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Linda
03-09-2005, 09:15 PM
Few eagle-eyed, lightning-reflexed 20-year-olds think they've got much in common with 70-year-olds. But according to a new study, they do -- at least when they're talking on a cell phone while trying to drive a car.

"Instant aging" is how researcher and psychology professor David Strayer describes the effects of yakking on a cell phone on a teenager's ability to notice and respond effectively to changes in the driving environment -- such as the brake lights of the car ahead suddenly coming on. "If you put a 20-year-old driver behind the wheel with a cell phone, his reaction times are the same as a 70-year-old driver," Strayer says. The test subjects -- all in the 18 to 25 age group -- needed 18 percent more time to recognize and respond to brake lights coming on and took longer to re-adjust their speed after slowing down. It didn't matter whether the cell phone was hand-held or hands-free. The factor affecting reaction times was divided attention -- a driver trying to focus on the road and his conversation at the same time.

And the problem doesn't go away after you turn 30.

Another study done by Strayer and a colleague, assistant professor of psychology Frank Drews, found that drivers distracted by cell phones are as effectively impaired in their ability to deal with the ever-changing driving environment as boozed-up drivers with blood alcohol levels as high as .08 BAC -- the legal threshold for drunk driving in most states. Other studies of the effect of cell phones on concentration and driving have reached the same conclusion: "Multi-tasking" behind the wheel isn't a good idea; it negatively affects your ability to safely drive a car and makes you more likely to have an accident.

None of this is especially surprising -- or ought to be. But common sense is increasingly uncommon in our charged-up, fast-paced, gotta-be-in-touch 24/7 society. Our need to make use of every available second -- especially the many seconds that would otherwise be wasted stuck in a traffic jam -- trumps what most of us, in our more thoughtful moments, know to be true. You just can't pay full time and attention to driving while doing anything else -- whether "anything else" is applying make-up in the rearview mirror, stuffing a burger down our gullet, trying to read directions on a scrap of crumpled-up paper -- or holding forth on some Very Important Topic on our multiplexed, video-enabled slim-line cell phones.

It's simple: Teen or geezer, anytime your mind is somewhere other than on the road ahead, your abilities as a driver are dulled. A few exceptionally skilled drivers may be able to "multi-task" behind the wheel without suffering a significant diminishment in capacity, but the evidence suggests most of us aren't so good at it -- especially in crowded suburban/urban driving situations, where things are constantly evolving and even a moment's confusion or inattention can be all the difference between a wreck and avoiding one.

For teens, the problem of being distracted is made worse by the simple fact of youthful inexperience. A panicked reaction -- or over-reaction -- is more common (and more likely) among younger drivers than veterans who've dealt with such a situation before.

A distracted, inexperienced teen driver very often results in some bent metal -- there's a reason why teenage drivers are considered the highest-risk category by insurance companies -- and adding a cell phone to the mix is about as wise as wearing an Austin Powers get-up to "The Apprentice" and expecting The Donald to hire you.

Cell phones should be forbidden -- by law or by parents -- until a new driver has at least built up some skill and experience to balance things out. And arguably, the use of cell phones by drivers of all ages ought to be verboten once the gearshift is put in "Drive."

Idle banter -- the "where's the party, dude?" kind most teens are apt to be involved in -- is just as distracting as the animated, agitated negotiations/harangues over a pending business deal -- or boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife who is picking up the kids tonight? squabbling. It all begs for a rear-ender like '72 Pinto.

If indeed "safety" is the object here -- as we're constantly nagged about when it comes to driving a little faster than the posted speed limit or wearing our seat belts -- then surely there's at least as much justification for waiting until we're not in control of several thousand pounds of potentially lethal metal and glass hurtling down the highway before dialing up disaster.

Isolated Fury
03-09-2005, 09:18 PM
I don't like cell phones.

dirtybird
03-09-2005, 10:21 PM
You think driving with cell phones is bad, this morning my dad was driving me to school and I looked up and noticed he had one hand on the wheel and was leaning over writing something down and not even paying attention to the road. It scared the shit out of me. He's atleast 50% of the reason I'm scared to drive when I'm 16.

