Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Cellphone use reduces ability to drive by 37%, study says

with 4 comments

Vancouver Sun

This really is no surprise. Driver distraction has been a growing problem as more drivers try to get something worthwhile out their drive time. But is is not just the circumstances, it is also the ability of the driver to multitask. And most drivers overestimate their abilities.

“If you know you’re out on the highway, there’s not much traffic, the weather’s fine, I think you can afford to (use a cellphone). Then that risk is manageable,” Just said. “In Toronto traffic, I think it’s probably a bad idea.”

But the unexpected can – and does – happen on highways in light traffic and good weather. You may be fine, but what about the testosterone filled youth with his new nitro injected road racer – with the incorrectly inflated tire on the front offside? Or the tired trucker with no working brakes and overloaded with logs not properly secured? Or the trailer just rented by an inexperienced tourist that starts to sway and fish tail?

You are on the phone making that important call that just cannot wait until you can pull over. So where is your attention – on the road, on the passing scene, or worrying about the twit at th eother end of the phone call who seems incapable of understanding the simplest concept?

This is not just a problem for new drivers either.

Whether or not any government has the intestinal fortitude to do the right thing, in the mean time I have a recommendation for you.

Hang up and drive!

Written by Stephen Rees

March 7, 2008 at 2:32 pm

Posted in Road safety

4 Responses

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  1. I’m not sure I have the right name that Mark Jaccard gave for a car, but I think he said something like:

    Personal Status Enhancing Mobility Increasing Device (with two additional words that I can’t recall right now) = car


    March 7, 2008 at 3:21 pm

  2. I’m surprised the 37% number is so low. People’s speed and lane control are absolutely horrible when they’re talking on the phone.


    March 7, 2008 at 5:42 pm

  3. New York has had a ban on cell phone use while driving for years (unless you have a hands-free set). When I moved here from there, I was shocked that Vancouver hadn’t already done so.

    Andrew E

    March 7, 2008 at 6:43 pm

  4. Bans are pointless unless *all* calls are banned; it’s not the hands vs hands free that’s the problem,it’s the concentration necessary to carry on a conversation with a disembodied voice. imho, ban them all, or ban none. Banning ‘hands’ devices only is pointless


    March 20, 2008 at 10:49 pm

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