Open Phones: Do You Text and Drive? Be Honest.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Werner Herzog released a new documentary on the dangers of texting while driving called "From One Second to the Next." Call in with your tips on how to resist the temptation to text while you're driving, and how you teach your teenage drivers to do the same. And if you can't resist the temptation, tell us what makes it so hard to change your habits.


Comments [29]

Mitch from Lynbrook

I listened to the podcast on my way back from grocery shopping. It's a 10 min walk through a not so crowded traffic. I spotted 7 drivers fiddling with their phones in that short distance. It should not be taken lightly. I think it's more distracting than your usual distracters like radio etc.

Aug. 13 2013 07:02 PM

I never EVER text/talk on my phone while I'm driving.

Aug. 13 2013 03:48 PM
Sredni Vashtar from the Shed Out Back

Yes, SuperTexter, you are a MORON.

Aug. 13 2013 12:27 PM
Valerie from scarsdale

Glad I had a chance to get the TRUNK IT campaign out on the air. As a psychologist (and a driver), I think it is
almost impossible for any of us to resist the Pavlovian ring of text, even as we absolutely KNow we should not be reading or writing them. (and honestly, who among us has the had the discipline to turn off their phones before driving).

TRUNK IT, a campaign to put your cell phone in the trunk of the car before driving, removes the temptation, and, via Bluetooth, allows the driver access to voice-activated features of the phone. (There is of course, lots of evidence that even talking hands free is dangerous but I don't think we're going to make a dent there, at least not yet.)

Any readers with filmmaking ability who would like to team with me on getting this out, the time is NOW. Reach out to me. This is a hot topic and for good reason. This is a very serious, essential issue and one with real lives on the line. I am so glad the phone companies are launching their own campaign and promotional materials but I think we need another that addresses the (essential) irresistibility of reading or answering texts.

Aug. 13 2013 12:13 PM

JUST LIKE TAILGATING... appreciating why we should not text while driving is not intuitive.

With tailgating, it's easy to do because your movement relative to the car in front of you is slow. In order to appreciate the risks, you need to rationalize it because your eyes do not see danger.

It's the same issue with text messaging. Taking your eyes off the road "for a moment" doesn't feel dangerous. We do it all the time when we use the secondary controls of our cars (like radio, ventilation, etc). But those are very brief actions that aren't frequently repeated. Reading a short text message feels very much the same. But... it IS NOT. This is why we have to rationalize the dangers. It isn't intuitive. And this is why Herzog's movie is so poignant. I hope it is distributed everywhere. People need to wake up and realize the risks.

Aug. 13 2013 12:05 PM
SuperTexter from NJ

I can text and drive because I'm not a moran. If u look away from the road for any reason, ever, you could get into an accident but we still; eat, tune the radio/iPod whatever, smoke - why is this different? Its not when it come to stupid people. Simple lesson; if u can't walk and chew gum dont text and drive.

Aug. 13 2013 12:05 PM
Jack from midtown

Since we're bring honest here, what about texting while stopped at a red light? Sure you might be a second slow on the green, but that can't be any more dangerous than fiddling with the radio station.

Aug. 13 2013 12:01 PM

One other thing: Get a flip-top "beam-me-up-Scotty" phone like I have. The limited keys make it sooo much more difficult to text.

Use your phone as a PHONE!

Aug. 13 2013 12:01 PM
Linda from NYC

Two eyes on the road
Two hands on the wheel

that says it all!

Aug. 13 2013 11:58 AM

As an occasional New York City driver who only rents and does not own a car, it's hard enough to set the radio stations on my occasional rental while driving; I don't even do that anymore. And I never text and drive.

For that matter, I don't text and walk or text and bicycle — along with texting on blades, these are dangerous activities for one's self and dangerous to others.

Stop and Text. Should replace "stop and frisk," eh?!

Aug. 13 2013 11:57 AM
Elaine from Baltimore

Everyday going to work I can count many distracted drivers. They swerve and weave out of their lanes and you see their heads down. There needs to be laws implemented with severe penalties!

Aug. 13 2013 11:56 AM

Never done it. It's dangerous, inconsiderate, unnecessary and completely selfish. Raise the fines to equal that of drunk driving and enforce the law.

