T Nation

Off Topic: Cellulars

I just saw an update on Niki Taylor. The people on the news say she just got upgraded to ‘good’ condition. She got in a car accident because her driver got distracted talking on his cell phone (he admitted it). Is that what it’s gonna take to get people to stop using those things while they’re driving? There aren’t any laws against cell phones specifically but against being distracted in general, why aren’t they more strictly enforced?

Talking on a cell phone is LESS distracting than talking to someone else in the car, since when someone else is in the car, you are tempted to look at him/her, whereas when you’re talking on a cell phone, there is no such possibility. So unless you want to ban people from talking in the car, I suggest you shut the fuck up.

I should also point out that studies have shown that fiddling with the climate controls, eating fast food, and a host of other things are more likely to result in an accident than dialing a cell phone.

Well just for the record the whole cell phone story with Nikky Tyler is crap…Nikki and her boyfriend were at a club until reportedly 3 or 4 am, then they left and were involved in the accident…I am pretty sure from all of the entertainment shows that the fact that he was blitzed while driving may have been the real cause of the crash.

New York has banned cell phones while driving, (although you will be able to use the hands free device still) but it`s really not gonna be enforced until a few more months.

The problem is the dialing of the phones (you look down at the phone taking your eyes off the road), not talking on them.

Want to hear my -less than important-opinion?

I think cellphones should have been made available only to police, military, fire fighters, and medical professionals. I can’t see why the average person would want to have one of those damn things ring in their pockets all day long.

It was her driver who was talking on the phone, not her, he admitted to being distracted by it, that’s why he crashed into the pole. Laws against cell phones are redundant when there already exist laws against distractions. I saw one guy in his NSX once, holding his phone in one hand, dialing with the other while looking at what buttons he was punching, and steering with his knees. At least while you’ve got passengers you can keep both hands on the wheel.

Mike, I’ve read and respected your posts in the past, but not this time. “Shut the fuck up”?!?! Who the fuck are you to say something like that to Natey? Talking to someone in a car is NOT as dangerous as using a cell phone. (A) You don’t have to use your hands (either to dial or to hold the phone against your ear) when you talk to someone else. (B) If you don’t have enough self-discipline to talk to someone and not look at them while driving, you shouldn’t be driving in the first place. Jumping from USING cell phones to TALKING to someone, and trying to make an argument along those lines, is idiotic. YOU shut the fuck up until you have something worthwhile to say.

And in case anyone’s interested, the socio-political bellweather state of Washington has also passed legislation banning the use of hand-held cell phones in cars. Takes effect pretty soon, and other states will undoubtedly follow.

Telling someone to “shut the fuck up” for making a simple suggestion is downright rude. It always amazes me how ballsy people get when they are posting on a BB under a pseudonym. Oh well.

Mike, you say that studies have shown that fiddling with climate controls, etc., is more likely to result in someone having an accident. All right, which studies do you refer to? Have they been published in a peer-reviewed academic journal, or was this study done by Gallup or Time magazine? Or, and I'm not making an accusation here, is there actually a study at all (perhaps this was told to you by someone else and you took it on faith) If you can point the way I'll gladly read them, as I'm genuinely curious to see the results from a sociological standpoint.

I agree that eating, shaving, applying make-up, etc. are downright irresponsible when done in transit, as these actions distract one from the task at hand. Likewise, cell-phone use while driving is dangerous. And I'm sorry, there absolutely IS a difference between talking to someone sitting in the driver's seat and talking to someone on the phone. Reason? While talking on the phone, you're actually doing THREE activities at once. First, you're driving (or doing something approximating driving). Second, you're carrying on a conversation. Third, you're unfolding/dialing/holding/hanging up a cell phone. These three things, when combined, really seem like too much for the average person to safely pull off simultaneously. If the laws in any given district already prohibit actions which are distracting to the average driver, then that law should apply to phones as well.

