Study Says Listening To Sports While Driving Is Dangerous, So Let's Ban That, Too

from the how-far-should-we-take-this dept

A new study from the UK says that people who listen to soccer matches on the radio while driving behave more erratically and dangerously than non-listeners. Indeed, says one of the researchers, "It is widely accepted that the distraction of talking on a hand-held mobile phone may lead to accidents but other activities may have a similar impact – such as listening to sport on the radio." Since the UK's already banned talking on the phone while driving, will it now push for a ban on listening to sports while driving? After all, if "other activities may have a similar impact", they're all worthy of their own bans, aren't they? Here's a novel idea: instead of creating bans on one single activity after another, just crack down on unsafe driving with existing laws, regardless of the cause.


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  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 29th, 2009 @ 4:09am

    Extreme Facepalm: Driving Edition

    Quite clearly, pruning a Bonsai Tree while driving can be mightily dangerous too. It'd be quite horrible to burn money on a study to prove it if someone were to die while we wait for the results of a study. So let's ban that activity while we're at it too.

    We must be vigilant in our request. Blood alone moves the wheels of History and we must make it so! Bonsai Trees must be securely fastened in the back seat of the vehicle to protect the vehicle operator from the temptation of "Pruning While Driving". We must never acquiesce, for it is together that we can prevent "Pruning While Driving"! Do it for the children or you're worse than Hitler!

     

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  2.  
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    Courage Dog, May 29th, 2009 @ 4:15am

    Technically the law prohibiting phone use while driving is targeted at people who are physically holding the phone, using a "hands-free" kit is to make or receive a call is perfectly fine.

    Introducing any sort of penalty for listening to sports, music or any other audio distraction would be unenforceable and/or stupid.

    If this is the direction they wish to push driving laws they should ban in car entertainment systems, and make sound proof glass partitions (between the driver and other potential passengers) mandatory. So as to completely prevent any possibly distracting conversations from occurring.

     

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  3.  
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    JustMe (profile), May 29th, 2009 @ 4:37am

    I read somewhere

    They found that having a conversation with a passenger had the same level of distraction as using a phone, or, I suppose, listening to sports. Probably not possible to ban everything, should just assume that accidents will happen sometimes.


    Snarky Friday answer ==> Maybe they should switch to a "real" sport, like American football! The handy yardage markers make it much easier to keep track of while driving!

     

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  4.  
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    iyogi (profile), May 29th, 2009 @ 4:46am

    If someone were to die while we wait for the results of a study. So let's ban that activity while we're at it too.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 29th, 2009 @ 4:55am

    "Here's a novel idea: instead of creating bans on one single activity after another, just crack down on unsafe driving with existing laws, regardless of the cause."

    What a great idea. All we need to do is hire 1 police man to follow each of us as we drive to see if we are being unsafe, right? Come on Carlo, do you think the police are actively IGNORING dangerous driving? Your comments are meaningless.

     

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  6.  
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    Courage Dog, May 29th, 2009 @ 4:56am

    @JustMe

    Snarky Friday Reply -> We could fit some tennis players with full army issue body armour and call it "American Tennis", once its a "real" sport perhaps that would be legal to listen to while driving.

    kidding..I hate football, American or otherwise..tennis isn't too bad though

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 29th, 2009 @ 4:56am

    breathing is hazardous to your health, HOLD YOUR BREATH!

    Problem solved!

     

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  8.  
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    MadJo (profile), May 29th, 2009 @ 4:58am

    Let's ban talking while driving.
    Let's ban scratching your nose while driving.
    Let's ban sneezing while driving.

    I say we ban politicians who bring forth stupid law-suggestions. I have a stake here that desperately needs something to be burned on.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 29th, 2009 @ 5:16am

    Does anyone else think it would be dangerous to pass a Ban on Driving While Distracted law that Techdirt keeps pushing every couple weeks? Do people *want* cops to have that much leeway when giving you a ticket?

    "Sorry sir, I thought you might be swerving back there, but now that I've got you pulled over I see that you're listening to NPR, which is pretty distracting. License and registration please."

     

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  10.  
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    Rob R. (profile), May 29th, 2009 @ 5:31am

    Re:

    Easy to see why you post as "Anonymous Coward". You don't want anyone to see your blatant stupidity.

    He isn't saying to have one cop per person, you nonsensical moron. What he is saying is to have the judges stop giving nothing more than a meaningless slap on the wrist for unsafe driving. Cracking down simply means to give actual penalties to people that violate the existing laws. Little things like speed limits are so ignored now as to make them useless.

    I totally agree with Carlo and think that is exactly what needs to be done. People that ignore existing laws - will ignore new ones as well!

     

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  11.  
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    Rob R. (profile), May 29th, 2009 @ 5:36am

    Re:

    How exactly is Techdirt pushing that? What I see is them making fun of the idiots that propose such stupidity.

     

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  12.  
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    eclecticdave (profile), May 29th, 2009 @ 5:43am

    Roadside Fine

    ISTR that the reason for the seperate offense of Driving while using a Mobile as opposed to Dangerous Driving is to allow for different punishments.

    Dangerous Driving is a serious offence involving arrest, charges and court fines and/or jail time.

    Driving while using a Mobile Phone is, I think, usually treated as a relatively minor offence and handled with a roadside fine.

     

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  13.  
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    Tom Anderson, May 29th, 2009 @ 5:54am

    Kill my mother

    The author proposed an idea that is simple to say but impractical: "Instead of creating bans on one single activity after another, just crack down on unsafe driving with existing laws, regardless of the cause."

