I’m not sure what the exact laws are when it comes to phones in cars. I’m not a phone person in general so it doesn’t matter much to me.
However, I’ve been driving a bit more than usual and have noticed an inordinate amount of bad drivers. Car after car after car is drifting in their lane. Appearing to change lanes… but nope just not paying attention. I stay back until I have a clear opportunity to pass them. Almost unfailingly the person is continuously glancing down with one hand on the wheel like a kid in class with his phone under the desk. It’s true that I’ve seen fewer people talking on phones but they all simply text now. Like the aforementioned kid, they seem to think no one will notice if the phone is hidden from view.
I haven’t seen the numbers on this, but texting can’t be safer than talking. (Well, it can be and if you have the facts that say it is, I’ll have to rethink my position.) Yesterday alone, I passed 5 people driving dangerously while texting on the way to a friends house. I’d rather have them talking on the phone. I’m sure it’s distracting but at least you don’t need to look at anything while doing it. And adding this element of hiding can’t help things, either.
I had a quick google (that sounds odd). Here’s what I found in two minutes of searching.
- Texting while driving makes a driver 23x more likely to crash.
- Drivers talking on a cell phone are 4x more likely to have a car accident.
- Talking on a cell phone while driving can make a young driver’s reaction time as slow as that of a 70 year old.
- Answering a text takes away your attention for about five seconds. That is enough time to travel the length of a football field.
- Studies have found that texting while driving causes a 400% increase in time spent with eyes off the road.
Another page (this one seems more reliable since it has science in the web address)
“Performance while using a hands-free phone was rarely found to be better than when using a handheld phone. Some studies found that drivers compensate for the deleterious effects of cell phone use when using a handheld phone but neglect to do so when using a hands-free phone.”
Sort of shows how our laws are more about the appearance of caring than actually caring. Sort of like how we make sure everyone knows we hate drugs, while letting people drink and smoke themselves to death.
Oh, stumbled upon a lovely Infograph. For all those who can’t stand too many words without a visual.
So there you go. I’d be interested to know if more people have resorted to texting since the cell phone restrictions have been put in place… Couldn’t find anything with a quick google. Maybe someone reading this knows.