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Another Study Confirms Hands-Free Texting While Driving Is Unsafe 286

Posted by Soulskill
from the not-that-anybody-who-texts-behind-wheel-will-stop dept.
schwit1 writes with a followup to a story we discussed in April about how using voice-activated texting while driving was no safer than using your hands. Now, a study by AAA has found that using voice commands to send texts is more dangerous than simply talking on your cellphone. "Texting a friend verbally while behind the wheel caused a 'large' amount of mental distraction compared with 'moderate/significant' for holding a phone conversation or talking with a passenger and 'small' when listening to music or an audio book, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found in a report released today. Automakers have promoted voice-based messaging as a safer alternative to taking hands off the wheel to place a call and talk on a handheld phone. About 9 million infotainment systems will be shipped this year in cars sold worldwide, with that number projected to rise to more than 62 million by 2018, according to a March report by London-based ABI Research. 'As we push towards these hands-free systems, we may be solving one problem while creating another,' said Joel Cooper, a University of Utah assistant research professor who worked on the study. 'Tread lightly. There's a lot of rush to develop these systems.' The findings from the largest U.S. motorist group bolster National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Deborah Hersman's call to ban all phone conversations behind the wheel, even with hands-free devices."
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Another Study Confirms Hands-Free Texting While Driving Is Unsafe

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  • by jellomizer (103300) on Wednesday June 12, 2013 @02:56PM (#43988203)

    Well if you are Talking in the car with a passenger, he can tell you, Dude you need to stop your car. Vs talking to some one who doesn't have a stake in your driving safety (and can't know if he does).

    I just recently got in an accident. I have a hands free unit. The phone rang, and the split second it took me to read who it was on the dashboard was long enough for me not to keep my eyes on the road to see the car in front of me doing a quick stop.
    I didn't even pick up the phone, I was just wondering who it was, and it showed right on the dashboard.

    If I am driving and someone is with me, and I get too distracted, or when I am riding with someone and see that they are about to do something dangerious. I can say, Hey the car is stopping!.

  • Even worse (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Sparticus789 (2625955) on Wednesday June 12, 2013 @02:57PM (#43988217) Journal

    What is more dangerous is having stupid people driving..... period. Whether they are texting, juggling, talking on the phone, or playing PS3. Especially when they try to merge onto a 65 MPH freeway going 30 MPH.

  • Re:No shit (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gstoddart (321705) on Wednesday June 12, 2013 @03:01PM (#43988251) Homepage

    And in other news, water is wet, and jumping off a tall building is a "bad idea."

    And yet, I could stand at almost any intersection with a camera, and I bet at least 25% of all drivers are in the middle of talking or texting despite it being illegal. Some days, it seems like more.

    As long as people still believe that they are so highly evolved they can do this without problem, it will continue to be one. Not unlike people who believe they're still good drivers when they're half hammered.

  • by Garion911 (10618) on Wednesday June 12, 2013 @03:03PM (#43988265) Homepage

    One of 2 reasons for your accident.

    1. You took longer than you think to read the name.
    2. You were following too closely.

    Answer is most likely 2. People follow MUCH too closely nowadays.

  • Re:hmmmm (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 12, 2013 @03:07PM (#43988315)

    How do you get that practice?

  • Re:No shit (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mcgrew (92797) * on Wednesday June 12, 2013 @03:12PM (#43988377) Homepage Journal

    And yet, I could stand at almost any intersection with a camera, and I bet at least 25% of all drivers are in the middle of talking or texting despite it being illegal.

    Illegal's not the problem. If it were safe yet illegal it would only be their problem. Since it's so dangerous it's everybody's problem.

    Perhaps part of the problem is that there are laws that impact no one but the person breaking the law. That leads to disrespect for law in general.

  • by dkleinsc (563838) on Wednesday June 12, 2013 @03:19PM (#43988431) Homepage

    It's completely logical.

    Your passenger, like you, has a significant interest in surviving your trip, and will tend to react by quieting down when you're in a tough spot, or help you out with a "Watch out!" if you're about to, say, pull into an occupied lane next to you.

    The person on the other end of the phone, by contrast, isn't there with you and has no understanding of your current situation.

    The basic thing to understand, though, about why hands-free makes no significant difference is that it's not the driver's hands or eyes that are the limiting factor, it's the driver's brain.

  • by bws111 (1216812) on Wednesday June 12, 2013 @03:25PM (#43988479)

    Because they aren't distracting. You probably check the gauges, etc dozens of times during a trip, and never even realize it. If I asked you what the gauge said a few seconds after you looked at it you could probably not even tell me. However, if you got a text or phone call, I bet I could ask you 10 minutes later and you would know exactly who it was from. In the case of gauges no real 'processing' or memory is involved - you are just looking for a quick confirmation of something, and as soon as you have that you can forget about it. Not so with texts and phone calls.

  • Re:No shit (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Wednesday June 12, 2013 @03:48PM (#43988719) Homepage Journal

    Perhaps part of the problem is that there are laws that impact no one but the person breaking the law. That leads to disrespect for law in general.

    So you want your driver's license taken away because one of your neighbors killed someone while texting behind the wheel?

    No, no, no... I want your driver's license taken away until you can prove that you're not a selfish fuckhead who is incapable of operating 2 tons of Rolling Steel Death without endangering everyone around you.

  • by crakbone (860662) on Wednesday June 12, 2013 @03:57PM (#43988839)
    Just bad driving. If he knew that he needed to look he should have made sure he had a proper braking distance for the time it takes to check the screen. That's part of driving. Analyzing the environment and accounting for problems before they happen. My wife constantly got on me about slowing down for green lights ( I watch cross traffic and slow if it looks dangerous). One day we are driving late and I started slowing for a green light to watch cross traffic, I hit the brakes hard and a truck full on blew the light at 70 miles an hour. If I had not checked the cross traffic we would have been t-boned and our car would have taken out four drunks crossing the road. As it was the driver barely missed the drunks. Situational awareness is very important in driving.
  • Re:No shit (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mdielmann (514750) on Wednesday June 12, 2013 @04:09PM (#43988987) Homepage Journal

    The problem is many people are dangerous even without the cell phone or texting. Removing those things doesn't make them safe.

    BUT, most people are more dangerous when driving while texting or using a cell phone. Adding that makes them less safe.

  • by Entropius (188861) on Wednesday June 12, 2013 @04:16PM (#43989041)

    ... and these are the same people trying to ban the practical use of satnav devices while driving, leading to everyone reading maps in traffic.

    I am sick of the automotive nanny state.

  • Re:No shit (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Hognoxious (631665) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @03:49AM (#43992995) Homepage Journal

    If losing your license means losing your job then perhaps you should drive more carefully?

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