    Though it's simple to see that existing laws in general do not distinguish between different types of driving, it is also simple to obviate that fact. In fact, though protesting to the contrary, this article really seems like the author really wants to be able to use his cellphone while driving. Although it has been demonstrated that a driver that uses a cellphone is four times more likely to have an accident, and that same driver is therefore four times more likely to kill my mother as she is walking across the street, some people think that a ban of unsafe practices is unnecessary.

     

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  14.  
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    Courage Dog, May 29th, 2009 @ 6:08am

    As I previously stated having a telephone conversation while driving isn't illegal, the holding of the handset is; even though some reports show that talking with a hands free kit is more dangerous than the actual act of holding the phone while conversing.

    a Link

    but lets say they were equally dangerous, its still not illegal to use a hands free kit so people who were 4 times more likely to hit your mother will still be 4 times as likely to do so ...while using their hands free.

    I actually don't drive, so my opinion may be invalid but I can think of many things that people do on a regular basis while driving that are far more dangerous than talking on the phone. That being said if it is indeed fact that not allowing mobile phone use will reduce accidents then I'm all for it but only if it is because of the phone use and not because the drivers are incompetent regardless, because incompetent drivers are just as likely to kill me while eating a sandwich.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 29th, 2009 @ 7:13am

    Shouldn't they ban talking inside a car at all, phone or no phone?

    Now that would be useful.

     

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  16.  
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    Paul G, May 29th, 2009 @ 7:24am

    Modify existing technology

    If every vehicle had a microphone and short range transmitter installed. If every camera had a receiver installed. If an audio recognition system was installed. If auto fines were generated.

    Not that far off from the systems we already have. Coming soon to a country near you?

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 29th, 2009 @ 7:41am

    This is all about money. States and countries have these laws not because the want to make the roads safer, but because they want to squeeze more and more money out of us. They have to raise some more money now that we are in a recession somehow, right? It is the same thing for red light cameras.

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 29th, 2009 @ 9:06am

    Re: I read somewhere

    They found that having a conversation with a passenger had the same level of distraction as using a phone

    They who? Citation, please.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 29th, 2009 @ 9:12am

    Re: Re:

    Easy to see why you post as "Anonymous Coward". You don't want anyone to see your blatant stupidity.

    Since Techdirt doesn't conduct identity investigations, you're also anonymous as far as I'm concerned. Talk about blatant stupidity. Hey pot, let me introduce you to kettle.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 29th, 2009 @ 9:20am

    Re:

    Let's ban talking while driving.
    Let's ban scratching your nose while driving.
    Let's ban sneezing while driving.
    Let's ban drinking while driving too while we're at it.
    Oh, wait... we've already got that one.
    Well, it's a stupid law. Let's repeal it.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 29th, 2009 @ 9:26am

    Other Activities

    After all, if "other activities may have a similar impact", they're all worthy of their own bans, aren't they?

    One of the other activities that has been found to have a similar impact as driving while phoning is driving while drunk. So, Carlo, are you suggesting that drunk driving laws should be abolished?

     

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  22.  
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    Barack Obama (profile), May 29th, 2009 @ 9:46am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Since Techdirt doesn't conduct identity investigations, you're also anonymous as far as I'm concerned."

    What? You're doubting my identity?

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 29th, 2009 @ 10:00am

    Re: Re:

    How exactly is Techdirt pushing that? What I see is them making fun of the idiots that propose such stupidity.

    "Here's a novel idea: instead of creating bans on one single activity after another, just crack down on unsafe driving with existing laws, regardless of the cause."

    Try actually reading the articles before commenting on them.

     

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  24.  
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    ITDude, May 29th, 2009 @ 11:48am

    Just ban sports all together. No one needs to get paid millions for playing a child's game.

     

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  25.  
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    Cap'n Jack (profile), May 29th, 2009 @ 5:53pm

    Re: Other Activities

    I'd love to see those studies that claim cell phone use while driving affects people in a similarly to alcohol.

    Driving under the influence is a big difference from driving with distractions.

     

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  26.  
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    Crash, May 29th, 2009 @ 6:13pm

    Horse and carrage

    Well why wait to do any study.
    Lets just go back to the stone ages where walking was the popular sport. But then; they just might want to put a ban on walking so we might as well all sit on the street corner and vegetate.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 30th, 2009 @ 12:49am

    Re: Re: Other Activities

    I'd love to see those studies that claim cell phone use while driving affects people in a similarly to alcohol.

    Then why don't you look? They've been widely reported. Too lazy to Google? Here's a page to get you started. http://www.psych.utah.edu/AppliedCognitionLab/

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 30th, 2009 @ 12:51am

    Re: Re: Other Activities

    "Driving under the influence is a big difference from driving with distractions."

    Depends on the distractions.

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 1st, 2009 @ 1:21am

    Re: Other Activities

    "So, Carlo, are you suggesting that drunk driving laws should be abolished?"

    Heh, he didn't have much of an answer to that one, did he?

     

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  30.  
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    Cap'n Jack (profile), Jul 9th, 2009 @ 10:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: Other Activities

    Those studies say that driving with a cell phone is similar to driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.08, which is interestingly the highest amount your BAC can be and you'll still legally be considered competent for driving. If it's legal to drive with a BAC of 0.08%, it should be legal to drive with a cell phone.

     

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