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Besides cell phone use, what do you think distracts drivers?

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / October 17, 2006 4:34 AM PDT

Besides cell phone use, what do you think distracts drivers the most (and how so)?

Car stereo
Children or pets
Conversations
Driver fatigue
Eating or drinking
Being emotionally upset
Personal grooming
Rubbernecking
Smoking
Other (what is it?)

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Distracted while driving.
by hhopper / October 17, 2006 6:47 AM PDT

I hate to see drivers trying to read something while driving. I've actually seen people reading the newspaper while driving down the interstate. I've also seen people watching TV while driving down the interstate.

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The distractions are not the probem the bad drivers are!
by brewer / October 17, 2006 12:49 PM PDT

A good driver does not let anything distract him/herself. Every driver needs to understand that he/she is the pilot of a piece of equipment that can crush not only his/her own life but other innocent lifes in a heartbeat if the focus only for as much as a second is taken off the only thing that you are supposed to do when driving the car which is: Drive the car!
Unfortunately kids jump in their cars at least two years too early and older people still drive their vehicles 20 or 30 years after their license should have been revoked not to speak of the soccer moms speeding through the neigborhoods with the cellphone glued to the side of their head even before they get the gear in without any notion of using turn signals or any concern about anyone else on the roads because it's all about themselves!
As a driver you are supposed to drive the car and not get distracted by anything!

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Agreed that the problem is bad drivers
by Trailhop / October 18, 2006 6:31 AM PDT

I'm still on the fence on this issue. The problem really is bad drivers, but there are so many of them out there and distractions make them worse drivers.

I use a cell phone while driving, but the usage is very limited and my first priority while on the phone and driving is to pay attention to my driving. When I get a call while driving, I don't always answer. If I am in heavy traffic, I don't answer at all. If the traffic is light, I'll answer the call if I think it might be important, but I keep the conversation as brief as possible and/or tell the caller that I will return the call as soon as I arrive at my destination.

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Problem is bad drivers
by NYBRN / October 19, 2006 1:59 AM PDT

Your thinking here is excellent. Just because the phone rings, we shouldn't be obligated to answer it. And, if you do answer it, keep it short. The problem is, too many people are insecure enough to feel they need to answer every call and they must be on the phone the entire time they are driving. I would say that "get a life" fits appropriately for these people. We can't live without the mobility of our cars and phones, thus we'll simply have to live with this situation. Maybe the DMV should require driving AND talking as part of their requirements to get a drivers license? Hmmmm. Could be risky!

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I don't see the problem
by the_gbm / October 17, 2006 9:53 PM PDT

As I drive along the highway in bumper to bumper traffic, sipping my coffee, flicking my ashes out the window, and typing this message on my new blackberry, it is the other drivers who have the problem!!!!

If I see one more person smoking, typing and drinking while driving I swear I am going to run them off the road....but I am not a viiolent person!!!!

Two hands on the wheel is geeky, but safe....rather be a live geek than a dead cool guy!

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Geeks on the road
by NYBRN / October 19, 2006 2:10 AM PDT

Geeks are fine. They are the people who invent this stuff we all love to hate. They may have two hands on the wheel, but their minds are out in left field. They invent as they drive. They develop visions as they drive. Are they any more in control than those who are drinking coffee? Probably not. The people that concern me are the soda drinkers. They will actually lean their head all the way back to get that last drop of soda! To look in my rear view mirror and see someone with a Dr. Pepper about to chug the last 1.5 ounces is really scary!

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Body Language
by one_predator / October 17, 2006 6:56 AM PDT

If some people (unfortunately women) did not have hands, they could not talk. It is like they use sign language to hold a discussion with everyone in the vehicle except the steering wheel. But then too there are those that are more interested in passion than passing.

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Cell phone use in cars
by NYBRN / October 17, 2006 7:39 AM PDT
In reply to: Body Language

I agree that women have trouble with talking and driving. Add the cell phone and it's a disaster! I see no reason to take away the phone. Take the car away. If a person can't talk on a cell phone and drive at the same time, thhey shouldn't be driving.

