Wednesday, October 14, 2009

No Excuse.

via TMZ

I am constantly surrounded by people on the road trying desperately to maneuver their vehicles with one hand because their other hand is busy holding a cell phone. And occasionally the "free" hand is holding a cigarette or something as well as the steering wheel.

If you cannot afford the $20 (or $1.48 on Amazon) for a headset for your cell phone, there is an organization called which will send you one for free. There is no excuse not to have one.

Maria Shriver is now the poster child for this offense. Her husband signed into California law in 2008 a bill that bans the use of handheld devices while driving (as many states have done) yet she has been photographed multiple times violating the law. That is wildly inexcusable.

So tell me: Do you use a headset or not? Do you text while driving?

This isn't really a laughing matter but this video illustrates the topic using humor (just in case you missed it). I think I drive by that guy twice a week.


Anonymous said...

I'm a California driver...

Ultimately? I am more distracted using the handfree. This year, I have bought 3 top of the line bluetooth devices that I can't use unless I hold up one hand and press it into my ear. Turning up the volume turns everyone into blaring bleeps and noise. Not to mention all the fuss they've required in pairing to my phone, etc. One device would unpair over and over in purse. So... instead of holding a phone to my ear, I have to keep one hand on the bluetooth!

I'm not saying it's good to chat on the cell in the car, I think it's bad - but I don't find the headsets to really give people back the use of a hand. And it certainly doesn't help the mental distraction.


hello gorgeous said...

True. It's still a distraction. I've found the one similar to the iPod earbuds are the best. They stay in really well and there's one for each ear.

I have Bluetooth in my car and have never hooked it up, though. I should probably try that.

jen said...

i have a hands-free set similar to an earbud and it's awesome. i definitely use it while i'm driving and i think it helps tremendously in not being distracted. though, obviously it's still safest to pull over when you are chatting.

MaryBeth said...

My cars are both equipped with a through the stereo phone. So when I answer my phone by pushing a button on the steering wheel I talk over the stereo. So it is just like talking to someone in the car with you. Just so you know, I absolutely can not talk with a phone to my ear and drive. I would recommend getting this installed if you are going to use your mobile phone in you car. MB

Decorina said...

Well, ya know, I've got some very strong ideas about this as a driver. The roads would be a safer place if phones were banned, period. Headset or not, there is far too much going on if you are driving for you to be the least bit distracted.

The giant Freightliner grill that is now occupying your rear view mirror? Should you ever actually check it? That's me - and you are about to become my hood ornament. Almost happened to me in KC - and I was driving a 100,000 pound, ginormous tow truck. The little crap box in front of me with its driver talking away on his cell phone was going 45 miles an hour in the hammer (left) lane AND trying to read an atlas. Think how lost he would have been if I had run over him...

David said...

HG, program your car and pair up your cell phone. I have bluetooth through the stereo and voice dial, and it makes a huge difference. Really worth the few minutes it takes to do it.

Decorina, I'm staying out of your way on I-70! =)

hmstrjam said...

Enough multitasking! One thing at a time, the cellphone thing could cause a task for someone else to come about ie the digging of your burial hole, or mine asshole!!
btw we just visited Brandywine and found it lovely!

GingerSnap said...

I am totally guilty of talking on the phone while driving. I do it all the time and so does everyone else around here. But then again, it's still legal to do so in FL. I think the headset is a good idea, but it can be just as distracting. My biggest concern here in FL is not the cell phone talkers, but the crazy old people that are still allowed to drive their giant cars without being able to see over the steering wheel! haha :)

Thomas said...

I am guilty! I am DC resident and I should never even look at my phone... I am guilty of chatting while driving..I only text at stop lights..but thats still wrong. I am sorry and this photo of maria makes me feel terrible! :) Great post.

R said...

I recently saw a person simultaneously talking on a hand held phone, applying makeup and driving.
Can we please just concentrate on driving when operating a vehicle with the potential to kill people?

Learning Spanish at 41 said...

I understand the concerns but not sure what folks like my husband would do if phones were 100% banned. He drives for a living, delivers/pickups. The schedule changes sometimes every 5 minutes {or less}. Without a phone their only way to go would be radio; and that's rather the same thing when it comes down to it.

Anonymous said...

well, consider this post successful- I'm a Ca driver and went out and bought a new ear pod thingy for my phone after reading this.
thanks for the reminder.
Oh, and I didn't vote for Arnold. He's republican.
Just sayin.

hello gorgeous said...

Anon 7:54: You get a gold star for getting your earbuds. And another gold star for not voting for Ahnold. :-)

First anon: My husband has tried several bluetooths as well and has the same trouble. Earbuds.

MaryBeth and David: I had that working once; I don't know what happened.

Decorina: I will def stay the hell out of your way. Seriously, if I see an 18-wheeler bearing down on me, my little Prius butt gets right over into another lane. Ha.

Hmstrjam: I'm glad you liked Brandywine. Next time you go, you have to go early enough to have breakfast at Hank's (across the street). It's where the Wyeths hang. (What's left of them.)

Thomas: The traffic around DC would be enough to make me need to have two hands on the wheel.

Gingersnap: Oh my god. My late father-in-law could not be convinced that he was unable to drive. We finally had to hire a driver and hide his keys from him. You should've seen the car - it was held together with duct tape and a prayer!

karly / design crisis said...

What's with Maria's orange car?

erin@designcrisis said...

Here's an idea: Have a baby, then you will never be able to leave your house -- much less actually *drive* somewhere -- ever again.

Problem solved!

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