Indubitably more dangerous

So, mobile phones. I hate 'em, but I'm a bit grumpy like that. However, mobile phone use while driving is outright dangerous. Here's a brief blurb from a driving and talking study done in 2006:

Motorists who talked on either handheld or hands-free cell phones drove slightly slower, were 9 percent slower to hit the brakes, displayed 24 percent more variation in following distance as their attention switched between driving and conversing, were 19 percent slower to resume normal speed after braking and were more likely to crash. Three study participants rear-ended the pace car. All were talking on cell phones. None were drunk.
The conclusion was, talking on your mobile while driving is as dangerous as being drunk while driving. We all know by now how dangerous drunk driving is; and yet, people around the world are blabbing away on mobiles, oblivious in part to their surroundings. This leads me to the following:

1. It's not me! I've been going a bit crazy while driving (more later), for a variety of reasons, one of them being I don't recall people driving this badly in the past. But I have to doubt that kind of recollection, as it can be tinged or influenced by a variety of factors. However, given that I learned to drive in the mid 80's, did a good deal of driving up to 1994, and then stopped driving for the most part till 2007, and now am full time again, it occurred to me I missed the introduction of the mobile phone on the roads, and now deal with it at full strength. So, given that a mobile phone user is just like a drunk, then yes, objectively, people are much worse drivers now, and driving is more dangerous.

2. Also, I'm convinced there's an evolutionary effect going on with mobile phones. To wit: Our brains are not designed to carry on a conversation with someone who is not there. It causes our mind to attempt to create them and their surroundings, mentally. This act perforce takes away your concentration on the here and now. Which is fine if you're in your living room; not so fine when you're speeding along at 75MPH. I've seen my first scientific study partially confirming this thesis, but I can't find it to link to it right now, so trust me. I believe I'm right.

3. Remember: A car is not a toy. In fact, it's likely you will do nothing more dangerous today or any other day than drive. So take it seriously!

Old Man Redshirt, signing out.

No comments: