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choppersmom
05-22-2008, 01:56 AM
Kevin started a very interesting thread about seat belt use. I want to tack on an addendum to the positive safety-mindedness being expressed there.

HANG UP AND DRIVE!!

Too many people are yakking on cell phones while they're driving. There's nothing that other person is telling you that's more important than your job at the moment - operating your vehicle. Whatever they need from you, whatever you need from them, IT CAN %$#@%$& WAIT until you're not going to kill someone with your #%$#%^&$ car. And don't tell me you do it all the time and you know what you're doing. No you don't, and it's just a matter of time before you do kill someone. Studies have shown that cell-phone driving is as bad as, or worse than, drunk driving. (I'll look for a link and post whatever I can find.) I personally feel that if you cause an accident while talking on a cell phone, your ass should be dragged off to prison, just like for drunk driving. So everyone, please, we've established that this community as a whole is intelligent enough to wear and insist that others wear seat belts, so let's take it one step further and agree to hang up and drive.

OK?

JoNightshade
05-22-2008, 02:13 AM
Couldn't agree more. I've stopped using my cell in the car completely, except for the occasional long trip where I've got to pick up and say "Yeah I'll be there at 8 PM. See ya!"

The girl who rear-ended me in accident #1, totaling my car, was still talking on her phone when I staggered out of my car to make sure SHE wasn't hurt. (This is after, in spite of wearing a seatbelt, I smacked my forehead square on the steering wheel.) That still gets me steamed.

choppersmom
05-22-2008, 02:16 AM
Grrrr! Doesn't that just make you want to smack her?? As my Irish ex-mother-in-law would say, "Ahhh, fer fuck's sake, ye're pure idjit."

Silver King
05-22-2008, 02:17 AM
I won't go anywhere with my younger sister anymore while she's driving. Not only does she talk on her cell phone non-stop, but she text messages as well and doesn't pay attention to where she's going. It's freaking scary, like having a blind person behind the wheel. She's all over the road, yakking the whole time, oblivious to her surroundings. She's either driving too fast or too slow, swerving this way and that, tailgating other drivers and so on. She's not the best driver to begin with, and now her cell phone makes her a serious menace on the road, a danger to every other person around her.

She won't listen to reason, though, and acts like I'm being unreasonable for refusing to step foot in her car. :rolleyes:

Jean Marie
05-22-2008, 02:24 AM
Head-set laws need to be made mandatory across the country. Then, the need to be enforced.

In CT, they have 'em, they just don't enforce 'em.

My mom's taking a nap at the moment. We leave for Kauai, tomorrow, so I'm on here for a few.

Kate Thornton
05-22-2008, 02:32 AM
The No Talking While Driving law goes into effect here in CA on June first. Man, I can't wait!

And the kids who TEXT while driving - well, I don't even wanna go there!

Jersey Chick
05-22-2008, 02:34 AM
I never thought it would be necessary, but NJ has a no texting law as well. What moron texts and drives at the same time?

I don't use my cell in the car, but I have OnStar - which comes with phone service. If anyone needs to get a hold of me, they have to call my car phone number (which only a few people have and I can never remember).

WendyNYC
05-22-2008, 02:35 AM
A little girl in my kid's class was mowed over by some tiny old woman talking on her cell phone while driving a giant SUV around one of the busiest cities in the world.

The kid survived, but spent several days in the hospital.

So yeah, I hate them.

Jean Marie
05-22-2008, 02:36 AM
Yeah, I cannot believe the texting, either.

And, the law cannot come soon enough in CA. Since I've been here, I've almost been clocked several times. No different than CT, though.

choppersmom
05-22-2008, 02:37 AM
Headsets are a step in the right direction, but there have been recent reports (again, gotta go find a linkie) that they don't reduce the danger all that much. It's the distraction of TALKING, not the phone itself, that causes the trouble. Your attention isn't on the road and your surroundings if it's on a telephone conversation. Period. Hang up and drive. Period.

Silver King
05-22-2008, 02:38 AM
...What moron texts and drives at the same time?


