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04 March 2010 @ 11:50 am
 

Do you drive drunk?

never
79(85.9%)
rarely
11(12.0%)
sometimes
2(2.2%)
often
0(0.0%)
always
0(0.0%)

Do you talk on the phone (or text or do other stuff on your phone) while driving?

never
12(12.9%)
rarely
47(50.5%)
sometimes
28(30.1%)
often
4(4.3%)
always
2(2.2%)

Are you aware that studies show that drivers talking on a cell phone are as impaired as legally intoxicated drivers?

yes
79(84.9%)
no
14(15.1%)

Are you aware that studies show there's no substantial difference in distraction between handheld and hands-free device use?

yes
68(73.1%)
no
25(26.9%)
Tags: ,
 
 
I'm feeling: curiouscurious
 
 
 
Yagayagagriswold on March 4th, 2010 04:57 pm (UTC)
For purposes of this poll, I assumed that "drive" meant "drive a motor vehicle" and not "ride a bike."
ruthless compassion: thinkyaroraborealis on March 4th, 2010 05:00 pm (UTC)
Yes, I meant drive a motor vehicle. I'm not aware of studies that look at the effect on bike riding, but I would imagine the effect would be the same. How would including bike riding change your responses?
(no subject) - yagagriswold on March 4th, 2010 05:05 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - moominmolly on March 4th, 2010 05:09 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - aroraborealis on March 4th, 2010 05:26 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - yagagriswold on March 4th, 2010 05:44 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - dilletante on March 4th, 2010 06:40 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Blue Gargantuabluegargantua on March 4th, 2010 04:58 pm (UTC)

I'm rather surprised about the hand-held vs. hands-free thing.

But I wonder how talking on a hands-free phone is different from talking to someone in the car or listening to the radio? That's the bit that interests me.

later
Tom
ruthless compassion: thinkyaroraborealis on March 4th, 2010 05:01 pm (UTC)
The theory that I've heard is that people in the car are also aware of what's going on around you, so if things suddenly get hairy in traffic, they shut up and let you drive. The important thing isn't what you're doing with your hands, it's what you're doing with your eyes and your brain.
(no subject) - penk on March 4th, 2010 05:28 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - aroraborealis on March 4th, 2010 05:39 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - catness on March 4th, 2010 07:26 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - catness on March 4th, 2010 08:23 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - kcatalyst on March 4th, 2010 10:45 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - catness on March 4th, 2010 11:08 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - redheadedmuse on March 4th, 2010 10:23 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - kcatalyst on March 4th, 2010 10:41 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - metagnat on March 4th, 2010 05:02 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - aroraborealis on March 4th, 2010 05:13 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - jordanwillow on March 4th, 2010 05:05 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - spike on March 4th, 2010 05:27 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - jordanwillow on March 4th, 2010 05:39 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - jordanwillow on March 4th, 2010 05:07 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - moominmolly on March 4th, 2010 05:10 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - sandhawke on March 4th, 2010 06:44 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - moominmolly on March 4th, 2010 06:45 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - houseboatonstyx on March 4th, 2010 10:30 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - redheadedmuse on March 4th, 2010 10:37 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bloodstones on March 4th, 2010 06:00 pm (UTC) (Expand)
jordanwillow: jordan drivingjordanwillow on March 4th, 2010 04:59 pm (UTC)
to clarify (justify?) my "rarely" answer to question two, do you talk on the phone while driving? -- i have, once or twice, done this for 3 seconds to tell someone who's waiting for me, and who has just called to find out where i am, that i can't talk, because i'm driving, but i'm almost there. so, it's a 3-second intoxication. and i say it with shame, because i don't think it's acceptable!
ruthless compassion: martini handsaroraborealis on March 4th, 2010 05:04 pm (UTC)
Yes, this is why I answered "rarely" to question 2, and I have reached the point of being unable to justify it to myself. I would NEVER NEVER NEVER drive drunk, but the phone is so tempting! But I respect data and can't reasonably argue that I'm somehow not like those other people, so I recently decided I was done with it. If it's important to tell someone I'm almost there, I can pull over to do it.

