Re: Typing texts at the wheel is incredibly dangerous
The law basically wants you to keep both your hands free to drive. It doesn't say you need to have both on the wheel.
Holding your phone IS illegal. Eating or drinking while driving IS illegal. Tapping on your laptop, reading the newspaper or a book, or even watching a movie on your laptop or cellphone while driving IS illegal. ( Yes, i've seen all of these happen, unfortunately ).
Talking to someone on the passenger seat, of course, takes almost no need to focus on the driver's part, but it is known that talking on the phone takes a whole lot more focus/attention than talking to someone else personally, even if it's just because of the background noise, the call volume, etc... Texting will take even more. You DO have to take your eyes off the road, and that split second is all it takes, sometimes. I've seen it happen all the time. Of course, when they smash their cars, nobody says "yes, officer, i was texting/talking on the phone". Of course not! That's the same as saying "I'm guilty, let me pay for everything".
And i have to say, i agree with this. I agree that everyone should just focus on driving, instead of multi-tasking. Even if it's just eating a sandwich, or drinking that cup of coffee.
Even though i have a hands-free + bluetooth connection in my car, so i can answer any call without
taking my hands off the wheel, i still tend to just answer with "sorry, i'm driving, so unless you're dying, or is an emergency, call me later."
We lived years and years without the freaking cell phones, and now for some reason, we're all addicted to them. It seems we just can't live without a cell phone. I just can't understand what's so urgent about that call that can't wait a few minutes.. I went out with my friends on my teenage years, and i had no cell phone. I had to wait till we met, and then we talked. How did i survive, and had dates, and a social life, i ask..
I saw a story ( I think it was here on the reg ) some time ago, where one driver got a ticket because he sneezed while driving, and used one hand to hold a tissue.
Yes, it is illegal. Yes, it is stupid the officer fined him for holding a tissue while sneezing, instead of just letting it all go to your windshield ( yes, much better, now ). Yes, it was excessive. But it is the law. And if it's there, it's because someone was already pushing it too far.
Unfortunately, there has to be a hard line, and this guy was caught on the wrong side.
Now, the article says the statistics show no improvement. I don't see that as a "cell-phone has nothing to do with it". I see it as "nobody gave a damn, and everybody still uses their cell-phone while driving". I see that everywhere. The law only works if someone is enforcing it, and actively checking it.
Because right here in Portugal, right now, that's exactly what's happening. It's forbidden. And nobody cared. And i see guys driving at 150km/h while holding their cell phone. And as someone who got his car smashed because a freaking truck driver just couldn't wait 1 hour before making that stupid call, i have to say, yes, cellphones DO take concentration from your part.
There's no amount of "sorry, i got distracted with a call" that made up the fact that he smashed thru my car with me in it.