I won't go anywhere with my younger sister anymore while she's driving. Not only does she talk on her cell phone non-stop, but she text messages as well and doesn't pay attention to where she's going...

:D

Jersey Chick
05-22-2008, 02:39 AM
Yeah - but then what's next? No talking with passengers? Same thing, in essence.

They can't make up their minds where the danger lies. Is it in the device? The conversation? The person you're talking to? There will always be idiots behind the wheel, unfortunately.

Jersey Chick
05-22-2008, 02:40 AM
:D

Umm... I meant the other morons, of course. :o


now, if you'll excuse me, I've got this size five Chuck Taylor wedged pretty firmly in my mouth and I need to take it out.

Sorry, SK. Sometimes I speak before I think. Er, type before I think.

choppersmom
05-22-2008, 02:40 AM
The No Talking While Driving law goes into effect here in CA on June first. Man, I can't wait!

And the kids who TEXT while driving - well, I don't even wanna go there!

This is the kind of law that should be nationwide. No use of phones at all, no talking, no headsets, no texting - Lord help us all - no cell phones, period. Turned off and stuffed in the bottom or your purse or briefcase, or shut in the glove box. Srsly.

Jean Marie
05-22-2008, 02:42 AM
Umm... I meant the other morons, of course. :o


now, if you'll excuse me, I've got this size five Chuck Taylor wedged pretty firmly in my mouth and I need to take it out.
Sometimes, moron specificity is tough, y'know.

Um, don't yank too hard, your teeth may hurt :D

poetinahat
05-22-2008, 02:43 AM
Talk on your cellphone while you drive? If you get caught here, it's $238 to $318, and three or four points off your license (http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/cgi-bin/index.cgi?fuseaction=demeritpoints.searchhandler&searchfor=mobile+phone&SearchFormButton.x=40&SearchFormButton.y=11).

More than fair enough.

Jersey Chick
05-22-2008, 02:43 AM
Mhlgphulsphhh?

(that's me mumbling around the size five)

choppersmom
05-22-2008, 02:46 AM
Yeah - but then what's next? No talking with passengers? Same thing, in essence.

They can't make up their minds where the danger lies. Is it in the device? The conversation? The person you're talking to? There will always be idiots behind the wheel, unfortunately.

If you're talking to someone in your car, (and pay attention next time you do, you'll see it's true) if something happens outside the car, you instinctively pause in your conversation and your attention goes to that other stimulus, and then you resume talking once the other stimulus is removed. This can all happen within fractions of a second. What the cell phone conversation does is take your full attention away from those outside stimuli. Your brain needs to focus on listening to this disembodied voice coming in from a tiny device, and cannot process all the other external information it's receiving at the same time. So it's not really the same when you're talking to a companion in the car with you.

And someone once gave me a terrific quote - The most dangerous part of a car is the nut that holds the wheel. ;)

choppersmom
05-22-2008, 02:47 AM
Umm... I meant the other morons, of course. :o


now, if you'll excuse me, I've got this size five Chuck Taylor wedged pretty firmly in my mouth and I need to take it out.

Size five?? What are you, like three feet tall?? :tongue

Jean Marie
05-22-2008, 02:47 AM
Talk on your cellphone while you drive? If you get caught here, it's $238 to $318, and three or four points off your license (http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/cgi-bin/index.cgi?fuseaction=demeritpoints.searchhandler&searchfor=mobile+phone&SearchFormButton.x=40&SearchFormButton.y=11).

More than fair enough.
What about w/ a headset? Not allowed, either?


Mhlgphulsphhh?

(that's me mumbling around the size five)
Isn't that thing outta your mouth, yet? Don't you know that canvas is bad for you ;)

Silver King
05-22-2008, 02:49 AM
Umm... I meant the other morons, of course. :o


now, if you'll excuse me, I've got this size five Chuck Taylor wedged pretty firmly in my mouth and I need to take it out.
No hard feelings at all. I knew what you meant. And besides, she is a moron for risking the lives of others in pursuit of her inane conversations. :)

Jean Marie
05-22-2008, 02:50 AM
When we're driving the ambulance, we're on the radio, both calling in and listening, police, dispatch, etc./passenger is doing some of it and the driver is doing the rest and it all gets done w/o an accident.

