UPDATE ON AUGUST 6: I am seriously considering standing on La Cienega Boulevard, just south of Holloway, with a sign that reads. PUT DOWN THE PHONE! IT IS ILLEGAL TO TALK OR TEXT WHILE DRIVING.
A recent study from Virginia Tech showed that Texting While Driving increased your chance of an accident by 23%. Since I walk most places you better believe that I see many, many people talking/texting while driving. For me, it is especially scary when it is someone in a big SUV gabbing or texting away. The study concluded that drivers were looking at their texting device for 4.6 out of 6 seconds. Try it yourself right now. Look down and count to 5. Do you want that driver in the other lane looking down for nearly 5 seconds as they come at you on Fountain Blvd? I didn’t think so. Please, consider the danger!
UPDATE ON JULY 2nd: Well yesterday was the one year anniversary of the hands-free cell phone use law and guess what? Not so good. Ventura Country reported that citings are up over the past few months. The San Francisco Chronicle also ran a story yesterday citing the CHP (California Highway Patrol) ticketing for this has gone up 64%. Some blame the economy as people aren’t buying the technology to go hands free. Funny though, they usually have their $5.00 Mocha-choka-loka-latte in the other hand. Your ticket awaits….
When CA inacted the NO TEXTING WHILE DRIVING law, it did not revoke the HANDS-FREE CELL PHONE USE law. Seriously, is it me or is everyone back to using their cell while driving? Last week I saw a guy driving with a cigarette in one hand and the phone, pressed to his ear, in the other. Yeah, that’s who I want driving the streets.
How many of us complain about CA drivers? Everyone! Taking your eyes off of the road to dial, text, hold the phone up to your ear, is dangerous! Here are some (not so recent) stats:
A study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Motorists found that motorists who use cell phones while driving are four times more likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves.
In 2002, the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis calculated that 2,600 people die each year as a result of using cellphones while driving. They estimated that another 330,000 are injured.
According to the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, drivers talking on cell phones are 18 percent slower to react to brake lights. They also take 17 percent longer to regain the speed they lost when they braked.
It is troubling that these drivers are not considering that they are taking risks that put other peoples’ lives in danger. There is a still a sense of entitlement, especially when surrounded by thousands of pounds of metal, that these drivers feel. Please think twice before jumping on the phone. Or invest in the hands-free options that are available.