Video Gamers Better At Driving While Yakking?
from the all-in-the-multitasking dept
There have been plenty of studies that have shown that driving while talking on a mobile phone can make you less responsive, however, some researchers are trying to get a better understanding of exactly what’s going on in the brain as you try to talk and drive at the same time. Slashdot points out that the problem comes from how our brains multi-task. Switching from one thing to another has a mental cost — and it can take time in the form of an “information bottleneck.” However, the most interesting part of the research suggests that people can be trained to reduce these bottlenecks. For example, the researchers found that video games, who often are more used to multi-tasking in rapidly changing environments, seem to perform much better. However, somehow it seems unlikely that “it’s okay, officer, I’m a video gamer” is going to go over successfully any time soon.
Comments on “Video Gamers Better At Driving While Yakking?”
Drunk Drivers Used to Say
That they had “practice” at driving while drunk, therefore no stupid laws were necessary against drunk driving.
Re: Drunk Drivers Used to Say
There’s some value in comparing drunk driving to driving while talking on a cell phone but it’s not a direct comparison. The differences make talking on a cell phone while driving difficult area to legislate in the same manner as so-called “drunk driving”.
While the definition of driving while impaired (or “driving while intoxicated” or “driving while under the influence” or whatever it’s called in your area) varies from state to state, it’s generally consistent that the driver is under some external influence, usually chemical in nature, which to some degree physically incapacitates the brain’s function. This can be over the counter cold medication, alcohol and much more. The basis for these laws is that any driver’s capacity to react in a safe manner or to make sound judgments regarding general operation would be reduced and, therefore, they are a danger to others. The level of impairment varies between individuals for many things such as cold medication, so that’s almost always left to a field test administered by someone trained in such things and so the law can be applied equally and in a fair manner.
Driving while talking on a cell phone, on the other hand, will vary greatly in its impact between different individuals. It’s also something that cannot be easily measured in a field test. This means that it’s difficult to draft legislation that’s going to stand up in court each time. Since I’m sure someone will bring it up, the push towards requiring hands free devices is pointless. While having a hand tied up holding a phone is not a great thing, it’s really not the cause of the problem. Heck, for many people the hands free device just lets them hold a drink while driving and talking on the cell phone. Sure you can react better in an emergency if you have both hands free but you would have the same problem if your hand is busy with anything. By the same logic, driving while holding hands with someone else in the vehicle would be just as bad.
The real issue with driving while talking on a cell phone is distraction. This is already covered in most states anyhow. I’m certain it applies to reading while driving. It would probably apply to driving while talking to another person in the car in some cases. Most people would agree it applies to having sex while driving. It’s sure to apply to drivers using camera while driving. Driving while talking on a cell phone is not going to go away and is not made safer by using a headset or speakerphone. The solution is not more laws. The solution is to apply the existing laws to any new behavior where applicable.
Re: Re: Drunk Drivers Used to Say
In the late 1960’s (I think) Popular Mechanics set up a test course and then measured the performance of the drivers over that course after consuming successive drinks of a standardized alchoholic beverage. The results… people drive better after a drink or two. At least their scores on the test course was better. Also in the 1930’s there was a pamphlet published by the British government that suggested a drink or two before going for a drive.
Hah! How times have changed and continue changing!
I don’t think you can compare drunk driving to talking on a cell phone.
I talk on the cell phone and hold myself as a very responsible driver. Anyone who drives with me could tell you that. (*note* I’ve never caused an accident and have often averted them)
“I’ve never caused an accident“…
…that YOU know of.
Plenty of people who talk on the phone while driving, do stupid things and continue driving off as if nothing had ever happened – because they were too distracted to notice that they just flew through that red light, just cut off another driver while making that lane change, slammed on their brakes for no reason (or stopped at a GREEN LIGHT) or were driving too slow in the left lames…causing entire traffic slow downs.
Re: Re: hrmm...
“Plenty of people who talk on the phone while driving, do stupid things and continue driving off as if nothing had ever happened – because they were too distracted to notice that they just flew through that red light, just cut off another driver while making that lane change, slammed on their brakes for no reason (or stopped at a GREEN LIGHT) or were driving too slow in the left lames…causing entire traffic slow downs.”
I would argue that all drivers do these things regardless of a cell phone. Driving day in day out on the roads with as many drivers as there are warrents mistakes like these. Just this morning I was sitting at a Green light because the sun was blocking my view.
Obviously I’ve cut people off while driving but that happens regardless of a cell phone (after all, I am human). Some of these things will just happen.
And yes, I do not know if I have caused accidents that I am not aware of.
drunk driving comparison
There have been numerous clinical studies comparing the use of a mobile cellular device while operating an automobile, and driving an automobile while under the influence of alcohol. Many conclusions have stated that the amount of impairment is quite similar between the two. The problem with this evidence is that, during the tests, the drivers were only intoxicated to the legal limit. The limit which is legal for one to drive. If the impairment is the same, why should a driver who has been drinking to the legal limit be able to drive, when a person with the same impairment due to the use of a cellular device cannot. The studies linking audio to impairment of visual work for any audio sounds, such as a stereo, crying baby, or singing teen. Why should there be a ban on cell phones while driving?
texting on phone