Okay, we're trained, but still. A lot of stimulus.

Jersey Chick
05-22-2008, 02:51 AM
Yeah, but then that opens the door to drinking coffee, changing the radio station, et al.(this is my phrase of the week :))

Jersey Chick
05-22-2008, 02:52 AM
Size five?? What are you, like three feet tall?? :tongue
I'm 5'4" - but with freakishly small feet. I'm really part Hobbit, according to my husband. :D

Jean Marie
05-22-2008, 02:53 AM
Putting on your make up, reading the paper, changing your socks all the while eating your egg McMuffin...

choppersmom
05-22-2008, 02:53 AM
When we're driving the ambulance, we're on the radio, both calling in and listening, police, dispatch, etc./passenger is doing some of it and the driver is doing the rest and it all gets done w/o an accident.

Not always.

http://blog.nj.com/ledgerupdates/2007/08/large_accident.jpg

Jean Marie
05-22-2008, 02:54 AM
99% of the time, yes. Nothing is always.

choppersmom
05-22-2008, 02:55 AM
Yeah, but then that opens the door to drinking coffee, changing the radio station, et al.(this is my phrase of the week :))

Those are distraction as well, but the length of time that they require your attention is minimal. A sip of coffee takes seconds. Changing the station even less, if you have a radio with preset buttons, and I can do that without even looking at my radio. So they're not as big a factor as a prolonged conversation.

Jean Marie
05-22-2008, 02:57 AM
There's nothing wrong w/ talking on the cell phone w/ a headset.

Which is why most states are attempting to make that a law.

choppersmom
05-22-2008, 02:59 AM
99% of the time, yes. Nothing is always.

Same is true of cell phone driving. The point is, even though, no, it won't happen each and every time someone drives with a cell phone, the times that it does happen, which can so easily be prevented, are not worth the risk.

You as an EMT cannot avoid needing to be on the radio etc. as you mentioned, and your additional training better prepares you to deal with that need. I as a private person can easily not be on my cell phone, and I don't have the benefit of someone "teaching" me how to drive while using a phone. It's so much easier to just hang up and drive.

choppersmom
05-22-2008, 03:00 AM
There's nothing wrong w/ talking on the cell phone w/ a headset.

Which is why most states are attempting to make that a law.

As I mentioned earlier, there have been studies that refute this. Headsets don't make that much of a difference, as it turns out.

Jean Marie
05-22-2008, 03:05 AM
Training does indeed make an enormous amount of difference, this is true. And, we go through a lot of training on an on-going basis, even as volunteers. Probably more so, as scary as that sounds.

W/ headsets, your hands being free, frees up a certain part of your brain and allows more concentration on what's around you. So, they do in fact make a difference. It is still a distraction, yes, but it's a bit of progress.

In a perfect world, we'd all be driving w/ our eyes focused on the road ahead and doing nothing else. Not gonna happen.

In an emergency, the cell phone is a good thing. It's not meant to carry on lengthy conversations w/, that I agree w/.

Silver King
05-22-2008, 03:12 AM
I'm not sure that headsets are the answer. There's something about speaking to a person remotely that causes the mind to drift from the task at hand, in this case, driving. It's different than when you converse with a passenger in the car. It's not the act of talking that's a problem but rather how the brain seems to focus too greatly on a distant conversation while ignoring your surroundings to some extent. This also becomes apparent even when you're walking along and talking on a phone. There's a very real sense of detachment with what is going on around you, which leads to slower reaction times when faced with danger.

It's also worth noting that criminals, such as muggers, will often target victims using cell phones as easy prey since those persons are more distracted and vulnerable.

clockwork
05-22-2008, 03:13 AM
Here in the UK, it's a 60 ($100+) fine for using a phone while driving and three points on your license. And if you're not in control of your vehicle (you run a light, break the speed limit, have an accident) while using a hands-free phone, the same fines apply.

