I read with interest an op-ed about the new Indiana law restricting cellphones.
The problem? It does not go far enough. Multiple studies have revealed the flaw in this law.
The distraction of the cellphone being held while talking is only a small part of the "distraction" problem.
It is the act of conversation that is the real distraction. The studies I have reviewed have indicated that "hands free" operation is no more statistically safe than "hand held" is.
Our lawmakers would have realized this, had any of them actually did their homework on this issue.
Indeed, even having a conversation with someone in the automobile while driving is a measurable distraction.
Why? Because one must pay attention to the words, and formulate a response.
Interestingly, listening to the radio while driving does not have the same effect.
Why? No response is needed from the driver to do this task.
To be effective, all cellphone use while driving needs to be banned.
These same studies also revealed that these statistics are true for the majority of drivers.
There is a small minority of people that have actually shown to be safer drivers while talking on a cellphone.
These "true multi-taskers," who have the ability to "channel" mental functions, are actually "bored" by only having to drive, and it becomes difficult for them to retain their focus for extended periods. Ironically, the law could make this minority more hazardous, not less.
David Seal, Anderson