Monday, November 02, 2009

Texting While Driving & You

Everyone knows it is not safe to drive while texting but do you know how unsafe it is for you?

I just found out how god awful I am thanks to this little game from The New York Times. My reaction time was .63 seconds slower while texting and I missed 49% more gates.

Thankfully, in Maryland texting while driving isn’t only stupid, it’s now illegal too.


Chuck said...

I couldn't even make it past the Practice run. Sure seems easier in real life - but I guess, that's the point.

Freemarket said...

That game is much harder than texting while driving in real life. I think texting while driving is really stupid, but the texting law is pretty stupid, too. Here’s why.

Bob O said...

Texting while driving is stupid. I know this because I text, and I drive, and it is impossible to do either well while doing the other, from personal experience.

I could back this up by citing actual research, but I'm too busy texting while driving.

Texting on an iPhone while driving is even more difficult. This is due to its virtual keyboard. There is no tactile feedback. Again, personal experimentation.

I'd try to text while driving while drunk, but that is jst way too stupid for even me to experiment with doing, and actually kind of scary.

The study I read equated texting while driving with your average 80 year old driving drunk with your average 21 year old driving sober while texting. The 80 year old, despite reduced relexes, has a better reaction time.

Freemarket has a good point, though. How do you enforce this? Well, it's easy after the fact, in that if someone has an accident, you access their text message use via their cell phone provider. Hmmmm. Can you say, "invasion of privacy"?

Legally, I'd put this in the same league as someone who causes a traffic accident while reading the newspaper while driving, but where does this put you constitutionally as far as proving it?

"Welcome to a Brave New World, that has such texting drivers and heavy handed legislators in'it!"

Danger in a Minivan said...

Why only criminalize certain distracting activities? If someone isn't paying attention and causes a crash, then they are quite possibly negligent. They should be charged as such. But why only texting? Why not eating french fries, applying mascara, or, my personal favorite, turning around 180 in your seat to talk to your kid in the backseat?

Tim said...

Texting while driving is targeted in my opinion because it's most common with younger drivers, and young drivers are the least experienced behind the wheel.

Anonymous said...

We could just ban passengers altogether since they distract us by talking

Bob O said...

Wow. This discussion went south real quick like.

Have you ever been driving down Rte. 29, when suddenly a car doing 70 mph in the fast lane reduces speed to 50 mph and causes a near-pile up?

I have.

And when I pass them in the right hand lane (doing a safe 55 mph, of course) their always talking on the phone or looking at their phone.

Non-scientific study, but I do tend to see this two or three times a week.

And Rte. 29 gets clogged up for the next ten to 20 miles, affecting hundreds of people.


As Mark Twain said, common sense is often not sense, and it is never common.

How do you enforce this? Maybe I should use my iPhone to take pictures of these people; it'd be easy enough. And then we could GPS track them. Actually, we could all have paint ball guns and shoot red paint balls at people who we see on the phone while driving--at least that would be some kind of warning.

While I'm on this rant, does Maryland have a law for for drivers who fall into the category of "people who have shit to do"? Because it seems that a lot of people who are on their way to the next Valium Users conference don't get the concept of "left lane passing only" or "slower traffic keep right."

And I know, Maryland does not have a law about this, going along with it's "I'm a tapioca pudding state" point of view. Shame on Maryland. And shame on people who drive slow in the fast lane. You both cause more problems than you solve.

Okay. Rant ended. Freemarket, take over.

Drive said...

I am happy that I am not distracted when receiving in coming text messages. I use mobile application and I drive without losing concentration

Anonymous said...

I can't wait for them to ban any cell phone use while driving. Was run off the road (again) today by an SUV guy yakking away on his hands free phone.

Liesel Basil said...

Yep, when you're in the car, it's best to keep your eyes on the road and your hands driving. No matter how good you think you are at being able to text while driving, it's just not smart to do. When you're driving, stay safe and focus on the road!