Hand-held Cell Phones and Cars do not Match!
By don@smalldog.com

Riding a motorcycle puts you right out there in the elements and you are more a part of the world you are traveling through than if you are in a “cage” with the windows rolled up and the AC cranked. It is also a much more vulnerable situation without the walls of steel to protect you. My informal survey over the past 5 days is that in Illinois, Kentucky, Ohio and Pennsylvania about 32.7% of all drivers are talking on hand-held cellphones. In New York, where they it is illegal to drive and hold a cell phone, that number declines to about 2%.

As I observed these drivers chatting away on their cell phones, it was very clear to me that a significant portion of their consciousness was diverted from driving to that phone conversation. You could just see it in their expressions and the attention that they seem to be paying to their driving. It got so bad that a driver in a big pick-up truck chatting away on his cell phone nearly killed me three times in the course of about 5 miles. It was in Ohio and I was following TomTom’s directions through a city and a guy in a 3/4 ton pickup zooms out of a side street, cutting me off without even looking. I did an emergency braking maneuver and avoided the collision. He just kept chatting away on his cell phone, oblivious to the near crash. Moments later, he takes a right turn -FROM THE LEFT LANE! – right in front of me and goes down a one-way street the wrong way, still merrily chatting on the phone. I took the next right going in the right direction and found myself behind the guy again. The road went from 3 lanes to 2 lanes and without looking and still chatting away on the phone he cut me off again. My wife has trained me well to avoid road rage but I was boiling hot and it wasn’t just the 100 F heat either.

After that, I kept a closer than normal eye on other cars – especially with those whose drivers had a cell phone glued to their ear. I gave those cars a wide berth! I am reaching the conclusion that hand-held cell phones should be as illegal for drivers as alcohol! I don’t know if they keep statistics about “cell phone involved accidents” but I would not be surprised if there are significant numbers there. Actually I just Googled it and it turns out that 22 states collect data and only 2 states, New York and Connecticut ban hand-held cell phones. About 20 other states ban them for school bus drivers and police. Twenty-five other countries ban hand-held cell phones for drivers. I think it is time to ban hand-held cell phones for drivers in all states.

With those “borg” implants, also known as BlueTooth headsets, being as inexpensive and available as they are now days, there really is no excuse for using a hand held device. Most cell phones accept voice dialing, too.

On the other hand, maybe it really isn’t necessary to chat with your friends while you are piloting a 3000 pound vehicle at 70 miles per hour. Driving is an important responsibility and skill that should not be taken lightly and may require your instant reflexes and attention!

Don Mayer

Editor’s Note: This article was imported from our forums and has lost its comments in the process.


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