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I agree with you ...
by makihannu / October 18, 2006 1:03 AM PDT
In reply to: Cell phone use in cars

I agree with you that it is possible to speak on the phone and drive safely. At least for some people in safe situations, but having it already prohibited (here in Finland) i'm wondering why smoking while driving is not even considered to be unsafe, even though a cell phone dropped is not starting a burn on the carpet, in the seat or on your lap.

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Cell phone use in cars
by mail0123 / October 18, 2006 5:06 AM PDT
In reply to: Cell phone use in cars

you shouldnt be allowed to talk on a cell phone wile driving , if you want to talk on the phone pull over , i see wile driving on the freeways driver pluging up the freeways , going slow , talking on the phone , you cant talk and drive at the same time , if thay outlawed cell phone wile driving we wouldnt have as much traffic on the road , cell phone drivers as as bad as drunk drivers , talking on a phone wile driving should have the same fine as drunk driving , there as many wrecks drunk driving as cell phone driving wrecks , and that has been documented truth

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It's not just women it;ts men too!
by Ms Mac / October 18, 2006 6:29 AM PDT
In reply to: Cell phone use in cars

Your driving down the road and all of a sudden the person in front of you gives a signal to turn right,
and you expect them to go right, instead they turn left. and setting at a red light when it changes to green to go the car is still setting yakking on
(his) or (her) cell phone and when someone honks there horn,then the cell phone user gives them the finger. I have seen a couple of fights over this right at the red light.
and it was very bloody.
I do not use my cell while driving I will pull off the road to use it, I see that happening a lot in the passed year.
Thanks
Ms Mac

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It's not just women it's men too!
by Ms Mac / October 18, 2006 6:30 AM PDT
In reply to: Cell phone use in cars

Your driving down the road and all of a sudden the person in front of you gives a signal to turn right,
and you expect them to go right, instead they turn left. and setting at a red light when it changes to green to go the car is still setting yakking on
(his) or (her) cell phone and when someone honks there horn,then the cell phone user gives them the finger. I have seen a couple of fights over this right at the red light.
and it was very bloody.
I do not use my cell while driving I will pull off the road to use it, I see that happening a lot in the passed year.
Thanks
Ms Mac

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Driver distractions
by jorgefox / October 17, 2006 7:01 AM PDT

I'm utterly amazed that the worst driver distraction - satellite navigator screen - isn't even listed in your "possibles." TV screens visible to the driver are illegal (at least in the UK), yet satellite navigators (with more intrusive screens) can be placed where the driver is actively encouraged to take his or her eyes from the road or the view ahead in order to obtain driving instructions and navigational hints, to say nothing of speed camera locations and the like. How many accidents must this already have caused, and how many more in the future, before something is done?

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Car Stereo
by jayhelman / October 17, 2006 7:04 AM PDT

My dad was once in a pretty bad accedint (thank god he didn't really get hurt) for listining to a favorite Pink Floyed song. He wasn't even touching any buttons! Your car stereo is very distracting. I would laugh and be pissed at the same it if they outlawed that, lol.

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Getting ready to go to the office/meeting ...
by Alberto_curacao / October 17, 2006 7:05 AM PDT

I've seen women trying to put make up on themselves, or watching themselves over the mirror while driving! women are cute and they can't help, that's why we love them Grin

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Cell phone can be a help when...
by connot / October 17, 2006 7:17 AM PDT

..you are tired and driving alone. I do feel that handsfree use is important, but have found that if I am driving alone, calling a friend and chatting for a few minutes can wake me up and give the support I need to be safe.

Anything can be a distraction in the car - finding just the right music - eating and drinking - smoking is a defnite distraction - wearing a new pair of shoes that feel a little different on the accelerator and brake can be a distraction - companions in the car can be distraction - some people feel the need to look at their companion to see their reaction to the discussion (as well as use their hands to gesture! lol ) creating a huge distraction - passing scenery can be a distraction.

