[FoRK] Laws that ban texting while driving could be counter productive

Aaron Burt aaron at bavariati.org
Wed Sep 14 10:48:25 PDT 2011

On Wed, Sep 14, 2011 at 09:16:26AM -0700, Stephen Williams wrote:
> Plenty of people making statements that assume that no driver can
> handle any distraction in any circumstance because some stupid
> person zoned out and caused a crash.

As the guy down the bar says, "I can drive home jes' fine."

> 'But Jeffrey Hickman of the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute
> has analyzed the risks of various driver activities.  Even though
> it's counterintuitive, he said, hands-free phone use can be safer
> than not using a phone at all because "drivers on a hands-free tend
> to compensate by watching the road more carefully when they are
> talking."'

"Can be", not "has been shown to be".  Which is a good disclaimer, since
all the evidence I've seen indicates that hands-free phone use is nearly as
dangerous.  Most folks don't think to compensate.

As Canadian Bob Dobbs says, "If you're on the phone, that's Virtual Reality."

Sorry for the yammering, this topic just gets my goat.  I've been riding
motorcycles for 15 years, and bicycling to work off-and-on for the last 5.
Like any prey animal, I constantly watch for signs of danger, and the
surest sign of upcoming high-kinetic-energy dumbassery is the upraised hand
and glassy eyes of the cellphone driver.

And yes, I know YOU are different, and YOU can handle your liq^Wcellphone.

It's still illegal round here,

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