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Think You Are A Great Driver While Talking On A Cell Phone? Think Again!

June 17, 2011 · 72 comments

in Car/Driving, Misc Tips

Are you one of those people that thinks you are the same great driver whether you are talking on your cell phone or not?

Then this post is for you!

My Conclusion On Cell Phone Drivers

I have been conducting an unscientific study this past month where I took note of people that appeared to be making bad driving decisions.  In my head, I noted if these drivers were on their cell phone or not.  (I didn’t want to pull out a notepad while driving, that too may be considered unsafe.)

Here is the big news to all of you that think you drive just perfect while chatting on the cell phone:  You don’t!

Over the past month, I have been cut off, almost rear-ended, almost side-swiped and been stuck behind very slow drivers, almost all of which were on their cell phones.  As a matter of fact, out of the recent 22 incidents of what I would consider somewhat reckless driving, only one person was NOT on their cell phone.  That does not even include the chatters that ignore other drivers who are trying to merge,  blinkers flashing endlessly.

How Did People Survive Without Cell Phones Before?

The city we live in has recently passed a law banning the use of cell phones while driving, period.  No texting, no talking (unless using a hands-free device), no nothing.  Guess what?  Many people still drive while talking on their cell phones.  Apparently talking on the phone while driving has become so important that people are willing to risk large fines so they can order that pizza or make a last-minute appointment.

How in the world did businesses stay profitable before the advent of cell phones?  How did families function without being able to constantly communicate?  Maybe people had more of a dividing line between work and home back then.  I also wonder if people in the pre-cell-phone-days were more punctual because they knew they didn’t have the option to call and say “I am running 15 minutes behind” when leaving the golf course.

I love technology, but I do think it has been abused.   Watching all the bad decisions I have seen drivers make just reinforces the fact that driving and talking on a cell phone is just not the safest idea.  I am sure that many of these drivers that I have witnessed making dangerous decisions have no idea that they have put themselves and others at risk as they were so absorbed in conversation.

Do you think you drive perfectly while talking on your cell phone?  Even if you don’t drive recklessly while talking on a cell phone, are you as considerate of a driver as you could be?  Or, do you think I am just crazy and crabby?

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{ 71 comments… read them below or add one }

Philip June 17, 2011 at 11:31 am

In the same timeframe how many drivers did you pass that were driving perfectly fine while talking on their cell phones?

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Kris June 17, 2011 at 12:56 pm

0… (just kidding)

Guess I don’t really look at other drivers unless they are doing something stupid, so I don’t really have an answer to that one.

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krantcents June 17, 2011 at 11:58 am

The bad drivers will be bad drivers anyway! I do agree, cell phones are a distraction and inhibit your ability to drive. I see people walking and on their cell phones who are distracted. Personally, I don’t get it! What is so important? Do we really need 24/7 access?

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Kris June 17, 2011 at 12:58 pm

Oh my gosh, you are so right. Although I will say I see people just generally walking in front of cars in parking lots and such when they aren’t on their phones too.

It is scary when someone is crossing a major intersection while texting. Even if it is a green light, not everyone obeys the laws when driving. Maybe my next survey will be people that walk like fools while texting…

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MoneyCone June 17, 2011 at 12:31 pm

As a driver, I hate pedestrians who cross the road while talking on a cell phone – talking on your mobile is not an excuse to not look before crossing!

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Kris June 17, 2011 at 12:58 pm

You are right MC, or even worse, they are looking down and texting with no awareness whatsoever about the traffic around them.

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Crystal @ BFS June 17, 2011 at 12:46 pm

I get the most pissed when I see people trying to text and drive – those two do not mesh! I do talk on my cell phone while driving a couple of times a week and I probably suck (I’m the one that slows down to the speed limit while talking – I make sure not to go lower but I do slow down). I am trying to ween myself off of my cell completely while in cars and NOW I successfully keep it out of my hands while with family and friends unless I am checking to see the caller id if it rings. 🙂

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Kris June 17, 2011 at 1:00 pm

Texting and driving makes me insane. Sometimes GPSs can be just as bad- seeing someone punching in an address while trying to drive.

I try to keep my phone in my purse when I am with people, unless I am expecting an important call.

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beth June 17, 2011 at 2:13 pm

I almost hit a girl riding her bike yesterday, in the street, hood over her head, listening to her ipod and either texting or looking at her ipod. She was lucky that I saw her coming. Is this the new distracted generation?

I was also behind a guy this morning on the freeway, in the left lane, texting above his steering wheel. And he would slow down everytime he picked up his phone….ugh! Get off the phone and drive!

