambs blood issue is one you should discuss with whoever interprets your religion for you, like a prayer supervisor or something.
quote:
Estrogen? What in God's name are you fcking talking about? Read more carefully next time you dumbshit. I said "in my experience" clearly or did you not understand that because religion is all over screwing with your head? In case you didn't understand what you've quoted it means MY EXPERIENCE with close calls have mostly been with female drivers, regardless of religion, race and all those that you don't seem to comprehend and yet be throwing them about.

Forest Gump would run screaming from you! MMMMM HMMMMM! You need some plumbing work to clean your pipes or something. Try treating yourself with a gift it may make you a more happy person.
quote:
Your last comments are freaking absolutely stupid. I literally mean it by it's definition. Maybe ignorant is more suited for you in this case. Do you actually read people's comments carefully before making an Ass of yourself on forums or is this how you are? Nevermind, don't answer because I know the answer.

The answer, is of course, no. The other answer is BLUE!
quote:
Let me ask you, with all your religious, sarcastic, meaningless and random responses what do you hope to have achieve besides looking really ignorant to others? Your comments took no stance on what I've said other than talk about religious crap that I've no idea why you even bother bringing up.

Ohhh. Stop that your pitiful attempts at insulting are actually turning me on!
quote:
Here's advice for you in case you come back to laugh at this, take 5 minutes to think whether you ACTUALLY have something useful to talk about regarding the article or not. 5 Minutes, not long. If you don't move on, if you do then MAKE them. Can you understand this? Good. The nerve of some people LMAO.

Hmmm, king of like me thinking about your reply?
Got to love a hypocrite!


RE: CA to the rescue I hope...
By The0ne on 1/16/2008 9:30:23 AM , Rating: 2
As expected your comment hold no grounds. Read the freaking article. The bann is for hands free moron. It's not a bann of cell phones completely in vehicles, nor did I say or comment on that.

But have to love your own comments eh? Must be a Brit? Anyhow, just keep making yourself happy with your comments :D I'm sure it does your image really good hahahha


RE: CA to the rescue I hope...
By rcc on 1/7/2008 1:31:04 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'm hoping and a bit praying that CA will pass a law to


Evidently someone agrees. As of January 2008 you are required to use a hands free device of some sort while driving, if of course you are on the phone.

They tried to do it last year, but it got delayed a year.


Me and my stupid phone
By Yawgm0th on 1/4/2008 3:46:01 AM , Rating: 5
So my travel time everyday is ridiculous because I'm on my cell phone? I'm pointlessly going fifteen over the limit to hit a sub-5-MPH-moving, three-mile long brick of cars not because of the clog between MN-77 and I-35W on I-494, but rather because of cell phones.

It has nothing to do with the fact that these roads -- which were designed and built in the 70s and 80s -- simply have never had the capacity to nor were they even designed to deal with the volume of traffic they receive. Nothing at all.

It's not simply a matter of way too many cars hitting the same spot on the same road. It has nothing to do with multiple three-line highways serving hundreds of thousands of drivers going to the same road, at the same time, all within five miles of each other.

It's not the consistent, lane-blocking, daily accidents caused by my fellow Minnesotan drives who've no ability to merge safely; nor the invisible but omnipresent ice; nor the unstoppable snow. Not one bit.

It hasn't been this way since the 80s or anything. Not before cell phones were popular. It's me and my goddamn cell phone.

Shame on me. Shame on me and all the other cellphone users.

Thank goodness these scientifically fool-proof studies can expose those of us who are so very harmful to daily commutes.




RE: Me and my stupid phone
By Yawgm0th on 1/4/2008 3:48:21 AM , Rating: 2
Wonderful, it's a double-post. How embarrassing.


RE: Me and my stupid phone
By gradoman on 1/4/2008 1:05:34 PM , Rating: 3
Shame on you, seriously -- taking away from your attention to the road, chattering on your phone. People like you do make the roads more unsafe, though they are old, decrepit, in need of a revamping, covered in sleet, snow, ice or water -- all of which are even more reason for you to get off the phone and give your driving 100% of your attention to maneuvering your vehicle.

Get off your phone and focus on the road, cars and people around you. Otherwise, you are a hazard to all the people around your car.

Stop blaming mother nature, the government and god-knows-whoever-else and do your part to drive safely.


Did they really need a study?
By KentState on 1/3/2008 4:26:14 PM , Rating: 2
I see it all the time going to work. The driver in the far passing lane talking away on the cell phone with a line of cars staking up behind them.