These are the stats as reported by the University of North Carolina’s Highway Safety Research Center: Cell phones are responsible for 1.5% of all accidents; car radios, 11.5%; air conditioners, 2.8%; passengers, 10.8% (a full order of magnitude greater than cell phones); fast food, 1.7%; things outside the car, 29.4%.

Now if you respected my opinion in the past, it was probably because I don’t make statements unless I have the facts to support them. And people who cross me inevitably find this out. As you can judge by the research I presented, this time was no exception.

So again, I reiterate: cell phones should NOT be banned; on grounds of principle because the POTENTIAL for harm should never be outlawed, only the harm ITSELF; and on grounds of practicality because just about everything else one does in a car is more likely to result in an accident than using a cell phone. Now go fuck yourself.

LATEST FAD FOR BLACKS…talking for ever on their cellphones at my gym.Standing around,sitting on benches or machines people want to use…for hours…WTF.Yelling real loud in the finest ebonics into their phones as you try to concentrate.Twenty years from now when they all get brain or skull cancer some genius will figure out that cellphones were a racist plot.

My boyfriend went to law school with a lady who was talking to her husband on the cell phone when he crashed and died. How creepy is that? I personally can’t stand seeing those things in use by a driver on the highway. Sitting in traffic is another matter.

My own personal opinion is that it isn’t talking on a cell phone that’s so dangerous to one’s driving, but holding it up to your ear. It blocks the peripheral vision on that side, reduces the tendency of the person to turn to that side to look, and if one does turn to look, the whole body turns (arm with the head, causing shoulder movement) which then causes steering input. I use a hands-free headset when driving, and my phone is voice activated (as is my voice mail system). I think New York has set a precident that other states are soon to adopt as well. My suggestion? Get a hands free device now, before the prices go up when the laws are enacted.

Mike, what a great example you set for your party. To use the word “libertarian” in your name and then display this level of diplomacy is pretty fitting, I think. Just like the rest of the libertarians, you’re not much of a politician, are ya? Anyways, they passed a ban on cellphone use in cars in New York yesterday, I believe. The author of that bill hopes that the ban will eventually extend nationwide (sooner than later, I’m sure). You poor libertarians just never win do ya, Mikey? :stuck_out_tongue:


The Taylor accident is just another example of the media running with a story that eventually sheds light on a much larger, ongoing problem and I’m sorry Mikey, but it is a problem. Yes, there are things that cannot be legislated. i.e. Messing with the climate control, radio, talking to another person in the car (the logic behind that statement is beyond me, Mikey) However, I hate seeing people swerving in front of me, not maintaining a steady rate of speed, etc. while talking on their cellphone. We have all seen it and it’s a danger that can be avoided. Cellphones are not inherent to cars and this is a completely unnecessary danger, as is eating while driving. (Yes, mikey, I think this should be banned, also.) We put our lives in the hands of others everytime that we hit the road. Should I be forced to wear a seatbelt? No. Whose business is it but mine whether or not I put myself in danger? Any law that can keep others from putting me in danger unecessarily, though, is fine by me.

I forgot to respond to your transparent numbers. I know how difficult it is to find numbers to back up EVERY ARGUMENT EVER MADE. :)Every car has a radio and most have air conditioners, Mikey. I would always expect radios and air conditioners to cause more crashes than cellphones. This is common sense, a characteristic that is obviously lacking in most, if not all, libertarians. And kids??? (i.e. “passengers”) They can be quite distracting, also. I wouldn’t put any stock in those numbers without A LOT more detail regarding that study.

What’s with all the libertarian bashing here. Anyway, I personally can’t stand cell phones and don’t want to own one. I also have a number of times had to jam on my brakes or waited 15 seconds at a green light and then realized that the person in front of me had a cell phone to their ear. They should be banned while driving because they are a hazard. I’ll save my protest against worthless laws for the war on drugs. And to Pete: LATEST TREND AMONG WHITES: singling out a race as the only one with annoying cell phone tendencies. don’t be so ignorant.