Kitten
03-09-2005, 10:29 PM
It really pisses me off seeing people talking on mobiles when they are driving. There are reasons for that law.

Kitten
03-09-2005, 10:34 PM
You think driving with cell phones is bad, this morning my dad was driving me to school and I looked up and noticed he had one hand on the wheel and was leaning over writing something down and not even paying attention to the road. It scared the shit out of me. He's atleast 50% of the reason I'm scared to drive when I'm 16.

You think thats fucking scary. At least your dad has one hand on the wheel. My father loses something, and when his driving he will take both hands off the steering wheel, and search for it. It could be in the glove box, so he is paying no attention to the road what so ever. It scares the hell out of me.
The thing is, when you offer to replace he lost object with one of your own, he ignores it and continues looking for his.

UgLy_eLf
03-09-2005, 11:43 PM
Too true, I had a lot on my mind today and almost crashed the car 3 times, but of course because I am SOOOOOOOO great at driving I didnt. I am moosh from my show, so Im going to now go lay around and think some more.

Bazza
03-10-2005, 02:47 AM
there's was something in the news bout a women being prosecuted, for eating an apple whilst driving

Linda
03-12-2005, 11:48 PM
It really pisses me off seeing people talking on mobiles when they are driving. There are reasons for that law.

Is there a law in Australia against that?
I think there should be a law against it in California. I see so many people
driving stupid just to find out they are talking on cell phones. I just don't understand what's wrong with people these days.

UgLy_eLf
03-13-2005, 12:04 AM
They like, need to like find out of like Craig is still dating Donna! Or like if Donna dumped Craig for Mike, and like if Craig is like single like yeah.

Like Dad needs to know what to pick up for like dinner, while the hooker sucks his cock in his like car.

Linda
03-13-2005, 12:07 AM
Are you fucked up again? :mad:

UgLy_eLf
03-13-2005, 12:20 AM
LOL Goodness no I'll fill you in on what has happened with my Ex so far.

We tried being friends, he acted like a fucking dumbass on purpose to piss me off, so we're no longer speaking. He ruined shit as usual.

HIIIIIIIIIII JEFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF I know you're gonna read thissssssssssssssssssssssssssss HIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!!!!

JohnnyNemesis
03-13-2005, 12:22 AM
Cell phones while driving should be illegal everywhere. It's illegal here in NYC, and it's just such common sense that I assumed it was against the law all over USA. Guess I was wrong. Grr.

It's fucking ridiculous. Come to think of it, I'm biased against cell phones in general, but while driving? Come ON now! That's just, like I said, common sense!

TheUnholyNightbringer
03-13-2005, 02:57 AM
Oh, that's nothing compared to the amount of people I see driving or being driven without seatbelts. There is just no mentality behind it. For the life of me I cannot understand why people don't wear seatbelts. As one of my favourite writers (Bill Bryson) once said - ".. it costs nothing and can obviously prevent you from ejecting through the windscreen like Superman."

Kitten
03-13-2005, 04:04 AM
That being said, I don't think many of them realise that even if they can fly like superman, they can't quite perfect the landing.

Yes, it is against the law here to talk on a mobile phone while driving, I also assumed it made so much sense it was the same everywhere.

Linda
03-13-2005, 12:21 PM
Kitten, I wish, but sadly, California doesn't have a law against it yet. My guess would be that a majority of accidents in California are caused by drivers talking on cell phones while driving, but who's to know for sure. They sure aren't gonna tell the cops that's what they were doing!

UgLy_eLf, glad to hear you're not! You do know you're better off without him, right? How about your other problem?