RE: Did they really need a study?
By phattyboombatty on 1/3/2008 4:44:37 PM , Rating: 2
No kidding. Chalk this up as another worthless study where everyone already knew the results of the study before it was completed. The next headline we'll get from the University of Captain Obvious is "Study suggests drivers eating behind the wheel slow down traffic" You could seriously repeat the study a million times with different sources of distraction and get the same results. It doesn't take a genius to realize that drivers paying attention to their driving are better drivers than those distracted by something.


RE: Did they really need a study?
By BAFrayd on 1/4/2008 4:54:48 AM , Rating: 2
You're correct, it doesn't take a genius to know what the outcome of this study would be before it was undertaken. It does, however, take quantifiable scientific studies to get laws passed against dangerous behavior. This is the real value of conducting a study like this one.


By Oregonian2 on 1/3/2008 5:33:26 PM , Rating: 2
True, I've seen that. I've also seen a stack of cars behind a slowpoke without a phone too. Maybe phones are good, they provide an excuse. :-)


By Emryse on 1/3/2008 6:24:14 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sorry, but as some have already stated here, talking on the mobile is no more distracting than messing with your radio/CD/MP3 player, child in the back seat, glovebox, etc.

Bad driving is caused by bad drivers. Instead of doing studies on how to control bad drivers into being good drivers, maybe we should stick with what undoubtedly has been proven to work time and again: proper motivation.

If a driver gets into an accident while talking on the phone, messing with their radio, or doing ANYTHING distracting for that manner:

1.) FINE them a ridiculous sum of money
2.) If they've had their DL for less than 5 years, revoke their driving priveleges for 6 months to a year.
3.) Raise their insurance rates triple the normal premiums.

My point proven: the amount of 2nd-time DUI/DWIs are slim in comparison to 1st-time offenders.

Why is that? Because if the motivation of punishment is severe enough, most people will NOT even dare risk it, and those who do severely regret it and probably don't again.

But if you think that you'll ever get even close to preventing slow traffic or traffic accidents by banning cellphone usage or producing studies like these, you're fooling only yourselves and anyone dumb enough to listen.

We need to focus on emphasizing RESPONSIBILITY; it's not your phone's fault, or your fault for being on the phone - it's your fault for driving poorly.




By phattyboombatty on 1/3/2008 6:58:03 PM , Rating: 2
If the very real possibility of serious bodily injury or death does not persuade somebody to be more responsible when driving, I'm not sure how a threat of fines or increased insurance premiums will do it.


By roadrun777 on 1/3/2008 8:46:26 PM , Rating: 1
That's why I still support the shotguns with robotic fingers in the car scenario. I know it seems harsh, but we must take the war on fear and terror and bring it into the car! People will behave or be terminated! YAR! YAR! YAR!
NAR?


By The0ne on 1/10/2008 4:07:39 AM , Rating: 2
I don't disagree with you at all but for me PERSONALLY from MY EXPERIENCE the majority of the near accidents are due to cell phones. I can see them talking on it while inches away from hitting me! This is what drives me to want the bann on cell phone use. If I had more incidents with other factors then I'll agree but I haven't.

I work in Del Mar, San Diego. This is a medium-rich class city. Most of the females drivers, yes females, don't even look your direction or pay attention to right of ways and such. And why is this the case? Yes, cell phones again. I'm not saying all are because of cell phone use. Some are because they don't care enough about right of ways of other drivers. I mean, come on...you can't make a right turn if there is still traffic coming in the right lane!!! Lol, forcing yourself in is not the answer.


By ChipDude on 1/3/2008 4:47:57 PM , Rating: 4
The real issue on todays congested roads isn't that 10% of the drivers are using cellphones. The real issue is that goverment and tax paying public aren't willing to invest the money and land to build new roads/capacity and we continue to use roads design for capacity 1/10 to 1/2 of what they carry now and wonder why we sit in traffic all day.

Do a study comparing any driver against one distracted by his radio, conversation with a passenger, children in the back seat and I'm sure you'll find in every case that anyone compared against an undistracted drive will be slower.

The more important question is whether being slower and distracted is unsafe. If the person on the cellphone slows down to keep more distance and time between themselves and the next car isn't that a good thing? Why make noise and/or blame him or put more laws in place restricting him. How about fixing the real problem the capacity of the roads?

What scares me are the times I seen a lady apply makeup with her sun visor mirror while driving 65MPH, or the time a guy was reading something in his lap in the fast lane.

