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Do TechRepublic members text while driving?


Texting while drivingA little over a year ago, I posted a blog about the intoxicating effect of sending text messages while driving. I asked TechRepublic members if they thought there should be a law that forbid drivers from using cell phones, and there were quite a few nods from respondents in various U.S. locations and even overseas. More recently, the results of a Harris Interactive survey, which polled 2,049 U.S. adults from June 29 to July 3, show that the majority of Americans [that is, Americans who drive and also using text messaging - clarification for Palmetto] text while driving, but they think that it's dangerous and should be outlawed. Check out the story on News.com: "Nine in 10 Americans say ban texting while driving."

Here are some of the survey stats:

  • 91% believe sending text messages while driving is as dangerous as driving after having a couple of drinks
  • 89% believe texting while driving should be outlawed
  • 66% admit that they read text messages or e-mails while driving
  • 57% admit that they send text messages while driving
  • 64% of those who admitted to sending text messages while driving were aged 18 to 34
  • 6% of those who admitted to sending text messages while driving were 55 or older

Even TechRepublic blogger John Bartley chimed in on this issue with his post, "OMG IF U CN RD THS U R BSTD." Does your state of residence (or country of residence, for that matter) ban the use of cell phones while driving? Regardless of laws and the potential danger, do you send and/or read text messages and/or e-mail while driving?

About

Sonja Thompson has worked for TechRepublic since October of 1999. She is currently a Senior Editor and the host of the Smartphones and Tablets blogs.

30 comments
gvanderlek
gvanderlek

Click and Clack have it right - "Hang Up and Drive"

david_spendlove
david_spendlove

About a year ago, a cyclist was killed near where I leve, in daylight broad as he rode along the edge of a suburban road. The road was wider than most and dead straight. The excuse given by the idiotic woman who hit him - "I was texting at the time and didn't see him". Despite laws banning texting while driving, she was given a small fine and a minor conviction. Until tougher sentences (including jail time) are given to these selfish idiots, we are going to see more and more of these avoidable "accidents". Nothing is that urgent that you can't pull over and stop the car. JUST DON'T DO IT!!!

Dedlbug
Dedlbug

She got away with some level of murder and jail time for sure. That's just wrong. This very topic is wrong. It just seems like common sense to NOT text while driving. I don't even text sitting on my couch. (my fingers are too big) The fact that she admits to it is nuts. Remember the time before cell phones?? It's hard nowadays, but nothing was that important then.

Tig2
Tig2

There should be one. Since the 35W bridge collapse, traffic has gone to snit and it takes MORE attention, not less to manage to it. Bottom line is that there are fewer alternate routes to take these days. There is nothing at all more important to me than reaching home alive and in one piece. Nothing that my cell tells me could be more important than that. Period.

donaldcoe
donaldcoe

I must reply that this question is so lame, cause questions always seem to come up relating to man's capabilities to multi-task. We from tons of experience are very poor multi-taskers, we lack the flexibility, mental skills, and physical extremeties to have one eyeball looking at the road at all times, the other eyeball able to look down to the whatever. The 2 hand arms with attached five fingered hands which are supposed to be on the steering Wheel and normally never are, God made sure that these finger extensions were never to be long enough to allow picking of the nasal passage and simultaneously tuning the radio or picking at the whatevers. Extra Laws we surely do not need, because there are enough of them we break everytime we jay-drive the parking lot or speed dial those cellphones trying to imitate spiders or monkeys at the wheels.

ed.fletcher
ed.fletcher

While I do not text while driving (or use the phone without a hands free and cradle), I know my wife often uses mobile MSN to a US friend and he often says he's driving .. at which point she tells him she's no responding again until he' stopped (and she knows when he has because the speed and accuracy of response!). Anything that takes away your attention from driving is dangerous. In the UK, both using a handheld phone and texting while driving are illegal, but you still see it happenning. It's not yet got the stigma of drunk driving, but that took over 20 years to perculate into society.

midniteone
midniteone

ie no text and only talking on the bluetooth, but even then I have to admit that it's not 100% safe. any time you are ten minutes down the road and you can't remember much of the journey it's worth a little bit of a worry. ok our roads are shorter (usually) and probably much more crowded (so more time sitting in traffic jams) but you gotta be ready to drop the call at the slightest provocation. not ideal, but we do it anyway.

widget3d
widget3d

Add a Button for (no i dont want a new law).