Notice if you are easily distracted - pay attention to the people riding with you - are they comfortable? a little nervous? If you are a new driver, limit your distractions.


We all have the potential to be better drivers - should cell phones be banned - No, unless people are going to drive alone in cars with no music, eating or drinking - all personal items locked safely in the trunk - where there is no temptation to reach for something and perhaps tnited side windows so the scenery is less distraction. In other words - I don't think you can remove all the distractions that exist.

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Besides Cellphone use...
by daven / October 17, 2006 7:18 AM PDT

I would rate car stereo as at least as distracting as a cell phone. In the UK we can be stopped and prosecuted if seen to be carrying out a distractive operation in the car such as tuning the stereo, eating or drinking whilst driving. It is far easier to be nicked now with the profusion of CCTV cameras monitoring you every inch of the way. Hand held use of a cell phone is already illegal in the UK, and even hands free may not be safe, unless it is totally hands free and voice tag dialing is used. Strangely enough, hand held microphones as used by radio hams, CB'ers and minicabs, are covered by different legislation, and are not necessarily illegal if used when driving.

Dave Newman

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Children, rubbernecking
by smasonnc / October 17, 2006 7:24 AM PDT

I have 4 children and drove carpools for many years. Frankly, I don't know how I escaped without an accident. #1 distraction...kids fighting. The phrase, "Do you want me to pull this car over?" has probably been said, no, shrieked, by almost everyone who has had to transport multiple children at one time. N

ow that people have their kids hooked up to on-board DVD players and video games, (much like "Tommy" by The Who) it's probably not as severe a problem as in the recent low tech past. As long as they're considering requiring hands free devices on cell phones, why stop there? Require children to be plugged in to entertainment devices while riding in a motor vehicle. (I'm gonna get some hate mail for this one, aren't I? I hope most of you can see the tongue in cheek tone, even on the internet.)

Now, about rubberneckers. Nothing we can do to legislate nosiness, but it's a nuisance driving 10 miles an hour for miles because people want to see a fender bender. Just drive on, folks.

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Kids and rubberneckers.
by avgagliano / October 17, 2006 10:01 AM PDT

I couldn't agree with you more about the kids. They need to be belted and amused during long trips. Personally, I prefer intellectual endeavors to TV. However, I do disagree about rubbernecking. Absolutely slow down to no more than 5 mph. Can you imagine 50 vehicles flying by a roadside accident at 60 mph, with all of their heads turned 90 degrees away from the traffic in front of them?
And half of them will be on cell phones as well. Ouch!!

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Driver distraction

To prevent these accidents, you will have to do the obvious thing. BAN DRIVING!

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Distracted drivers
by westclan50 / October 17, 2006 7:37 AM PDT

Children and pets are more long term distractions than cell phones. They demand attention and especially if they have not been restrained can end up in your lap while you are driving. Car seats people not children in your laps.

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Putting on Makeup
by srd416 / October 17, 2006 7:39 AM PDT

I cannot understand how anyone can put makeup on while driving. I recently saw someone doing this on the Interstate. We all know how a driving situation or road condition can change in a split second so, come on - how about a little consideration for other people even if you don't care about yourself.
Maybe you could exercise a little common sense and get up 1/2 hr earlier in order that you may apply makeup at home. Many of us are on tight schedules, but it is no excuse for causing an accident.

I have also observed cars weaving carelessly back and forth while the driver is engaged in a very animated conversation with a passenger in the vehicle and not watching the road. Having seen this, I am not even sure that a hands free device is wise for cell phone usage in a car.

