Police Say Hands-Free Texting While Driving Still Risky

by Jordan Richardson on January 19, 2011

In today’s rather obvious news, police say that hands-free texting while driving is still a risky proposition.

In all honesty, it’s not at all unreasonable to say that anything that takes our attention off the task at hand, in this case driving an automobile, is probably a pretty bad idea. With DVD players and all sorts of other distractions making their way inside our vehicles, it’s safe to say that we live in a day and age in which driving is perhaps the last thing on our minds when we get behind the wheel.

Oh sure, we like to rationalize. We like to tell each other that we can “multi-task” or handle the distractions and that we always have. Nobody ever admits to being a bad driver, after all, and nobody ever admits to not being able to handle distractions. We learn this sort of behaviour early on when we’re testing our limits. “Of course I can eat all of that pizza,” we shout to our “clueless” parent before we’re stuffed. “Of course I’ll remember to take the garbage out!” “Of course I did my homework!”

Certainly we can handle the distractions behind the wheel, too. We can shuffle through radio stations, put on our make-up, eat a sandwich, shave, talk to our friends, yell at the kids in the back-seat, talk to ourselves, brush our teeth, eat another sandwich, and so on when we’re driving. It’s no problem. Of course we can.

Legislation that chased cell phones out of vehicles is a mere red herring to the larger issue of our tendency to distract ourselves while doing seemingly menial but incredibly vital things.

“It’s about attention/distraction, not about hands,” Yoko Ishigami, a Dalhousie University psychologist, told the CBC in a 2010 interview. “It’s kind of misleading that people ban only hand-held phones. It gives the wrong impression that it’s okay to talk on the phone, which is not good at all.”

This concept is reinforced by the notion that most areas impacted by a cell phone ban have experienced little to no changes in their levels of accidents. A 2010 study by the Highway Loss Data Institute in the United States found that the 20 jurisdictions that banned texting while driving saw no drop in accident claims.

There will be some, inevitably, that will suggest that these distractions are not all that bad. There are some who suggest vehemently that they can get behind the wheel after a few drinks and drive home without incident. It’s our nature. We like to push our limitations, whether it’s texting while driving or stuffing our faces with pizza. We have something to prove, after all. Of course we do.

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Written by: Jordan Richardson. www.digitcom.ca >. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com > by: RSS >, Twitter >, Identi.ca >, or Friendfeed >

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