Distracted Driving: Should Talking, Texting Be Banned?
Most of us are neither pilots nor astronauts. We are not trained to steer large, Yet research is beginning to show that driving while simply talking on a cell phone — including using hands-free technology —of steel and gasoline . So there's something obvious about
In late July, the Center for Auto Safety (CAS) released hundreds of pages of a previously impose a ban on texting while driving; 17 states (including, most recently, Illinois, on Aug. 6) and the District of Columbia have passed such a ban, and seven states have driver use of handheld communication devices altogether. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood considers cell phones a problem he is planning a summit next month to discuss the dangers of driving while distracted. And though it's impossible to accurately gauge how many car accidents nationwide are cell phone related, David Strayer, a psychology professor at the University of Utah, that (Read "Text-Messaging Behind the Wheel.")that identified the cell phone as a serious safety hazard when used on the road. A introduced last month in the would require all states to
Strayer, who for more than a decade has been studying theand cell-phone use have on the brain, says those 2% are Rarities. Some of Strayer's other findings show that In other words, "cell phones," he says, "make you blind to your own bad driving."
And even though the common assumption is that hands-free technology hasthe more dangerous side effects of cell-phone use — it's just like talking to someone sitting next to you, isn't it? — a series of 2007 tests conducted by Strayer seems to indicate the opposite. A acted for the driver in the test and ,
Part of the problem may be that select one thing at the cost of being less able to respond to other things."says Steven Yantis, a professor of psychological and brain sciences at Johns Hopkins University. It can be as if a driver , decreasing her ability to see what's actually in front of her. "When people are listening to a cell-phone conversation, t," Yantis says. "It requires you to
This may explain why participants in one of Strayer'swere when they had