It ain't about how fast or slow you drive its about are you doing it safely. Last time I checked most people can talk and drive at the sametime




By I800C0LLECT on 1/3/2008 6:45:14 PM , Rating: 2
I thought people drove the cars...not cell phones.




Me and my stupid phone
By Yawgm0th on 1/4/2008 3:46:01 AM , Rating: 2
So my travel time everyday is ridiculous because I'm on my cell phone? I'm pointlessly going fifteen over the limit to hit a sub-5-MPH-moving, three-mile long brick of cars not because of the clog between MN-77 and I-35W on I-494, but rather because of cell phones.

It has nothing to do with the fact that these roads -- which were designed and built in the 70s and 80s -- simply have never had the capacity to nor were they even designed to deal with the volume of traffic they receive. Nothing at all.

It's not simply a matter of way too many cars hitting the same spot on the same road. It has nothing to do with multiple three-line highways serving hundreds of thousands of drivers going to the same road, at the same time, all within five miles of each other.

It's not the consistent, lane-blocking, daily accidents caused by my fellow Minnesotan drives who've no ability to merge safely; nor the invisible but omnipresent ice; nor the unstoppable snow. Not one bit.

It hasn't been this way since the 80s or anything. Not before cell phones were popular. It's me and my goddamn cell phone.

Shame on me. Shame on me and all the other cellphone users.

Thank goodness these scientifically fool-proof studies can expose those of us who are so very harmful to daily commutes.




By crystal clear on 1/4/2008 5:02:41 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
"It's a bit like breaking wind in the elevator. Everyone suffers," Martin states, with regret


Does anybody bothers to check these guys- what their motives are & if what they say in their report is plain trash.

Just to remind forgetful readers, this report comes from the same David Strayer who told us in 2003 that cell phone users were driving "blind", and in 2005 that they drive like 70-year-olds, while in 2006 the driver on the phone was as bad as a drunkard; and now he's causing us all to be late for work.

We expect to hear, next year, that mobile phone users are worse than terrorists, or at least habitual drug users.


http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/01/03/mobiles_st...

OH ! MAN - That about sums it up :) .....straight to the garbage can !




By crystal clear on 1/4/2008 5:22:28 AM , Rating: 2
If cell phone use upsets you - no problem "use a cell phone jammer".

You can shut them at a press of a button !

A phone jammer provides the ultimate solution in any area where cellular communications frequently cause nuisance either by loud incoming call rings or resulting loud telephone conversations. Examples of places where cell phones can be disruptive include:

. Public Transport (trains, busses, etc.)
. Theatres (movie theatres, concert halls, playhouses, opera houses, etc.)
. Lecture rooms


http://phonejammer.com/




By greyammit on 1/4/2008 11:17:39 AM , Rating: 2
I am sure cell phone use increases traffic slow downs, but this makes it sound like everything would be dandy if no one used the cell phone while driving.
One cause of traffic slow downs is people being distracted. Unfortunately, if you remove one distraction from a group of people they tend to find another to take it's place.




Slow?
By Oregonian2 on 1/4/2008 2:08:12 PM , Rating: 2
Another point occurred to me. Is the traffic slowed by the cell phoners STILL faster than the speed limit? :-)




By twnorows on 1/4/2008 3:11:29 PM , Rating: 2
That's what it is, IMPAIRED DRIVING. I'm suprised that MORE municipalities (who are starved for cash) haven't zeroed in on enacting STIFF FINES for these IMPAIRED DRIVERS on Cellphones. Based on my observation and experience, these forward-thinking municipalities could generate such a net surplus of cash that property tax could probably be eliminated!

These IMPAIRED DRIVERS on Cellphones are actually dangerous to the rest of us who actually have a life and don't need to be constantly babbling about really nothing to others. These people must be the lonliest SOBs in the universe. If they are, they should join a lonely-hearts club and stop endangering the rest of us with their IMPAIRED DRIVING on Cellphones.

And why can't someone come up with two separate electronic devices which separately don't do anything - but are 'used for educational purposes'. However, when you "connect" these two separate "do nothing" boxes, they magically become a CELL PHONE JAMMER that works for a 1/4-mile radius around my car. This way, all these lonely, don't-have-a-life idiots that are DRIVING IMPAIRED (i.e., are dangerous to others) will be unable to talk -- and will be forced to PAY ATTENTION TO ACTUALLY DRIVING long before I get close to them.