The trick, for me, is applying this even when I'm stopped at a red light. I'm just sitting there! What's the harm? And yet ...
(no subject) - dancingwolfgrrl on March 4th, 2010 07:20 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - harimad on March 4th, 2010 07:45 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - dbang on March 4th, 2010 08:07 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - aerynne on March 5th, 2010 05:32 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - whynotkay on March 6th, 2010 02:42 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - houseboatonstyx on March 7th, 2010 06:59 am (UTC) (Expand)
metagnatmetagnat on March 4th, 2010 04:59 pm (UTC)
I used to talk on my phone while driving occasionally, but it was before I was aware of the studies.

I also don't have a car, now, which makes the decision not to do this things much easier.
blkblk on March 4th, 2010 05:02 pm (UTC)
There is a difference for consideration, as far as I'm concerned. If I'm intoxicated, that's it. Nothing will change that but time. If I have a phone, however, I can pick it up to look at a txt message (and sometimes poke a quick reply) while stopped at a stoplight, foot on the brake. Or I can choose to have my phone conversation when I'm on an empty, flat road where I am not needing to make decisions or changes to my motion every few seconds, and hang up when I reach my exit.

[On the other side, I have chosen to drive home when my BAL was probably not zero, because I felt I was alert enough to go a couple miles on side streets, but if I waited longer, I would be too sleepy to do so safely.]

I know it's not the most safe I could possibly be (that would probably be to have someone else drive, all the time), but I am comfortable with the informed choices I make to minimize my risks while still getting where I want to go.
funner'n a sack a weasels: bikemoominmolly on March 4th, 2010 05:44 pm (UTC)
nobody ever expects surprises.
I am comfortable with the informed choices I make to minimize my risks while still getting where I want to go.

Choices aside, I have to say that this line of thinking bothers me. Even if you are making extremely safe choices, you are also making them for me. I'm hyper aware of this, since I bike on city streets around distracted drivers a whole lot. They might think they're making choices for themselves that are safe, but it doesn't take long to put a cyclist or pedestrian in the hospital.
Re: nobody ever expects surprises. - beowabbit on March 4th, 2010 05:55 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: nobody ever expects surprises. - moominmolly on March 4th, 2010 05:59 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: nobody ever expects surprises. - beowabbit on March 4th, 2010 06:26 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: nobody ever expects surprises. - moominmolly on March 4th, 2010 06:51 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: nobody ever expects surprises. - dbang on March 4th, 2010 08:13 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: nobody ever expects surprises. - blk on March 4th, 2010 06:04 pm (UTC) (Expand)
T Streichsweetbaboo on March 4th, 2010 05:07 pm (UTC)
Also, driving while tired is dangerous.

We need legislation for how much sleep people should get!
ruthless compassion: martini handsaroraborealis on March 4th, 2010 05:14 pm (UTC)
And drugs to enforce it!
(no subject) - dancingwolfgrrl on March 4th, 2010 07:15 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - aroraborealis on March 4th, 2010 05:15 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - radioactiverich on March 4th, 2010 06:30 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - houseboatonstyx on March 4th, 2010 10:47 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - sweetbaboo on March 4th, 2010 07:10 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - cruiser on March 5th, 2010 07:18 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - spike on March 4th, 2010 05:29 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - sweetbaboo on March 4th, 2010 07:10 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - beowabbit on March 4th, 2010 05:45 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - sweetbaboo on March 4th, 2010 07:12 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Jadiajadia on March 4th, 2010 05:19 pm (UTC)
Largely I talk on the phone while driving as a "lesser of two evils" choice. I do it when I think I would fall asleep at the wheel otherwise.

Ideally, I wouldn't have to make that choice, but life isn't ideal and sometimes it happens.

Since getting my smart phone I find that I am tempted to answer texts and such on the road! Or look at texts while driving! It is insidious and I was horrified and I have tried really hard to train myself against it. Even though I would choose the "least dangerous" time to do it, that can still have a lot of risk associated with it.

