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Honored Advisor

Cell phones and driving?

Talking about  cell phones in the wrong place on Farm Business just now, made me wonder:  Do you talk on the phone and drive? 

I admit that I do, but only with my Bluetooth on.  My phone voice dials via wireless device, and all I have to do is tap it with one finger to dial out and say a name or number, or answer when the thing says I have an incoming call. 

GPS integrates through my earpiece, too.  When Mike bought his last truck, we added a sync for the cells for a couple hundred bucks.  You push one dashboard button to have the phone integrated through the stereo system, incoming or outgoing.   

I feel this is no different than speaking with a passenger, or listening to the GPS in the stereo's speaker system.  GPS is essential to me on some trips.  Taking/placing phone calls is not crucial, but is useful.

The NC legislature is debating cell phone bans or restrictions while driving.  I can agree with restrictions to use with handsfree devices.  I would be opposed to a total ban, except possibly for underage drivers, who are less experienced...maybe making it another restriction on these provisional permittees on graduated licenses.   

Are you restricted in your state, is it totally unrestricted, or banned entirely, to use cell phones behind the wheel?  Is this level of regulation okay with you?  How do you wish your stae would change the rules, if you don't like them now?

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8 Replies
Veteran Contributor

Re: Cell phones and driving?

I talk with a handsfree and I like it.  But I also talk without the handsfree sometimes.  They can restrict it all they want but I really don't see people stop doing it to be honest. 

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Honored Advisor

Re: Cell phones and driving?

It will pass, at least here in NC,  if the insurance companies want it to pass.  That pressure will develop as more and more accidents are shown to occur while the driver is involved in wireless communications at the time of impact, or just prior. 

This technology can give law enforcement and lawyers that much detailed information.  

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Senior Contributor

Re: Cell phones and driving?

We don't use the cell phone that much so the laws don't bother me. Too many accidents are caused by lack of attention, including talking to passengers. USPS prohibits all cell phone usage, including hands-free, while driving. We are also not supposed to have other people in the vehicle on the route, other than training. If you are driving, you should be paying 100% of the time on the road and not be multi-tasking. You are not only putting at risk your own life, but for others on the road by not acting like a professional driver. Sorry for my rant, but I was in an accident caused by an inattentive young driver.

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Honored Advisor

Re: Cell phones and driving?

No apology necessary...this is why I asked the quesiton, to get the opinions of others. 

I understand the "no passengers" policy of the USPS.  I think it is wise not to have carriers taking or making calls, since the postal service would get a real PR/liability black eye, if a carrier had a wreck while using a cell phone on the route.  It certainly to happened to Amtrak. 

 

You have to pull off and onto the edge of the roadway, in the course of making deliveries,  which presents its own set of risks.  I found it more of a problem when I tried to pull to the side for calls, and re-enter traffic when I was done.   

I know that we lived entire generations without phones, much less portable ones.  My folks had to drive 3 miles to a country store to use a phone until I was ten.  I did business and dealt with family needs without a cell phone until about 1993.  We managed. 

Still, the world moves on tighter deadlines today, or at least it seems it does.  I have made and taken calls that were quite crucial to our wellbeing. 

When Mike catches me on the road to pick up a repair part, or something he wants from a store in town, that saves us a lot of wasted time and gasoline making another trip.  Sometimes, I admit I will call him to help talk me into being more alert on a long last leg towards home. 

Also, I used to have the job of "waiting for a call."  I stayed stuck in the house by the phone to wait for the crew clerk to call him off the extra board on the railroad for 20 years.  The only time I was "free" was when he was at work!  So, I despise sitting for the phone to ring more than probably anyone you ever knew. 

With the hogs having alarms for power out and other emergencies, we can leave and have a peaceful dinner or visit with friends now, knowing the security company can reach us anywhere. 

Given our spotless driving records, I think we've proven that we are safe and sensible behind the wheel.  That said, I think I have rationalized my own behavior to something less than ideal, but probably to a realistic level, by using handsfree and voice-activated technology.  I think laws wil more likely pass to allow these, than on a outright ban. 

Maybe not a perfect solution, but better than nothing? 

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Senior Contributor

Re: Cell phones and driving?

I'm guilty of talking while driving but not when I'm in any traffic.  Our country roads & quiet local highways do not take total concentration when you only see another car every 5-10 M.

Actually, I think it keeps me more mentally alert.  If I'm driving a distance I tend to doze off-never make an over the road trucker.

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Advisor

Re: Cell phones and driving?

There are no restrictions here and I am guilty of talking while driving.  I never talk when on the freeway or in heavy traffic.  I also have to admit that it is so tempting when driving and hear the signal that you have a text ...or an email....I really fight the curiosity to look.  I will pull over to text.  I just cannot bring myself to be that risky.

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Honored Advisor

Re: Cell phones and driving?

LA, you will be glad to know there are Bluetooth headsets now that can read your text messages to you. 

I upgraded this past week to have one that gives GPS directions from DROID navigation through the earpiece.  I think at Verizon,  it's a Motorola 417 txt.  I am sure they will all have them now. 

DROID does voice typing ol texts and e-mails, too.  I do not use it while driving, but it saves me a lot of headaches at home. 

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Honored Advisor

Re: Cell phones and driving?

Our roads home are usually very slack, too.  I call Mike to talk, to keep me alert. 

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