BTW- at first, I hated that new law in our city, but I’ve realized how much better people drive when they aren’t on their phones!

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Kris June 20, 2011 at 2:25 pm

Beth- I get so scared when I see people riding their bikes while listening to their ipod. But how scary the girl wasn’t even looking up either.

It is shocking that people would text while going 70 mph. Is life that boring that you can’t just drive??

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Nicole June 17, 2011 at 3:01 pm

Mythbusters had a really good segment on driving with the cellphone. As bad as being drunk.

http://dsc.discovery.com/videos/mythbusters-cell-phone-vs-drunk-driving-minimyth.html

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Kris June 20, 2011 at 2:21 pm

I saw that before too. I think many people think it doesn’t apply to them because they are able to handle it and still drive really well. If they could only see themselves drive…

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Untemplater June 18, 2011 at 3:16 am

Thanks for posting this – driving and talking on a cell phone and texting is SO dangerous. People get seriously injured and even killed because of distracted drivers way too often now. It’s really sad and scary as a driver too. If I’m driving alone I won’t touch my phone b/c I’ve been in a car wreck before and I can’t take my eyes off the road. If I have someone in the passenger seat I’ll ask them to pick up a call or read me a text if I’m expecting something important.

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Kris June 20, 2011 at 2:21 pm

Good plan Untemplater. I usually have my kids deal with the phone if they are with me.

Was someone on the phone during your accident?

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Romeo June 18, 2011 at 10:04 am

Great reflection. Cell phones are just an additional distraction these days. Don’t forget about eating fast food, placing on make-up, tuning the radio station, yelling at the kids, driving sleepy, etc. The worse thing of all is texting. It’s ridiculous. So no, you’re not crabby. You’r just frustrated at the way the world is turning for the worst.

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Kris June 20, 2011 at 2:20 pm

I go crazy when I see people texting and driving. I was discussing cell phone driving with a friend of mine and she said her sister eats a plate of bacon and eggs every morning while driving to work. (The plate sits on her lap apparently.) Quite scary!

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Lindy Mint June 18, 2011 at 1:19 pm

I know I’ve made some really bad driving decisions while talking on the cell phone in the past. But I’ve also made bad moves while just having my brain distracted and lost in thought, without talking to anyone.

I don’t think the hands-free device fixes anything, because it’s not your hands that make you a bad driver, but your mental focus being on something else.

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Heather June 19, 2011 at 1:16 am

You said what I was thinking: having your hands free is nice, but it doesn’t make you pay attention to where you’re going, the people around you, the speed you’re going, etc. I do think it is better than hands not free, but it’s not a magical “I’m safe now because I’m talking on an earpiece.”

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Kris June 20, 2011 at 2:10 pm

I have never tried driving with a hands-free device, so I really can’t compare the two. However, I always equated having a hands-free device with chatting with a passenger in the car, but maybe not??

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Money Reasons June 18, 2011 at 3:06 pm

Sad huh! Hopefully that law will pass everywhere and everybody will buy a handless set or stop talking on the cell phones while driving!

I’m sure the increase in car accidents is costing us all with higher insurance premiums…

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Kris June 20, 2011 at 2:18 pm

It is strange where I live, because only my city has the law prohibiting driving while talking on the cell phone. I have no idea how it is enforced if you are not from this area, because there are not signs posted or anything. I agree though, I would like if the law was everywhere.

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Barb Friedberg June 18, 2011 at 3:45 pm

9 times out of 10, when I see a bad driver….. gues what? They are talking on the phone. It really gets me annoyed!

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Kris June 20, 2011 at 2:13 pm

I know Barb, isn’t it frustrating? You would think people would learn, but they don’t.

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Mike Nulty June 19, 2011 at 7:25 pm

phones and another 100 gadgets we just have to have…trained to spend

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Kris June 20, 2011 at 2:09 pm

I agree. People suddenly think every electronic is a ‘must have’, when we have gotten along for years without them.

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First Gen American June 19, 2011 at 7:41 pm

Most of my customers are 5 and 6 hours drive away so I’m on the phone and driving a lot. I love the built in bluetooth in my car. I have also made bad driving while cell phone talking decisions. Now I try to avoid it until I get on the freeway and I don’t have to worry about turns and stuff.

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Kris June 20, 2011 at 2:08 pm

I am sure it is hard when you spend a lot of time in the car. I am usually in the car with my kids, and I know if I ever got in an accident while driving and talking on my cell phone, I would hate myself forever.

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