I think we should just get on with it and get robot cars, and then none of this would be an issue.
ruthless compassion: thinkyaroraborealis on March 4th, 2010 05:32 pm (UTC)
I was just talking/thinking about the texting thing in another forum, and I realized this:

I think it's probably fine to read/send texts while stopped at a red light, for example, but FOR ME, this is a thing where it's easier to cut it out entirely than to moderate my use to just those times. I have found that if I'm in the middle of tapping out a text when the light turns green, it's INCREDIBLY tempting to just finish it off. And that can bleed from "it's okay to text while stopped" to "it's okay to text while driving really slowly" ... and I don't think that's true.

BTW, have you been following any of the robot car R&D? It's pretty goddamn fascinating.

Edited at 2010-03-04 05:32 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - jadia on March 4th, 2010 05:51 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - aroraborealis on March 4th, 2010 06:34 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - aroraborealis on March 4th, 2010 09:20 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Stable Strangelet: rollerduckcuthalion on March 4th, 2010 05:36 pm (UTC)
I don't believe that talking on the phone while driving is as dangerous as driving drunk at all, though I am aware of the studies.

I do believe it could affect your initial reaction time, but I think it's within the huge standard deviation if you include looking at maps, fucking with the stereo, thinking about stuff, etc. However like all those things, I can (and do) say "Gotta go" and hang up if traffic looks like it might get complicated, which is not an option with regards to sobriety.
funner'n a sack a weaselsmoominmolly on March 4th, 2010 05:41 pm (UTC)
which is not an option with regards to sobriety.

...though I often wish it were!
(no subject) - aroraborealis on March 4th, 2010 05:42 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - houseboatonstyx on March 4th, 2010 10:00 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Beowabbit: Travel: 1933 Fordbeowabbit on March 4th, 2010 05:41 pm (UTC)
You are more distracted when you are looking for your exit sign than when you are just paying attention to the mechanics of driving and the traffic around you. Yet we allow people to pay attention to exit signs; in fact, the government puts them up. Unless you have to get to the emergency room, driving is more dangerous than not driving. We accept some additional danger for the convenience of driving. Sometimes, the convenience of taking a phone call is worth some additional danger, just like the convenience of being able to get where you want to go is worth some additional danger, or the boredom relief of listening to a radio show, even one you're interested in.

In some cases, this can actually be a net decrease in risk. For instance, if I’m sleepy or my mind is wandering, sure, the radio distracts me, but it might help keep me awake, alert, and focussed. And if I'm running late to something, a quick phone call to let the person expecting me know might relieve stress and make me a safer driver for the rest of the trip and less likely to make impulsive poor decisions.

(That said, when I was taking phone calls behind the wheel — most notably when I was buying my house and had to deal with several calls a day from various professionals — I made it clear to the people on the other end of the phone that I was driving and needed to pay attention to the road, and was perfectly happy to ignore the person on the phone until I figured out what that van next to me was about to do.)
ruthless compassion: thinkyaroraborealis on March 4th, 2010 05:45 pm (UTC)
We accept some additional danger for the convenience of driving. Sometimes, the convenience of taking a phone call is worth some additional danger, just like the convenience of being able to get where you want to go is worth some additional danger, or the boredom relief of listening to a radio show, even one you're interested in.

But on whom does the danger vs. convenient rest?

The convenience of ME talking on the phone while I'm driving does nothing for YOU if my distraction puts you in danger. The problem with that argument, to me, is that it ignores the externalization of the risk.

We got along for many years with our phones only available when attached to walls, so we know that it's possible to conduct life with spaces where phones aren't available, even though we're less and less accustomed to that now.
...tangent, maybe - jadia on March 4th, 2010 05:57 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: ...tangent, maybe - catness on March 4th, 2010 08:33 pm (UTC) (Expand)
David Policardpolicar on March 4th, 2010 05:57 pm (UTC)
I don't drink and don't really use a cell-phone (though I often carry one, turned off, for emergencies), so this is kind of an easy one for me.

But also, I became intimately aware during my recovery of just how much of a cognitive load driving is, and how rapidly distraction degrades my performance. It's not as big a deal now... my baseline is way higher... but I'm still very aware of it.

