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

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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  • Neat (Score:4, Interesting)

    by denmarkw00t ( 892627 ) on Wednesday June 12, 2013 @02:59PM (#43988235) Homepage Journal

    Remember last time when Texas A&M did this? They asked people to LOOK AT THE PHONES AND MAKE SURE THE TEXT WAS CORRECT. Of course it's more distracting. I don't know the details of this study, TFA is light on details and direction (though it mentions the A&M study).

    In case no one here was aware - doing anything other than driving, when you're driving, means you aren't driving at 100%/

  • Re:No shit (Score:4, Interesting)

    by pspahn ( 1175617 ) on Wednesday June 12, 2013 @04:24PM (#43989141)

    Perhaps part of the problem is that there are laws that impact no one but the person breaking the law.

    Nice. So how about we amend TWD laws so that if you provide proof that a driver was TWDing (photo, video, etc... NOT while you are driving yourself, and not with automated equipment) then the $50 fine the person gets hammered with goes right into your pocket instead (minus some administrative overhead).

  • Re:No shit (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dubbreak ( 623656 ) on Wednesday June 12, 2013 @04:52PM (#43989381)
    The theory is those people are weeded out through a driving test prior to receiving their license. Problem is often the tests are difficult enough, or the person jumps through the hoops of the test despite having poor driving skills and practices in the real world. Where I am re-testing is rare and generally reserved to the elderly. I'd personally like to see it as a more frequently used tool in policing. Driving recklessly? In addition to a fine you need to pass a re-examination within x weeks or your license is suspended. caught texting and driving? You have to take a re-examination at your own cost. Basically drive it into peoples' skulls that driving is a privilege not a right.

    Anything distracting is going to make someone a worse driver than they already are. Removing those distractions reduces the risks. It may not make them "safe", but they'll be further on the spectrum towards safe than if they were texting and driving (mediocre is better than horrid, and horrid is better than guaranteed manslaughter). Anecdotal, but in my experience it's those idiots that think they are the best drivers and can text and call with no problems (completely oblivious to how they are drifting in their own lane). I've confronted people about drifting due to distractions.. all claim they weren't drifting in their lane! "No, I was driving fine!"
  • by QuasiSteve ( 2042606 ) on Wednesday June 12, 2013 @07:16PM (#43990785)

    From previous Slashdot discussions I've come to learn that:

    Safe distance following
    Inviting an unsafe maneuver by creating a gap that fellow drivers will want to move into - keep gap short
    Creating safe distance following (e.g. as a result of the above
    Creating an unsafe situations for cars behind you - quit worrying about safe driving distance you pansy
    Driving less than 7 miles over the speed limit
    Not going along with the flow of traffic, creating unsafe situations for all - get off the road, grandpa!
    Stopping at a stop sign
    Freaking out the car behind you - practice a rolling stop instead
    Stopping for a yellow when it's safe to do so
    Dancing with the whiplash devil - just floor it man, you can make it!
    Passing cyclists with a wide berth while staying in your own lane
    Freaking out everybody from the opposite direction anyway, creating unsafe situations for all - try to hit the cyclists with your passenger side mirror, bonus points if they don't fall, even though they don't belong on the road anyway
    Signaling your turn in advance of the turn
    Confusing other traffic, leading them to believe you're trying to crash into a mailbox - turn the wheel, and at the same time turn on your blinker, saves energy too

    I wish this was post was a lot less serious, but you can check previous stories on people's driving behavior. There's plenty people partaking in traffic who honestly believe that 'technically safe driving' is what causes unsafe situations, and you really should err on the technically unsafe side to be safe.

... though his invention worked superbly -- his theory was a crock of sewage from beginning to end. -- Vernor Vinge, "The Peace War"