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The News of the Road: 10-21-09

October 21, 2009

The News Here at ERT we hope to share our experiences, opinions, and thoughts on the proverbial Road.  We intend to bring you photos and videos of our cruises, suggest and review different drives, and offer our thoughts on different ways you can enhance your driving experiences.  However, we fully acknowledge that we are but two average guys, and the Road is much bigger than us.  Every day, events occur that effect the Road, and our experience with it, throughout our country.  It is our intention to keep an eye on Road-Related news and offer it to you here on this site.  Today’s News of the Road is a widespread issue that impacts everyone who drives, every single day.

click away for the story after the jump…

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently released a report regarding “distracted driving”.  By this they mean drivers who are utilizing any one of a number of hand-held devices such as cell phones, ipods, GPS, etc.  They state that in 2008 6000 people died and more than 500,000 people were injured in accidents resulting from distracted driving.  The Transportation Secretary, Ray LaHood, held a summit in D.C. of safety experts, industry leaders, and some other assorted usual suspects to address this issue.  He also has announced a new study to be undertaken between now and June of 2010 to examine the connection between cell phone use and accidents.

I don’t feel the need to exhaustively recount the story, it plus the research they cite can be found here.

I would just like to add a few of my own thoughts on the matter.  I can’t tell you how often I can pick out a driver who is on their cell phone just by observing a few seconds of driving.  I, personally, am a firm believer that cell phones and driving do not mix.  Yet, I often find myself calling my office “real quick” to say I’m running late and in traffic.  So while I’m an anti-phone-driving type of person, I justify myself bending my own rules.  “Only at lights and stops and when I’m in traffic not moving.”  I will say that I don’t carry on full out conversations while driving, as I see so many people do.  Yet I still do utilize my phone on occasion in the car.  What in the world could the federal government do to combat this tendency we have to say to ourselves “well, I can handle driving and talking better than other people, so it’s ok for me.”

At this point it seems that the DOT is just gathering data.  Many states have already attempted to control “distracted driving” at their own level of government.  I live in New Jersey, one such state.  I can inform you with no doubt that out of 10 drivers on the road in NJ…5 of them are on their phone despite the law.  What could be put in place to curtail this behavior?  Should the government even attempt it, and is it within their rights to do so?  I am extremely curious to hear thoughts from those of you who are reading this fledgling blog as fellow enthusiasts.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Paul permalink*
    October 21, 2009 7:40 pm

    I have to confess that at one time I was an avid driver and talker. Over time I started to notice that I did not remember what had occurred on the road after I hung up the phone. It was pretty obvious to me that my mind was certainly not in the game even if I was on speaker.

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