And it's been widely (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/04/060405234657.htm) shown (http://www.whatcar.co.uk/news-article.aspx?NA=220854) that hands-free phones (http://www.bbc.co.uk/theoneshow/article/2007/07/dld_drivingmobiles.shtml) are just as dangerous (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/1885775.stm) as hand-held phones and that using any phone while driving can be as dangerous (http://www.newscientist.com/channel/tech/motoring-tech/mg18725083.200-handsfree-kits-do-not-reduce-crash-risk.html) as driving drunk (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-482741/Hands-free-mobiles-risky-drink.html). This is because, like Dino says, it's got far less to do with the holding of the phone to your ear than the level of concentration on the conversation.

choppersmom
05-22-2008, 03:14 AM
Training does indeed make an enormous amount of difference, this is true. And, we go through a lot of training on an on-going basis, even as volunteers. Probably more so, as scary as that sounds.

W/ headsets, your hands being free, frees up a certain part of your brain and allows more concentration on what's around you. So, they do in fact make a difference. It is still a distraction, yes, but it's a bit of progress.

In a perfect world, we'd all be driving w/ our eyes focused on the road ahead and doing nothing else. Not gonna happen.

In an emergency, the cell phone is a good thing. It's not meant to carry on lengthy conversations w/, that I agree w/.

Oh, absolutely! If I were ever to be involved in an accident, I would feel worlds better knowing I had a resource available to contact someone to come and help me. And as I said before, headsets are a step, just not that big a step. We need to pay attention to the car, the road, all the other cars, the pedestrians, and all the variables they each inherently bring with them. Cell phones only detract from our ability to do that.

Jersey Chick
05-22-2008, 03:15 AM
Personally, I like being in my car by myself. I don't want to be bothered by anyone. The only reason I carry a cell phone is because I got stuck in Hurricane Floyd for 6 hours and no one knew if I was okay or not.

choppersmom
05-22-2008, 03:15 AM
I tried to find a link to some studies, but I'm not wording it right, so I'll wait for Choppersdad, aka "The Finder," to wake up from his little nappy-poo and help me.

JoNightshade
05-22-2008, 03:15 AM
I would be perfectly happy with headsets. The #1 thing that bugs me about people on cell phones in cars is that so many of them like to rest their left elbow on the door and cup the phone around their ear... blinding themselves to the entire left side of the road. I can't tell you how many times I've had someone on a cell in exactly that position swerve in front of me - either just drifting out of their lane or actually CHANGING into my lane without looking!!!

choppersmom
05-22-2008, 03:17 AM
Here in the UK, it's a 60 ($100+) fine for using a phone while driving and three points on your license. And if you're not in control of your vehicle (you run a light, break the speed limit, have an accident) while using a hands-free phone, the same fines apply.

And it's been widely (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/04/060405234657.htm) shown (http://www.whatcar.co.uk/news-article.aspx?NA=220854) that hands-free phones (http://www.bbc.co.uk/theoneshow/article/2007/07/dld_drivingmobiles.shtml) are just as dangerous (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/1885775.stm) as hand-held phones and that using any phone while driving can be as dangerous (http://www.newscientist.com/channel/tech/motoring-tech/mg18725083.200-handsfree-kits-do-not-reduce-crash-risk.html) as driving drunk (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-482741/Hands-free-mobiles-risky-drink.html). This is because, like Dino says, it's got far less to do with the holding of the phone to your ear than the level of concentration on the conversation.

Scratch that, clockwork did Choppersdad's work for him already!!

Thanks!

choppersmom
05-22-2008, 03:19 AM
Personally, I like being in my car by myself. I don't want to be bothered by anyone. The only reason I carry a cell phone is because I got stuck in Hurricane Floyd for 6 hours and no one knew if I was okay or not.

Me too. Even as short as it is, my half-hour-each-way daily commute is like my little "me-time" that I don't get otherwise. My car=my haven!

astonwest
05-23-2008, 06:16 AM
It's all a matter of the person driving...the concentration has to be on the driving. If a person can concentrate on driving, while still doing all sorts of other things, what's the problem?