Sunny
03-13-2005, 12:26 PM
Cell phones while driving should be illegal everywhere. It's illegal here in NYC, and it's just such common sense that I assumed it was against the law all over USA. Guess I was wrong. Grr.


me too, i'm surprised to find out it's not illegal all over the place. it's scary how many people ignore this law though. urghh.

baby girl
03-13-2005, 12:48 PM
there's was something in the news bout a women being prosecuted, for eating an apple whilst driving

u no ure really sexy i like you!!!!!

Lars
03-13-2005, 02:41 PM
Before the ban on actually holding a phone and driving came into effect here (it means you can still use the hands free things/bluetooth) on the very rare occasion I went on a bus, I'd seen the driver using a phone and driving the bus.... Now that's good responsibility there.

Linda
03-13-2005, 02:48 PM
In my opinion, even the hands free things should be outlawed. Most people just can't carry on a conversation and concentrate on their driving at the same time. I believe in California the only law against driving and using cell phones is for bus drivers.

JohnnyNemesis
03-13-2005, 02:50 PM
I don't know if I agree with that...hands free communication, like speakerphone or something, isn't really any different from talking to someone in the passenger's seat of the car. But if that stuff WAS outlawed, I'd still support it. Ensuring safety isn't too much to ask!

UgLy_eLf
03-13-2005, 02:52 PM
For rizzle, I dont have any problems, I'z been pretty happy for the past couple of weeks, especially because I've been meeting a bunch of new people at shows, back into the ole swing of things.

Linda
03-13-2005, 02:57 PM
I don't know if I agree with that...hands free communication, like speakerphone or something, isn't really any different from talking to someone in the passenger's seat of the car. But if that stuff WAS outlawed, I'd still support it. Ensuring safety isn't too much to ask!

My point exactly. Some people can't concentrate on their driving when talking to a passenger sitting beside them!

UgLy_eLf - Oh, so you're not PG then?

MightyDux
03-13-2005, 02:58 PM
they are trying to make it illegal here in iowa... but have failed so far. but yes, driving while on the phone is a stupid thing to do. more than once have i almost been hit because of some yuppie driving and talking on his/her cell phone.

Linda
03-13-2005, 03:01 PM
I was T-boned a while back by a woman playing with her cell phone. She ran the red light. She said she didn't see the red light until she looked up!
Not that's a fine example of NOT paying attention to your driving! She totalled my car, too. :mad:

UgLy_eLf
03-13-2005, 03:02 PM
HAr har har Linda

And please lets also focus on the people who just cant DRIVE on the road. I've had 20 run ins with fucking idiots on the road in the past MONTH that I've actually been driving. This is WITHOUT the cellular phones. Not to mention the cab drivers here< HOLY BUH JEBUS WHO GAVE THESE GUYS LICENSES!!

Linda
03-13-2005, 03:04 PM
I think anyone can get a license as long as they have the money to pay for it.

Kitten
03-14-2005, 05:20 AM
Taxi drivers must be the worst drivers everywhere, you can't drive into Sydney without being almost hit by a least 4 of them.
Just today I was driving, I was waiting for traffic to clear to merge into the lane, and this fucking bitch with a goddamn mobile phone cuts up from behind me. Shit I was pissed off, the stupid little cow wasn't even watching anything in front of her.

Faded Soul
03-14-2005, 06:45 AM
ha Elf, that sounds like you're from here!

I do believe cellphones are illegal here in Arizona.

ninth
03-14-2005, 10:07 AM
Cedar Falls has that law and from what I've heard it's going to be set into effect in Cedar Rapids sometime in the next year or so. The most amazing multi-task I've pulled while driving consisted of me talking on the phone and changing out of my work uniform into a different set of clothes (that means shirt, jeans, socks, and shoes). The only accident I've ever been in was getting rear-ended by some guy (insert gay joke here).

Faded Soul
03-14-2005, 05:23 PM
forgive me, for I have sinned. I used my phone while driving today. :eek: :o

Linda
03-14-2005, 08:41 PM
You're BAAAAAAAADDDDDDDD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :mad:
*spanks Faded Soul*