Oh, poor Kevin, the facts don’t support his side so he ignores them. How fundamentalist. Your only argument is that the other more frequent causes of accidents are integral to operating a car, but that’s bullshit: you don’t need AC or a radio to drive a car – these things are luxuries, not necessities. So the government should ban car radios, climate controls, seat adjustments, eating and drinking in the car, passengers who have their own car (to reduce the 10.5% accident rate), and – most importantly – EVERYTHING OUTSIDE THE CAR. Yup, that’s right, the government should ban all those signs and billboards, the pedestrians, the automobiles, and every other goddamn thing that has the potential to cause distraction, since, after all, those things are responsible for a whopping 30% of all accidents. Jesus, kevin, is there a brain in that skull of yours?

I have presented detailed statistics and argued on grounds of principle and practicality that automotive use of cell phones shouldn’t be banned. As usual, that argument still stands.

Grounds of practicality? What grounds of practicality have you argued upon? That cellphones are practical and necessary? That it’s not practical to ban the use of cellphones while driving? How have you shown that? Talking in circles like the good politician that you are, huh, Mikey? And like I said, you can find numbers to back up EVERY ARGUMENT THAT HAS EVER BEEN MADE. You obviously don’t have any more details on the report that you gave us the numbers on. All you have are the NUMBERS. Anyone can hit a search engine and come back here with stats about anything. We could do it all day. I base my opinion on the banning of cellphones 100% on personal experience and good common sense. That’s all. How many people here have almost been run off the road, waited too long at green lights, sped up and slowed down repeatedly, all because of someone talking on a cellphone while driving? Like I said before: Any law that we can pass that will keep other people from endangering me and my loved ones unecessarily is fine by me. I don’t want to get hit by a half-ton vehicle because someone feels the need to make a hair appointment RIGHT NOW. I don’t think I’ve made myself clear on one very important point, though. I have absolutely no problem with hands-free cellular usage, but talking on a handheld while driving is completely ridiculous when there is a much safer alternative available. Here’s what you have actually proven to me so far and nothing else: a) You are definitely a legitimate libertarian. b) You’re rude and obnoxious c) The only thing that you know regarding cellphone use in cars are what those little numbers told you. By the way, you’ve already lost outside of this forum, (which I’m sure comes as no surprise, seeing as you’re a libertarian and all) so there’s really nothing to discuss. Coming soon to your state: A ban on using handheld cellphones while driving.

As of November 1, 2001 hand held cell phones will be illegal in New York. December 1 startes the $100 dollar fines. I, for one, am glad. I will not allow the driver in a car I am in to talk on the phone while I am a passenger. It is VERY different than eating or fussing with controls. You are completely removing one hand, arm and shoulder from driving the car. YES eating does that too, but how many times have you seen someone holding a phone and writing a message? I’ve never seen someone write down a mesage from their hamburger. I’m glad they’re being banned, get a little headset and you can still talk and use both hands for driving…it is NOT that big of a deal!!!

Mike, statistics are NOT a study. My social research professor in college loved to pull out stats for the first half hour of class and use them to back up an argument. Then, he would use the EXACT SAME STATS to back the opposing argument. The point was to show that old Joe Friday’s caveat “Just the facts, ma’am” isn’t good enough. The government uses stats all the time to manipulate public opinion, and with a little leg work (and some social reearch training) one can quickly see the flaws. Now, I haven’t seen the NC study, but I would like to read the entire thing, as I have no idea what methods
quantitativeor qualitative research, operational definitions of the variables, etc.). Where was this journal published? I’d really like to hit the library and read it for myself.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that it really chaps my ass when people (independent of race-what the hell was THAT about?) use these things in the gym, restaurants, theaters, or anywhere else where peace and quiet, not to mention common courtesy, are ALREADY in short supply. Are we that impatient that the damn call can’t wait?

There are two types of drivers in this world of ours: those that can responsibly use a cell phone by taking advantage of handsfree or headset technology and those that need all of their concentration just to keep their vehicle between the lines. Let alone being a courteous driver…