Talking while driving
Posted Aug 28, 2012 1:20 UTC (Tue) by man_ls
In reply to: GENIVI: moving an industry to open source
Parent article: GENIVI: moving an industry to open source
"All else being equal" is a tricky proposition even on the best days. There may be multiple arguments to explain why the accident rate has not gone down after forbidding "talking while driving", besides the two you mention:
- Talking while driving did not account for a large percentage of accidents.
- Talking while driving was forbidden when cellphones were not so popular, so the amount of talking while driving has kept more or less stable (including people who disregard the law).
- Any other combination of outside factors has increased accident rates compensating for any talking while driving laws.
- My favorite is that people now use hands-free cellphones, which are just as dangerous as hands-on cellphones -- ergo the lack of effect.
I suppose that all the new studies are taking these factors into account, but best methodology would be to check similar countries with different laws and see how they fare. I don't know if that is possible.
Personally I think that the cellphone laws is not a good idea; one must exercise extreme caution when talking while driving, but also when talking hands-free, smoking (those who do), changing the music, talking to your spouse, seeing an accident nearby, and any other condition that diminishes your attention to the road. Since those other things are not going to be forbidden it makes little sense to fixate on cellphones.
I think that the worst habit is filming a movie while driving; those actors that look to the passengers for minutes on end drive me crazy.
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