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According to the Transportation Research Institute at the University of Michigan, drivers who talk to their passengers are just as impaired as drivers using their cell phones.

Researchers based their findings on the recorded behavior of 36 drivers in their vehicles. Interestingly, women and drivers under thirty were observed performing more distracting behavior than other test subjects.



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  • 13 Comments
      • 9 Years Ago
      Kumar: "I would be happy with an intensive and mandatory 2000 buck driving course so that everyone would know all of the rules."

      Good thought, but do you really think the Democrats and their vast "poor people's" lobby would stand for such a high price of admission before their slobs and creeps brethren could drive their death traps any way they wanted to?

      Not a chance!
      • 9 Years Ago
      Phones are not the only problem here in Memphis, TN.

      I have seen people with a phone pinch between shoulder and ear, cigarette in one hand, sandwiche in the other.

      Multi-Tasking does not refer to howmuch can you do while driving.

      I might talk on the phone while driving, but I use a headset. Even if I do not use the headset, I at least have one hand on the wheel.

      Of course, I have not been able to find a headset that cancel out the wind with the top down or the window open.

      • 9 Years Ago
      I tend to disagree with the reports findings that talking to a passenger is just as dangerous as talking on a cell phone. A passenger in you car is also aware of the traffic around them. Granted they arent paying as much attention to it as the driver, but they can usually sense when things start to get hairy (i.e. stopped or slowed traffic, merging traffic) and a good (or even moderate) passenger will pause the conversation while the driver handles the situation. After theyre back in to a steady flow, theyll resume the conversation. This is something that the person on the other end of a cell phone cant do.
      • 9 Years Ago
      I'm on the road a lot and #1 you're right it seems to be getting worse. I've been in tho position of seeing that car over the line heading towards me, while the driver is lost on the phone. I've als been behind them as the speed is up-down wandering in the lane.

      While I live on my cell, I turn the damn thing off when I'm driving. Have we ever asked ourselves why we need to be so "connected" all the time.

      I read an article recently that was discussing how connected and busy we are al the time and the fact that there is little time to really be creative and give our mind a rest.

      I don't think laws will work much, how can you ever enforce them, but I agree, something needs to be done.
      • 9 Years Ago
      As long as people think it's a right to drive instead of a privilege, we'll have people that don't follow any of the rules of the road. Talking on a cell while driving is just an extension of a lack of respect for other motorists. While I don't think klaatu's vision will happen, something should for sure. I would be happy with an intensive and mandatory 2000 buck driving course so that everyone would know all of the rules. It's sad when you see someone that doesn't even know the proper order at a 4 way stop.

      On top of that, certain offenses should merit the detention of your vehicle for a week or a month, depending on the offense. Nothing reminds you to do the right thing more than having to find another way to get around town. No ticket, just a tow.

      Flipping people off would still be cool though. After all, this IS America.
      • 9 Years Ago
      I know it is courteous to look at who you are talking to but while driving is just plain stupid.
      Why do some people must turn and look away from the road and at their passenger while the vehicle is in motion? A conversation still is possible without having eye contact. Just drive and wait until the vehicle in not in motion to look at the person. Is it really that important to risk other people's lives for your conversation. The same goes for cell phones.....are all that juicy gossip really important enough to risk other peoples lives. Hang up and drive!!!!!!I don't care if you hit a tree or anything but chances are higher that you will hit me and kill me and my family just becuase you are too stupid to acknowledge that you are in control of a 2-Ton+ SUV with poor steering response and poor visability.
      Pay attention to the road and check the rear mirrors please, other people also us the same road.
      • 9 Years Ago
      I know I sound old, but over the last year I've been astounded by how many people (of all ages, but a higher percentage of under 25s) I have encountered on the road coming at me in the other direction - 3 ft. into my lane yakking on a cell phone.

      I am guilty of talking while driving, but I've never failed to give driving the highest priority and focus at all times. In the parking lot where I work, I'd estimate 3/4 of our employees are on the phone before they leave the lot. It's a cultue change, for sure, but it's dangerous.

      Maybe if we could convince the police to stop nailing people for going 8 mph over on the interstate and spend more time busting cell phone yakkers we'd be better off for it!-)
      • 9 Years Ago
      It all boils down to training. Be it a cell phone or a CB radio when I started driving, it was how you were taught to drive. High School drivers ED. has become a joke across the great USA. Parents and grand parents are better tearchers than todays driver Ed instructors could ever be. Yes these is some good Ed tearchers out there . but very few that really tearch you how to drive, what to look out for, weather conditions,road suface, how a vechicle reacts to these many conditions. Best drivers are those in rural areas where they were taught at very young age skills in driving dirt roads in all conditions.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Here's how I see this all playing out.

      Driving standards will continue to deteriorate and endanger everyone on the American roadway. Selfishness, stupidity and cloddish behavior are already the norm, but as the saying goes "you ain't seen nothin' yet."

      Suddenly the "lame-stream" media will wake up and start calling on insurance company and Federal statisticians for facts, which will apall everyone when they come on HDTV (complete with bloody car seats after fatal accidents).

      Instead of fixing the real cause (the bad drivers, the selfishness, the stupidity of the "loose nuts behind the wheel" with things such as proper drivers education) the knee-jerk liberal politicos of "red" and "blue" color will react with yet more unenforced and probably unenforceable laws to curb cell phone use in cars.

      Eventually, it will get so bad that the same lamebrain politicians will demand that "technology" fix it all - and we'll end up getting into our cars, there won't be any steering wheel, they'll be totally computerized and GPS connected, they will be "horizontal robotized elevators" rolling on roadways, with nary any driving input at all.

      Of course they'll be so expensive that only the rich elite will be able to drive, the rest of us will be on robotized busses - which is where the leftie loonie greenie liberal twits wanted us "peons" all along (while they enjoy the ride in their robo-limos, of course) - Al Gore for President, anyone?

      What we should do is adopt driving education and testing standards across the entire US, similar to the UK's, and insist that everyone pass these tests, and if people are caught driving while yakking, they get a $500 ticket the first time, $5000 ticket the next time and a permanent ban on driving the 3rd (and use the same penalties for drunk driving - since cell phone users are as bad at driving as drunks!)
      • 9 Years Ago
      All distractions including cell phones are dangerous. Cell phones just add to all the other things that can add to driver error.

      Passing more laws probably won't do much good, but wouldn't hurt if penalties are stiff for the law breakers who are caught.

      So, maybe use of hand-held cell phones while driving should be illegal.
      • 9 Years Ago
      You're right Bernie about people in parking lots. It's amazing how many people get in their car, start the car, and then get on the phone while backing out of the spot. Incredible.

      Hang up and drive!
      • 9 Years Ago
      People who drive cars should devote full attention to the task of driving. If they must make a phone call, they should park and then make their damn call.

      People who phone-blab and TRY to drive simultaneously are inconsiderate and dangerous assholes.
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