BTW: Whenever these brain-dead IMPAIRED DRIVERS on Cellphones gets close to me when they're driving, I INCESSANTLY BLOW MY HORN to break them out of their Brain-dead, cranial-rectal-inversion IMPAIRED DRIVERS on Cellphones phone-yakking hypnosis. It does two things: first, it disturbs them so they won't want to be driving next to me (for some reason --perhaps genetic-- they drive fast until they are next to me then they drive at my pace - maybe they subconsciously want me to see that they are an IMPAIRED DRIVER on Cellphone. One thing for sure, they're almost right about the subconscious part, except for it being 'un' and not 'sub'). So using this strategy of "irratating" their 'stupid conversation' and having them move away from me is fine with me because I'm not exposed to the risk of them brainlessly changing lanes (like there's nobody there) and careening into me. Second, it breaks them out of their stupor and forces them to focus (more) on driving - instead of making noises with nothing substantive to say.

Another Tip: The J.C. Whitney catalog sells a car horn that puts out a whopping 120 DB of attention-getting noise (you can even get air horns (like the big truck rigs use) for this purpose too. I got one of these gems to replace the whimpy horn in my car just for this reason and you should too. It breaks them out of their 'yabba-dabba' quacking-about-nothing trance Big time.

I wish there were some more militant people that would start using paintball guns to obscure the windshields of these IMPAIRED DRIVERS on Cellphones. Now THAT would shut them up fast, plus it would clearly bring home the consequences of being the recipient of irresponsible behavior.

But who am I? I'm just someone that's just fed up with the inconsiderate and life-threatening behavior of these inconsiderate low-lifes of society. They should be drafted and put on the front line of a war zone. Hey, let them yak it up there. Should be plenty of time for the 'insurgents' to get a bead on them (yuk yuk).

I also read that these idiots actually are causing traffic movement to slow down about 5-7 MPH less because of their inconsiderate stupidity. This means that it now takes the rest of us LONGER to get home after work. Stupid sloths!

How about having some kind of legal mandate. If 20 people call in and report the license plate of an IMPAIRED DRIVER on Cellphone (within 10 minutes), that should be sufficient to AUTOMATICALLY issue a $500 fine and 90 days in jail where they have to constantly talk 15 hours a day 7 days a week - or get buzzed with a stun gun. Perhaps that would cause their incessant need to yak (mostly about nothing - remember, these are people who don't have a life) to run it's course.

Today I was reading about a new trend where other idiots are TEXT MESSAGING while driving. That's even scarier.

Granted, we've always had sporadic ARSHOLES behind the wheel -- Reading a book/newspaper, putting on makeup, whatever. However, instead of them being 1/10th of 1 percent, now they're about 20 percent! It's gotten damned dangerous for the rest of us.

I'm thinking of creating a magnetic bumper sticker that says:

"Machete on board. If you hit me while on your cell or text messaging - I behead you!". I figure since the sn(00ze) media seems to be ok with beheading, I should get a free pass if I lop off someone's vacuum canister. Anyone interested in this product?

Just like watching TV while driving the car is dangerous to us all, so is talking on the phone. It's IMPAIRED DRIVING - start prosecuting it.




By ShadowZERO on 1/4/2008 7:48:31 PM , Rating: 2
Cell phone conversations are a distraction. Any distraction that occurs during an activity is going to make that activity less productive, period.

There are plenty of other distractions that can cause traffic. Fast food, loud music, accidents, road construction, etc... a complete list could include hundreds of things. Also, there are at least a few other circumstances in my daily life that other people getting distracted by cell phone conversations is a problem other than driving.

Point is, do we need a study to show us things that should pretty much be common sense? I'm just surprised at how newsworthy and surprising stuff like this is to some people. Also, are we willing to give up one of the biggest conveniences given to us by cell phones, the ability to communicate while traveling, all because of something so obvious?




Whooo look at the accident!
By Regs on 1/5/2008 9:01:55 PM , Rating: 2
"Man, look at all that south bound traffic because of that accident. I bet some one died. Glad I'm not those people"

*mean while going northbound 10 miles back"

"What's with all this traffic? MOFO SOB GDAMNIT"

3 hours later I find out it's those jerks who don't get enough reality TV going 10 mph looking at an accident. What we need is 10 feet walls between north and south bound lanes.




In my country
By initialised on 1/9/2008 6:07:29 AM , Rating: 2
You can lose your driving license or even go to jail for using a phone at the wheel, that said we do live in a police state.




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