• Sep 22, 2010

Click above to watch the video after the jump

According to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, accidents attributed to distracted driving killed about 5,500 Americans in 2009 alone. That grizzly statistic recently prompted our nation's lawmakers to roll out new regulations prohibiting commercial truck and bus drivers from texting or using cell phones or other electronic devices while driving. Someone should have told the book worm of a municipal bus driver in Portland, Oregon that Amazon's Kindle falls under the "electronic devices" category.

A passenger on the bus captured video of the bus driver, with his e-reader in plain view while motoring down I-5. The first 14 seconds of the video look entirely harmless, until said driver reaches down and appears to turn the page on the device. Later, the driver is caught driving with his elbow, leaning forward for a better look at what must have been a riveting read. If there was ever any doubt why the Department of Transportation is hosting a distracted driving summit this week, hit the jump to watch unnecessary risk-taking at its worst.

[Sources: Guardian, MSNBC]



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 55 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      No different that glancing at the nav screen or fiddling with the touchscreen or copious amount of switchgear in todays vehicles. Sure there are more lives on the line but is just ONE life not worth it?
        • 4 Years Ago
        While I agree those things you mention do cause a distration, they are no where near the same as reading a book (paper or electronic) while driving. Glancing at the nav screen or changing the radio station take you attention from the road for a few seconds. Reading a book requires a whole different level of concentration that takes your attention away from the road for a far longer period of time.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Simplecar

        Actually, it's entirely different. However, I wouldn't expect you to be able to distinguish one from the other.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I suppose it depends on what he is reading. If he's reading a book or magazine (obviously he is because it's a Kindle) than I would say it's a lot different. The cognitive process for reading a book is much more involved than the one for glancing at a nav screen. Though I definitely agree that a nav screen is also a distraction and that anything that takes us out of the driving focus is not going to be good for driving.
        • 4 Years Ago
        OMG you again with the same crap? give it up man! your same rambling comments about nav screens and dash lights is OLD... jeez...
        • 4 Years Ago
        Sure you cant stop being an idiot ?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Your comment is likely due to the fact that your 10 year old Mitsubishi doesn't have a Nav Screen or an automated anything and based on your preferences you have likely never driven anything with these.

        Modern Navigation systems are actually quite good at helping you keep attention on the road. They read the directions out loud to you including street names and warn you before your turn. They will even alert you when you are driving too fast. This is far safer than trying to read a map, directions on paper or expect a passenger to give you directions. If you are going somewhere you have never been before a navigation system is the best choice.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The only thing I can agree is that idiot automakers tended to put those navscreens too low under road line of view, altough recently they started moving them upper.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Instead of making automobiles safer, they should make them more deadly. Instead of airbags, steal spikes should project from the steering wheel during an accident. If you let go of the steering wheel while driving, the brake pedal will abruptly kick you in the nut sack. That sort of thing. Far more Darwinian.
        • 4 Years Ago
        That's how you can tell that the poster "SimpleCar" have never been even close to a book deserving more than a passing glance. I'm sure we can pretty much rule out the possibility of "SimpleCat" ever _reading_ anything in his/her entire life. GW, is that you?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Leave it to Portland to have a ding-bat bus driver.... Is everyone there about the rudest, dumbest people in the states?
      • 4 Years Ago
      while you're at it, do some texting too.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Again anyone with three kids in the car under the age of ten. Is the most distracted person on the road.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "My kids are both 9 and 5"
      • 4 Years Ago
      Um, sorry Chris. Unless you're talking about traffic statistics maintained by bears, I think you're looking for the word "grisly", not "grizzly".
      • 4 Years Ago
      The difference tween a car and bus is that if the driver hits something while driving YOU LAUNCH. There are no seat belts on a bus.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Must be reading "Driving for Dummies" as he's also driving with his elbow at one point.
      • 4 Years Ago
      James Sonne,That was very funny . Thanks for the laugh
      Elmer
      • 4 Years Ago
      The average person does not realize that at 60 mph, your vehicle
      travels 88 feet. That is longer than the average 18 wheeler. That
      is longer that 5 average cars. One second distraction could mean
      death to you and perhaps several others
      • 4 Years Ago
      I've seen drivers on the bus from South-Shore to Downtown Montreal do this dozens of times with magazines or newspapers ... I've often thought of filming but never got around to it.

      I did report a bus driver who spent the entire 30 minute journey on the phone arguing with his girlfriend. The RTL never responded.

      I even saw a subway operator rolling cigarettes (you know with the tubes and all) once. She had the whole thing laid out of the dash board --they don't actually drive unless there is an emergency.

      There is no where enough control done on these drivers.

        • 4 Years Ago
        "There is no where enough control done on these drivers. "

        Correction, the Unions are way too powerful for the good of the public ;-)
      • 4 Years Ago
      Have seen this many times from car, truck,bus drivers. Nothing new, but still very dangerous.
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