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Girl Killed in Car Accident Was Driving While Text Messaging

What's Worse: Texting or Using a Cell Phone While Driving?

In California, we're all very aware of the newish Hands Free Law prohibiting driving while talking on a cell phone without a hands-free device, but did you know that texting isn't specifically forbidden by the law? That's surprising to me, especially in light of the report of an American teen that died in a car accident this week while she was driving and texting at the same time.

For the same primary reason that cell phone calls in cars aren't allowed - holding the phone inhibits your ability to use both hands - it seems that texting fits the same danger zone. Actually, since you have your eyes and hands on your phone to text, I think it's way worse to text while driving. And of course, they're both intellectual distractions, because your brain isn't fully focused on the road.

What do you guys think?


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Kaizykat Kaizykat 8 years
Sorry to bump this, but I would just like to say that one of my friends was killed when a driver coming down the opposite lane swerved into her own. The most probable reason? The woman who hit her was texting while driving. Both the woman and my friend were killed on impact. The office police report hasn't come out yet, but all signs point to it. So, anyone who texts while driving: Think about it twice.
mrskrismendoza mrskrismendoza 9 years
They are both horrible and I can't believe stupid people think it is okay to do one or the other, or even both. This is why driving (esp in Cali) makes me nervous. Idiots who can't stop playing on their cell phones when they should be focusing on the road.
Glittersniffer Glittersniffer 9 years
I will admit to having read a text on the road. Shame on me. It was directions to my destination, but still. I answer the phone when I'm driving, but I will ignore the phone conversation before I will ignore my driving. My mom gives me forty-immortal-hells for spacing out on her, but I tell her every time it's either that or a wreck.
sparklestar sparklestar 9 years
ARGH Why would you be doing anything except concentrating on the road?!
thelorax thelorax 9 years
Texting is definitely worse, at least if you're holding the phone to your ear, you're still looking at the road, not your phone. There's a bill that closes that dangerous go into effect next year, I believe. I can't remember the bill # but they're aware of the ridiculous exception and they're workin' on it!
kathili kathili 9 years
I would def say texting b/c it takes your thoughts AND eyes off the road at the same time
grsshppr grsshppr 9 years
This law has pissed me off since I heard it was coming (luckily I just moved out of Cali). I happened to study the effects of talking on your cell phone while driving for a Cognitive Psychology class in college. Turns out its the attention you give to the conversation that impairs your reaction time while driving - whether you're holding a phone or have an ear thingy in makes very little difference. Having the radio loud, or talking to your friends in the backseat can impare your reaction time just as much as talking on the phone. (And geek sugar readers are right texting is more dangerous talking). To be a safe driver you need to give the road your attention - that law is just a way for politicians to look good, the state to make money on tickets, and cell phone companies to make you buy their accessories. I bet the truth will come out soon - there'll be no difference in cell phone call related accidents - or there will more, because its much more dangerous to fumble around for your earpiece vs just answering the normal way! I think there are much bigger legislative issues that should have been addressed first...
xojennifer xojennifer 9 years
The government probably assumed that people waren't stupid enough to text while driving. Little did they know...
devils devils 9 years
Both are pretty bad, but texting is WAY worse. Even though some people maybe able to text without looking, there are going to be times when they want to look down at what they are typing which can be dangerous. Talking on the phone is really no better, but at least you're looking at the road, and can still recognize when you're about to hit something!
tashe12 tashe12 9 years
I voted texting. Both are bad, but texting is the worse. There is no way a person can pay attention to the road and type/read at the same time.
MaIIaya MaIIaya 9 years
No texting!
danzerdrea7 danzerdrea7 9 years
I wish they would stop saying its about not having two hands on the wheel. I drive a stick-shift and I never have two hands on the wheel because I can't. Its about being distracted and multi-tasking while in a the car, not that you don't keep a 2 and 10 grip.
KHast KHast 9 years
Is anyone else as terrified as I am to know that not only are people texting and driving, but they're READING BOOKS while driving and DOING CROSSWORDS while driving?! And not just at stop lights! I heard that one lady would read a sentence or two, look up, then read another sentence or two. I kid you guys not. People are so dumb, sometimes.
EkaterinaBallerina EkaterinaBallerina 9 years
Ugh! I hate when I see people do either. Especially since its illegal in my state (New Jersey). People are the most awful drivers when they are on their cells. I once saw a woman driving so poorly, IN THE RAIN, while talking on a cell with her kids in the car with her. I actually flagged her down and yelled at her. It was just so irresponsible especially since there was someone else in the car to take the call for her (which my family does for each other when we drive together). However, I'm not sure the handsets are any better. I once got stuck behind someone driving so poorly because she was so ingrained into the conversation she was having on her phone and she was using a headset. It's all a dangerous distraction. I'm biased about this because way before cells became the norm and way before I started driving I heard the story of a mother who leaned over to pick up her cell (this was back when very few people had them) and crashed her car. Her child was killed in the accident. I've remembered the story ever since and it is the reason I get so riled up when I see people talking or texting while driving.
allinavhcnerf allinavhcnerf 9 years
ugh, don't do either! they're just asking to get into an accident or even kill someone!
aylee aylee 9 years
I know a lot who don't need to look at their phones while texting. However, I still think texting is more dangerous than talking on the phone. Talking comes more naturally than texting. I live in NY and talking on the phone is banned. I rarely use my phone (talk or text) while driving. Unless I really need to, I use the speakerphone.
BostonChick BostonChick 9 years
I think texting is worse. You're taking your eyes off the road and using a thumb (or two). Which means you're usually more focused on what you're typing then what's ahead of you on the road.
vitisva vitisva 9 years
Some people manage to drive without swerving all over the place. I see more people just not paying attention because they are interested in their phone conversation.
Anniina Anniina 9 years
I talked and _walked_ at the same time and I almost was ran over by citytrain/metro(?). :D Feeling stupid both are bad bad bad!
tiabia tiabia 9 years
I am guilty of doing both, and recently so. And texting seems a bit worse than talking, because as others have pointed out, the drivers eyes and hand (s) are on the phone typing out a message, which also means that the drivers attention is on the message being typed out. Very dangerous.
foreverfashion foreverfashion 9 years
Both are equally bad.
gemsera gemsera 9 years
Texting is only bad IF you have to take your eyes off the road. I rarely drive with both hands on the steering wheel (on the motorway anyway) as its uncomfortable, so whats the big deal if im pushing some buttons? I know my phone inside out, i dont need to look at the screen to do ANY of it. That said, they should just ban BAD DRIVERS. doesnt matter what your doing, if your a sh** driver, your gonna cause people pain. better education is needed, like in japan where its like 30 hour long courses and a strenuous physical test just to pass. Not like the joke it is in most western countries.
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
Both are bad, but texting seems a lot worse--you have to be looking at the phone in your hand the whole time while you're doing it. Then someone texts you back, and that sucks all your attention onto the phone yet again. At least driving and talking, dangerous as that is, doesn't necessarily take your eyes off the road.
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