It’s not the same.
It’s not the same.
Even the NHTSA admits those figures are not accurate. Often the driver that causes the fatal accident is not checked for blood alcohol level if it is not obvious that they have been drinking. But the stats on texting are far more inaccurate as it is nearly impossible to prove that a driver was texting at the time of the accident. The police are not allowed to check the phone or look into phone records without a search warrant, and those require probably cause such as an eye witness testimony.
Edit: Tennessee just passed a distracted driving law, but it specifies hands on as the offense. To be charged, you have to have your hands on the device, so bluetooth links to the radio or talking with Seri or Alexa do not count.
I’m not going t mention any names but some folks simply cannot talk without wildly waving their hands. So hands free might be seen as yeah hands free on the wheel. Like any law though it has unintended consequences. On our 400 mile trek last weekend, I had my phone off, but I started to wonder if just holding a dead phone or a piece of plastic could also get you in trouble. As has been said, “no man, woman, or child is safe when the Legislature is in session”.
While driving in a snow storm though, knobs on a radio are great. But then there is voice activated radio commands, but I’ve given up trying to train Martha, my car computer companion to do what I tell her. “I’m sorry, did you mean . . .” Oh shut up, I’ll do it myself. That old song comes to mind but should be updated to rules maybe: “Signs, signs, everywhere a sign. Do this, don’t do that . . .” At some point I fear we are going to be so cluttered we’ll just have to throw everything out and start over.
In most states - if you are in an accident and the police suspect that you might be texting, then getting the subpoena for your phone cell records won’t be that difficult.
Based on my unscientific experience, it’s also about how much attention I pay to the conversation as I drive. I just seem to pay more attention to a phone call than I do an in-person conversation in the car. Maybe it’s because I know the passenger knows I’m driving, so it’s less rude to not pay attention to what the passenger is saying. On a phone call, the person on the other end doesn’t know what I’m doing, so maybe that’s why I feel more compelled to pay attention.
Also, when I’m on a phone call, I tend to tune-out visual stimuli, but not when I’m talking to a passenger in my car. It’s weird that there should be a difference, but I definitely perceive it.
Disclaimer: I almost never talk on the phone while I drive. It’s legal in my state to talk and drive, so if I’m driving in light traffic and I get an urgent call, I might answer and say “I’m driving. Let me pull over and call you back in a few minutes.” My anecdotal experiences relate to times when I talk on the phone outside of my car.
Even hands free driving? I know many states now have talk and drive while holding a cell phone, but I know of no state that says you can’t talk with a hands free device.
I told my wife to not call me anymore because I can’t answer the phone anyway and it’ll probably be off when I’m driving to save the planet. If it’s urgent, call an ambulance or a plumber depending on the issue. No more of these “Where are you? I’m in a snow storm and can’t talk” conversations.
Not in Tennessee. The girl that destroyed my truck had to have been texting. She hit two vehicles that were well off the side of the road (very wide shoulder in this area) and did not swerve or brake before hitting them. Cops could not get her cell phone records because no one actually saw her with the phone in her hand.
Not here, but that’s just been proposed in the UK. I doubt it will go anywhere though - there will be lawsuits if a government makes standard vehicle equipment that you paid for suddenly illegal.
Like I said, once you start with this stuff it’s a slippery slope. There is no end to what some people would propose and the folks in charge all think they are God’s gift to humanity. Minneapolis now is passing an ordinance against any new drive throughs to reduce emissions and prevent running over people on the side walks. Then to just make sure they make the news, they are banning gas stations. Yup. You can bike, bus, take the train, walk, or use your electric vehicle, but gas will be a thing of the past if these idiots get their way. Luckily I don’t (wouldn’t) ever live there but it’s monkey see monkey do so no one is safe.
Good, because cars should be discouraged in urban centers. Even if you don’t care about environmental issues, why would you want to sit in a traffic jam in downtown for 2 hours because you just had to drive to the Twins game instead of taking public transit?
Heh heh. This is Car Talk after all and not bus or bike talk. They may change it some day to Anti-Car Talk. But yeah, why take 15 minutes to drive into town to park at the Twins stadium, when you can park at the Mega Mall, wait for the train, take a 30 minute train ride downtown (but watch yourself around the Lake Street station), and then repeat it again the other way in a couple hours?
Yeah, I’ve noticed you like to say that when someone suggests that cars aren’t appropriate solutions to everything. And as has been explained before, if this were Horse Talk, that doesn’t mean it would be rational to suggest that horses should be allowed on interstates. There are places where cars are the correct solution to travel needs. Urban centers are not one of them.
Because you and I both know that the only time it takes 15 minutes to drive in and park at the stadium is when there isn’t a game there.
Yeah it’s like that old saying “No one drives a car anymore, there is too much traffic”. Horses have never been allowed on the freeway, or bikes. It’s on the sign.
A lot of big cities have these type of ordinances. But it depends on the city. I know of only 2 gas stations in Boston (and neither one are Citco). Drive-Throughs and gas stations in a city environment like Boston don’t do well. Traffic is bad enough. And at least Boston has a decent public transit system and is also easy to walk. When ever I need to go into Boston I take public transit.
I haven’t been to Minneapolis in decades, so I can’t comment on how adversely gas stations or drive-throughs in city limits would be.
Naw it’s more like the frog in the frying pan. I never tried it but they tell me if you gradually turn up the heat, the frog won’t jump out and will just sizzle, compared to putting the frog into a pan that’s already hot. But like I said I never tried it but I do know there are some crazy people around-in and out of government.
Problem: Inattentive texting
One of the reasons that the FAA implemented the “sterile cockpit rule” (no non pertinent conversation below 10000 ft above ground level) was the crash that killed Steven Colbert’s father and two brothers.
Plane was making an instrument approach into Charlotte and the two man crew (no engineer in the DC9) was discussing used cars, politics and other topics. They flew into the ground in thick fog.
That was a good one.