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

" ... the majority of Americans text while driving ... " No. From the source article, with my caps inserted for emphasis, "66 percent of the adults surveyed who drive AND USE TEXT MESSAGING told pollsters they had read text messages or e-mails while driving." That's a majority of people who text message and also drive. That is, people who normally do one or the other often do them together. 66% of U.S. drivers do not text message while driving. 66% of drivers who also send text messages do it while driving. There's a big difference. Not everyone who drives has a portable text device. Not everyone who has a device knows how to text with it. Not everyone who know how, does. Venn diagrams available on request :-) Just for the record I don't text message or place calls on a cell phone while I'm driving (or any other time).

Sonja Thompson
Sonja Thompson

Ok, Palmetto, at the risk of sounding wordy, I've edited my original post to clarify the survey results. :-)

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

That doesn't means it doesn't still apply. Thanks.

jdclyde
jdclyde

That people can distort the facts quite easily to misrepresent whatever their point is they are trying to make. Did you know that 98% of all constipated people don't give a crap?

Sonja Thompson
Sonja Thompson

Does your state of residence (or country of residence, for that matter) ban the use of cell phones while driving? Regardless of laws and the potential danger, do you send and/or read text messages and/or e-mail while driving?

djc
djc

and anybody who does should be banned from driving. You are in control of a 1 1/2 ton lethal weapon that needs your FULL attention. As for the woman who killed the cyclist, she should have at least been jailed for manslaughter

chris.baden
chris.baden

Blackberry? You'd have to be kidding, it requires TWO hands. Smartphones? A different animal..requires only ONE hand. There are functions that are part of the vehicle cabin that require as much focus and time as using a Smarthpone and T9 language, and no one has suggested outlawing CD players in vehicles or making the A/C systems with nothing more than an On and OFF button. It's about *when* to text. Stopped at a traffic light, certainly safe. It's not that texting in the car is inherently dangerous, it's how/when it's done. My prediction is that MS will extend their voice recognition technologies into Windows Mobile so that speech to text will make the process safer. Your safety, and the safety of those around you in traffic ultimately depends on your ability to be disciplined about when and when not to text. Our politicians never met a social issue they didn't think they could fix with a new law.

rob mekel
rob mekel

No the use of cell-phones is not forbidden when driving ... but ... the use is restricked to hands-free use only :) So unless you have an speech to text converter and vice versa it's going to be hard to "read" or sent text messages or emails. Oh and btw some countries (if not mistaken former Yugoslavia) do forbid even smoking while driving a car ... Reason ... you have to take off your hand(s) of the steering-wheel while getting rid of the ashes Rob

Router boy
Router boy

I know texting while driving is dangerous but I still do it. I suffer from a side effect of capitalism called instant gratification. If I have a question or a need to find an answer, I will shoot off a quick text to google or a friend. Hey you never know when you are going to need the latest movie or the phone number of the closest pizza parlor.

faradhi
faradhi

Shaving and flipping my waffles cooking on a hotplate to text message. :D

meryllogue
meryllogue

then Stay Off the Sidwalk!!! ;-)

meryllogue
meryllogue

Shaving and flippin' waffles. Wow! That's coordination!

faradhi
faradhi

Shredding the cheese was tricky but I managed. BTW, the dashboard is a natural cutting board for Ham. I have never driven in another country. I imagine I would use the right knee. You know, the whole when in Rome thing.

rob mekel
rob mekel

ever tried that in England or down under or India or ... and flipover the waffle :^0 ;) Rob

faradhi
faradhi

and gas. Well who needs the stupid break anyways. Get outta my way, Im late for work. :D

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

You need the left knee to bump the turn signal stick.

faradhi
faradhi

to steer and your all set! ;)

maecuff
maecuff

send or receive text messages. I sure wouldn't attempt it while driving. I'm with JD, I may answer my phone while driving, but it's going to be a quick conversation, and I never place calls while driving.

ganyssa
ganyssa

I almost never text message anyway. I wouldn't anyway, though. I only answer the phone if it's the babysitter, and if I need to make a call, I pull over.

jdclyde
jdclyde

And I rarely answer the phone while driving either, depending on who it is calling. If it is my boys, I answer. Booty call, I answer. Work? a cold day in hell.

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