Really, if this isn't obvious ...
Reader comment on: Texting While Driving Bans
Submitted by Long Driver (United States), Sep 29, 2010 02:49
It always amuses me when someone defends talking on the phone while driving (or texting, or emailing) by making a defensive comparison with, say, applying makeup, or maybe hunting for a CD, fiddling with the kids, you know - things inside the car.
You knew what I meant by "inside the car". Yes, it's quite irresponsible to take one's eyes off the road, and worse to engage in some complex activity (other than driving). But talking on the phone, even hands-free, is far worse. Listen, retards: When you're on the damn phone, the bulk of your attention isn't even in the car. It's with the person on the other end.
Yes, I said "retards". Anyone who lacks the insight to recognize what happens when they engage in conversation qualifies as one. Talking to the person in the passenger seat is fine - your attention, the mental model with which you're currently operating, remains in the car with you and your partner. Not so when the target of the really complex task (conversation) has to be imagined, and that imagined image resides in a foreign context.
Now, anybody who watches traffic has seen people do dumbass things, and anecdotes don't pile up to data. But I can't recall ever seeing a potentially fatal error that I couldn't put down to either drunkenness or talking on the phone.
The problem isn't manipulating the phone, that's all with you, and no more complicated than finding something besides country or top 40. Some texters are so facile they really can thumb-twiddle without fumbling the car. It's the conversation that distracts so completely. Even a person who reminds their self to "keep it light, don't get distracted" can easily slide into phone world. Watch someone else talk while "attending" to some middling-complex task, or try to remember your own mental contents the next time you get off the phone. And if I see you on the road with it, remember that I'm wondering how it'd feel set to vibrate and nestled in your colon. Gotcha' on speed dial.
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