Today’s no-brainer: do not talk on your cellphone while driving. I don’t know why anyone would still do this, but CNN indicates that you’re four times more likely to have a serious accident while yakking away on your phone. Of course, the idiot industry spokespeople say everything is fine:
The Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association, a Washington-based trade group, downplayed the findings, saying the distractions associated with mobile phones are no different from those encountered by drivers who eat or talk with passengers as they drive.
Well, first, you shouldn’t be eating while driving either. But talking on your cellphone is very clearly different than talking to someone in the passenger seat. The passenger sees the same road conditions that you do, and the flow of the conversation is better – they see when you’re unable to talk, and shut up so that you can navigate a tricky situation. After all, they’ll die too if you flip the car. The pressure of a normal phone conversation with someone who can’t see the road, on the other hand, means that it takes much more effort to keep the conversation going – the person on the other end is less forgiving of pauses and lack of attention. Plus, with cellphone voice quality usually being poor, you have to concentrate much harder just to hear what the other person is saying. That’s why hands-free headsets don’t really help either – physically holding the phone up to your ear is less of an issue than being distracted by keeping the conversation going.
I love my cellphone. But I like not being messed up in an accident even more. Here’s something to not just minimize – don’t do it at all.