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Mike Bryant
Mike Bryant
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Should We Just Shut Off The Cell Phones and Drive?

2 comments

I have been thinking a lot about this topic. The idea of a full ban makes a lot of sense. It would be easier to enforce and it would be something that would make driving safer. As Fairwarning pointed out, we can see the advantages with the ban for interstate truck and bus drivers. This is with the great concern of how it should affect me to not be able to make calls on many of my longer drives. But, the more I read from the opposition, the better the idea sounds:

There are other things people do in the car: Sure, but we are talking about driving a car. This means we are heading down the roads at high speeds with a bunch of metal that is going to do damage if misused. Is it too much to ask the driver to take responsibility of doing that with the least amount of distractions? Does saying "but they listen to the radio" really make you want to say "Gee, go ahead and do what you want"?

I'm safe when I do it: That's great, you might even be able to drive home when you are drunk. The problem is, that is an example for a small number of people and more likely is an overestimation of your abilities. Can you truly say you are always alert when talking, dialing, or answering the phone? That there at least hasn't been one time when you drifted or weaved?

We can do it with education: While safety measures such has seatbelts have been improved through the classroom and we have even made great advances with Drunk Driving, the thing is, you are comparing an activity that has a solution to make things safer (Wear the belt, Don't Drink and Drive) with an idea that we can somehow use phones safely when we drive. It's a bad comparison and not anywhere near as successful as having a law that just says you can't do it.

I'm a good driver: There are already a lot of bad drivers out there. Even with the best drivers there are days they are distracted and just not being mentally behind the wheel. The allowance of something that is clearly distracting just contributes to the danger.

There is just a small sample of problems: Sit at any busy intersection for 15 minutes and count the people who are on the phone. Ask yourself if you think they are really paying attention. How many of those conversations are really necessary? It seems like the solution is right there in front of us and it's time we stopped accepting this ongoing threat to each of us.

I will have to change the way I do things to get used to it, but it's time to continue to ask ourselves what is the safest and easiest way to solve this problem?

Here is some other thoughts on the topic:

Stops The Texts Stop The Wrecks Mike Bryant | November 25, 2011 9:04 AM

Texting and Driving: Do You Know how Dangerous it is?, Mike Bryant | November 07, 2011 9:33 AM

Texting and Walking Can Be Dangerous,Mike Bryant | September 14, 2011 9:09 AM

Driving While Distracted? It Causes Deaths. Mike Bryant | August 18, 2011 9:52 AM

Want to Text and Drive? Watch this First., Mike Bryant | July 11, 2011 9:19 AM

Real Life Reasons Not to Text and Drive, Mike Bryant | April 26, 2011 9:37 AM

Texting – More Deadly than Drunk Driving?, Joe Crumley, September 22, 2009 7:01 AM

Study Shows Texting While Driving Highly Dangerous, Rick Shapiro, July 29, 2009 8:00 PM

Texting By Drivers Proven to Be Extreme Hazard, Mark Williams, July 28, 2009 5:41 PM

Ignoring the Dangers of Texting While Driving May Lead to Serious Consequences, Will Parker July 30, 2009 4:53 PM

Texting and Driving – More Deadly than Drinking and Driving?, Jeremy Thurman, September 20, 2008 3:18 PM

Stay alive and drive when you are behind the wheel.

2 Comments

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  1. Truckie D says:
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    Hi Mike,

    I wholeheartedly agree — a complete ban is called for. Legislation alone is not enough though. Cell phones need to not work for calling, texting, or anything else, (except GPS functions) when in motion at vehicular speeds, except for calls to 911. This includes ringing or whatever telling the driver that there’s an incoming call or text message. The software exists already to do this. We just need to make it mandatory.

    The ban also needs to apply to passengers as well. A passenger on the phone is almost as distracting as the driver being on the phone, and if the phone is on speaker, there’s no difference at all.

    The ban also needs to carry some serious penalties — on the order of those imposed for drunk driving.

    There should also be provisions that enhance penalties and damages if involved in a collision while phoning or texting.

    td

  2. Mike Bryant says:
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    That really does seem to be the only real workable solution. There are far to many distracted drivers out there.