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October 06, 2009

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Don Colby

All this discussion about hand held driving distractors takes me back some 35 years to when I enjoyed my 1968 AMC Javelin. At the time my son tried to make the case for the installation of a high end stereo system in the car. I vetoed the idea because, as I told him, grooving to the tunes could easily distract from the task of keeping that fast moving beast from causing a highway disaster. For a similar reason I would not wear my horn rimmed sunglasses in traffic because my peripheral vision was greatly restricted.
What the heck is wrong with people today? Have cars become too much like a living room with everyone relying on electronics to keep them out of trouble? Sheesh!

Mark D

Clearly it would only be an idiot who would argue cell phones, in any form, are a significant distraction to a driver. Obviously then these people will not take the time to search out and read (assuming they are literate) the many articles regarding cell phone and other device use while driving. However perhaps in the more accessible form of a TV show they might see the light? Unfortunately the Mythbusters did not test a "hands free" device, but it is painfully clear that the struggles the testers suffer are not dexterity based, but clearly mental.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vFcIpzF7pc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGN1pLI4ZaM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8LuM92Twm8

Keep up the good fight Jim!

Lee Baugh

Difference between talking to someone on the phone and in the car:

Person in the car can pick up on cues from both the driver and the traffic/road conditions and can decide it is best to shut up and let the driver concentrate on driving. Person on the phone will just keep yapping away regardless of what the driver is facing.

(This is the explanation I would give to my intro psych students when the exact same question was posed)

John Frewen-Lord

Hi Jim:

Re your comments about whether there is any difference between talking on the phone to someone and talking to a passenger. I think there is a huge difference. The person on the other end of the phone cannot see what you're doing as you drive along. You could be heading for a massive accident and they will keep on talking just the same, soaking up some of your much needed concentration. A passenger, OTH, can, and likely will be, at least somewhat engaged with what's happening outside the vehicle as you drive along. If an accident situation arises, or even just a hazardous event, then they will likely shut up while you deal with it.

Eric Jelinski

which is more important, your hands or your brains? Why is hands free the answer?
I suspect that to McGuinty and Bradley, votes is the only thing important. Imagine how many cell phone companies stand to lose business because cell phone calls may be deferred to land lines once the cell phone user gets back to the office to make their calls. Likewise how many upset (pissed off) voters because they, the spoiled brats can't talk on a cell phone while driving...ain't that the issue?
Eric Jelinski P. Eng.

Paul Nielsen

Jim, check out www.reqall.com. I use it a lot.
My speed dial 3 (press 3 and the call button).
I get 30 seconds to dictate a message. When it's saved, it gets sent to my email transcribed. I use it all the time instead of scribbling notes.
The "cost" subscription version ($25/yr) allows one to command (verbally) reqall to "share" (ie, send a copy) to other people's email.

Another version of this is www.jot.com

Paul Nielsen

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