Of course, going down this road leads pretty quickly to "Do you drive while tired?", and, well. Far and away the best thing I can do for my physical and mental health is get enough sleep, and I know this, and yet I don't do it reliably... and I'm way better about doing it than most everybody I know.
porpurina: fire poibloodstones on March 4th, 2010 06:05 pm (UTC)
I will qualify my answers by saying that I have driven while mildly intoxicated a grand total of perhaps 4 times in my entire life and typically don't drink at all if I'm going to be driving, so rarely is really rare.
Talking on the phone is also pretty rare, but more often - maybe once every month or two, but even that I tend to restrict to when I'm stuck in traffic that's barely moving on familiar roads.
sarahshevettsarahshevett on March 4th, 2010 06:16 pm (UTC)
I don't drink and I hardly ever even use my cellphone. In fact, it's not even charged ...where is it?
heinleinfanheinleinfan on March 4th, 2010 06:25 pm (UTC)
I have to share this.
My cousin died in a car accident when he was a month away from his 30th birthday. He was a twin...'the twins' were just 14 days older than me, we had been raised very close when we were young, more like brothers/sister than cousins.

He was driving down a totally non-busy country road, not small and curvy, a well maintained wide country road. Talking on a cell phone. He was talking to his girlfriend, on his way to see her. Like he always did, because nothing was safer than a big ole empty stretch of road to drive and talk on, right? Especially at night, I mean, you can see lights from another car coming for miles out in the country at night.

And he hit another car head on. He killed himself, and the 50 year old woman, a wife and a mother, who was in the other car. There was no drinking, no drugs, no radio, no bad weather, no faulty breaks, no animals darting into the road, it was because he was talking on his cellphone.


This is extreme, it's dramatic, it's anecdotal, it's personal. But it's true. It *can happen*. People can die. And they can kill others. Just by something as "safe" and "convenient" as talking on a cell phone while driving.


Sandrosandhawke on March 4th, 2010 06:55 pm (UTC)
Re: I have to share this.
I really hesitate to ask this, since it sounds a bit like I'm ignoring the tragedy here, but I'm not. This was a terrible thing, and it's important that we learn from it, to try to better avoid accidents like this in the future. In this spirit of trying to understand and learn, let me ask: what is your evidence that him talking on the cell phone caused the crash?
Re: I have to share this. - heinleinfan on March 4th, 2010 08:39 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
Re: I have to share this. - aroraborealis on March 4th, 2010 09:23 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: I have to share this. - moominmolly on March 4th, 2010 06:55 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: I have to share this. - heinleinfan on March 4th, 2010 08:28 pm (UTC) (Expand)
maebethmaebeth on March 4th, 2010 06:42 pm (UTC)
I didn't kill anyone. But I was driving on route 2 talking on the phone, straight patch, not much traffic, daytime. Perfect situation.
A car honked at me and I was suddenly aware of the road around me.

I was in the left hand lane driving at 45mph. Only a bit below the speed limit, but WELL below the standard rate. And because i was in the left lane, each car had to slow down, wait for the car to the right to go on, and pull over to the right to get around me. While I chatted away. Not even a very important discussion.

Back in pre-history, before cell phones, I tried to learn spanish by tapes during my hour commute. But traffic would always distract me, and I couldn't keep up with the tapes.

For me, its pretty clear that the radio doesn't beat out traffic for my attention. But the person on the other end of the phone, clearly DOES beat out traffic for my attention.

And STILL I talk on the phone. I finally made myself stop MAKING CALLS, but I still answer them. Its crazy.
Renata Piperlyonesse on March 4th, 2010 06:59 pm (UTC)
the big difference for me is that i can "sober up" immediately by dropping the phone.

that said, i usually pull over if i'm going to answer it, unless stopped at a red light, in which case i drop the phone when it goes green.

(i also think the legal blood-alcohol limit is way too high, having been in some alcohol-and-cognition studies. bleah.)
funner'n a sack a weaselsmoominmolly on March 4th, 2010 07:06 pm (UTC)
I really wish I had a home breathalyzer test to know what the different levels feel like! I'm really curious.

I was once a test subject in a study about alcohol and cognition. I never read the results of it but just doing the tests once a week for two months was *fascinating*.
(no subject) - lyonesse on March 4th, 2010 07:20 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - moominmolly on March 4th, 2010 07:23 pm (UTC) (Expand)