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I agree with you.
by Ms Mac / October 18, 2006 6:07 AM PDT
In reply to: Putting on Makeup

In 1979 I was on my way to work it was about 6:00 am
just like every morning, a lady putting on makeup, she was 2 cars ahead of me, she had her dome light on
putting that makeup on ,I see her every morning putting it on, and all of a sudden she hit a tree and was killed instantly, she was about 39 years old. all traffic stopped. Well the traffic was re-routed to the expressway. I barely got there on time, that evening
when I got home from work I told my son what had happened, and everyone that drove that route new it was going to happen on day, it had all ready been 4 years. About 5:30 my phone rang and it was a boy my son went to school with, he told my son that the lady killed that morning was his mother.
so all women that do this needs to "READ THIS"
And I still see it going on.
Thanks
Ms Mac

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That moron tailgating me distracts me
by spicetrader / October 17, 2006 7:43 AM PDT

If you put your thumb up at arms length and it's not wide enough to block out my car, and if you are going more than 50 mph, then you are following too close.

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Would you believe - READING
by NM_Bill / October 17, 2006 7:44 AM PDT

Thank goodness I'm retired but have to meet occasional appointments.

Not rarely now, when in commuter traffic, I'm floored to see hardback books propped up on the ring of the steering wheel !!!

As if ordinary distractions weren't enough.

Yes, over the years I've had my awkward moments going after something that rolled off the passenger seat onto the floor.

Changing the radio must have caused how many accidents?

But today, idiots who feel they must multi-task surely look as if their phone conversation is absorbing more attention than their driving.

At least hands free operation to police the deficiently minded.

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DAMN CAR STEREOS
by mandrewwhiteman / October 17, 2006 7:47 AM PDT

Car stereos are very distracting with LOUD VOLUME and BASS BOOST! People should be courteous. I know they like their music, but everybody a mile away doesn't want to hear it. That noise is highly distracting to me and I am sure to other drivers as well. Some have their bass boost so high that their vehicle is ratteling! I suspect that the obnoxious music contributes to road rage.

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Other
by toysys / October 17, 2006 7:49 AM PDT

You did not include "all of the above". I would say that most of the catigorys are equally at fault. My choices would be:
Children or pets
Conversations (arguments)
Driver fatigue (has happened to me)
Eating or drinking
Being emotionally upset
Personal grooming (very prevelent on the East coast)
Rubbernecking

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Cell phones are weird
by spicetrader / October 17, 2006 7:51 AM PDT

There's something about cell phones that makes them unusual. I was talking on my cellphone while riding my bike and tried to stop for a pedestrian in a crosswalk, mismanaged the brakes and fell right over, seriously spraining my shoulder. The pedestrian was fine. My sig other was furious.

About 2 months later, again I was talking on the phone while riding my bike along a quiet residential street. Around the corner came a slow moving car headed my way. Again, I hit the brakes in a very awkward way. I was pitched over the handlebars. I didn't collide with anything but the ground. The driver of the car got out and helped me. I got a serious cut on my chin. The bone in my left wrist chipped. The muscles in my torso were very strained and painful for a week. My sig other told me if I ever talked on the cellphone while riding my bicycle again, then she would kill me.

I think that, if you are driving something, you shouldn't talk on the cellphone. I know I shouldn't, and I don't. I could kill myself before my sig other has a chance.

db

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Bike Ridng and Mobile Phone Use
by NYBRN / October 19, 2006 2:05 AM PDT
In reply to: Cell phones are weird

There is a time and place for everything. Though I think people should be able to handle both riding/driving and talking, it may not be for everyone. Maybe it's a case of not using two "mobile" items at one time. This would cover skateboards, rollerblades, surfboards, hang gliding, cars, motorcycles, etc. Maybe a national campaign? "mobile + mobile = accident." Why do I not hear the car companies and bike companies warning us about this stuff? Should they not take the lead?

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Driving while using cellphones
by scubajon / October 17, 2006 7:51 AM PDT

There is a lot of evidence that the use of cellphones when driving causes accidents partly because their use causes different reactions than when say, talking to someone else in the car or listening to the radio. Drivers have enough to contend with so anything extra such as concentrating on a conversation on a cellphone only adds to the problem. If drivers were honest about it, they would agree. If you have kids in the car as well, adding the use of a cellphone too could be a major cause of an accident. But under those circumstances, I'm sure the kids would get the blame. The parents would NEVER blame themselves for using the cellphone. Oh No, of course not!

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