Hell, I've talked on the phone, sung to the radio, taken drinks from a pop bottle, cursed out the fools driving around me, eaten meals, and done things with ladies which board decorum precludes me from describing, all while driving...and have never been in an accident. My primary focus in all those cases has always been the driving...

choppersmom
05-23-2008, 06:20 AM
It's all a matter of the person driving...the concentration has to be on the driving. If a person can concentrate on driving, while still doing all sorts of other things, what's the problem?

Hell, I've talked on the phone, sung to the radio, taken drinks from a pop bottle, cursed out the fools driving around me, eaten meals, and done things with ladies which board decorum precludes me from describing, all while driving...and have never been in an accident. My primary focus in all those cases has always been the driving...

You think your attention has been 100% on the driving, but it hasn't. It's not possible, and the studies all prove that. It only takes once, friend, and you've pushed the envelope pretty hard. I pray for the one you kill when the worst happens, and I just hope it's not me.

astonwest
05-23-2008, 06:26 AM
You think your attention has been 100% on the driving, but it hasn't. It's not possible, and the studies all prove that. It only takes once, friend, and you've pushed the envelope pretty hard. I pray for the one you kill when the worst happens, and I just hope it's not me.You assume my attention hasn't been on the driving...but attention is a fairly adjustable thing, based on the circumstances. None of these things have ever been done in heavy bumper-to-bumper traffic. As traffic gets more congested, the attention moves closer to 100%.

When you're driving down a daytime highway with nary a car in sight, the extra attention isn't necessary.

choppersmom
05-23-2008, 06:48 AM
OK. You continue to believe that. As I said, I pray for your victims.

chevbrock
05-23-2008, 07:32 AM
Phone rings, you pull over and answer it. If you can't find somewhere safe to pull over in time, it's not going to be a great mystery as to who called. The phone tells you! It's a no-brainer.

Talking to someone while they are in the car also is different, I think, because the other person, whether consciously or not, is watching the road also.

Jersey Chick
05-23-2008, 07:42 AM
A distraction is when you're listening to the radio, and all of the sudden it starts talking to you. That's how OnStar works. The first time it happened, it kind of freaked me out. I usually listen to talk radio, and talk to the hosts out loud. It was the first time the radio actually answered me. :D

It makes me crazy when the guy (male or female) in front of me is swerving this way and that because they've got the phone slapped up against their ear. What is that important and how did anyone survive before there were cell phones?

astonwest
05-25-2008, 10:39 PM
How do all of you people keep an eye on everything going on around you, change lanes, maintain an appropriate speed, and make sure you have enough gas in the car? All without ever having your eyes leave the road in front of you? That's quite a trick...

:poke:

astonwest
05-26-2008, 06:18 AM
You have every right to be an arrogant assbag and disregard that fact - until you kill someone's kid, mother, brother, grandma - then you're in some deep shit. Then maybe you won't be so uppity about the danger you pose to the rest of the world.
Wow...it's been a while since I've been called an arrogant assbag...thanks.

My opinion is that just because a person is on a phone doesn't make them any more apt to cause a serious wreck than any other person out there. Anyone can be distracted by any number of things...and some people are more apt to be distracted than others. Those are the people one should be afraid of, not those who anticipate every other driver on the road being a complete idiot and drive accordingly.

The girl who pulled out in front of our nephew and killed him (along with his girlfriend) never ended up in deep shit...but that's another story for another time.

choppersmom
05-26-2008, 06:43 AM
Your opinion in this case is refuted by science. As I said, people get into accidents without cell phones. They get into more with them. And sometimes, they're just accidents. That's what it sounds like happened with that girl. She probably wasn't deliberately creating a distraction that caused her to miss the stop sign or whatever. Maybe that's why she didn't go to jail. It was an accident. If she had been talking on a cell phone, I wouldn't call it an accident, I'd call it murder. I'm very sorry about your nephew, but that horrible incident should be making you more aware of the dangers of driving, not more anxious to court tragedy.