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

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33 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

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!

Courage Dog says:

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.

JustMe (profile) says:

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!

Anonymous Coward says:

“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.

Rob R. (profile) says:

Re: 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!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: 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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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.”

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: 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.

eclecticdave (profile) says:

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.

Tom Anderson (user link) says:

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.

Courage Dog says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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?

Cap'n Jack (profile) says:

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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