Aug. 13 2013 11:55 AM
Dorothy from Manhattan

I wouldn't mind if only the person texting and driving was hurt or killed. It's Darwinian. But they're coming out OK while killing/injuring others. Next subject is texting while biking -- yes, I've seen it.

Aug. 13 2013 11:55 AM
fuva from harlemworld

Our gadget/techocracy is eroding the ability to resist temptation. Seriously.
This is not about Luddism. This is about recognizing perhaps inevitable changes the zeitgeist is undergoing that we nevertheless must responsibly address.

Aug. 13 2013 11:54 AM
Max from South Slope

I used to text while driving, but I have to thank the constant berating of friends that I should stop with causing me to finally give it up. When I drove some of my friends around and would glance at my phone, I would honestly be made fun of and man did that remove any cool factor to it.

Also my wife helped a lot (she now will read and answer the texts when we drive and vice versa)

Aug. 13 2013 11:54 AM
Cate from Manhattan

I moved from Toronto to NYC last week and had a friend drive the uHaul.This friend was having serious issues with his ex-wife (who is mentally ill) and was texting while driving the 17-foot truck. I understand it was a stressful time for him but in al honestly, all I could think was that nothing was as important as him keeping eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.The fact he would quickly take photos along the way too made me want to scream with frustration and I will never drive with him again. Frightening.

Aug. 13 2013 11:54 AM
Bo Young from Granville

To the caller who suggested that "we all do it": NO. "We" don't. YOU do. Not everyone is so stupid or ignorant to think that you can text while driving. There is no reason for it whatsoever. And no amount of rationalizing can ever explain how SELFISH it is to think otherwise.

Aug. 13 2013 11:54 AM
The Truth from Becky

@Jeanne, me too...I glare the hell out 'em, I rather take the risk than see them kill a whole family in the next block!

Aug. 13 2013 11:54 AM

I have text messaged while driving, but only when stopped. However, it's a very tricky thing, because just having the phone in your hand and with a text conversation in mind, it's easy to take your eyes off the road momentarily even with the intention to reply at the next light.

I've been lucky to have not hit anyone, but I did have a couple of close calls. I've decided that I will STOP doing it, even when stopped at a traffic light. If I need to communicate, I will pull over and do it until I'm done, then resume driving. THE RISKS ARE TOO GREAT.

Aug. 13 2013 11:53 AM
MichaelB from Morningside Heights

So, continuing the theme from the previous segment... you've got this hot, *Cool* business going and you are driving somewhere and a text comes into your phone....

And what about the millions of people who are crossing streets while looking at their devices and never looking at the traffic? As a native NYer, I was always aware of how dangerous it is even if you ARE paying attention.

This is our world of cool that Apple and Hollywood continue to perpetuate. Be cool above all else.

The species is getting dumber....Darwin still rules!

Aug. 13 2013 11:53 AM
The Truth from Becky

Wishing you can go back and change things doesn't help - You can't UNDO it!!

Aug. 13 2013 11:52 AM
Larry from Brooklyn

The first time I tried to text and drive was during my commute on the BQE. I read a text and when I looked up I had moved so far along the road during what seemed like a short time that I really was frightened and a little disoriented. I was so absorbed in a trivial thing... was a weird sensation. When phone beeped in future I found myself pulled to look but I remembered that experience and resisted.

Aug. 13 2013 11:52 AM

I never text and drive, but I do admit to driving up to those who do and laying on my horn in absolute rage! Probably just as dangerous because it jars the driver, but I am sooooo fatigued by the stupidity!!!!

Aug. 13 2013 11:52 AM

Yet another example of how selfish we have become.
Me me me.

Aug. 13 2013 11:51 AM
Nancy from Brooklyn

I text at red lights -- probably shouldn't?

Aug. 13 2013 11:51 AM
The Truth from Becky

I DO NOT Text and drive - Please STOP texting and driving people!!

Aug. 13 2013 11:51 AM
Sredni Vashtar from the Shed Out Back

If adjusting the radio takes too long, I get nervous, so I cannot imagine ever texting while driving. Make a hands-free call (which is distracting ehough) if it's important. If it isn't (and, admit it, it usually isn't), DON'T DO IT. I swear cell phones are like electronic crack. People can't seem to put those infernal devices down for a second.

Aug. 13 2013 11:50 AM

I was explaining just yesterday that at stop lights in the NYC area nowadays it has become the norm to tap your horn after the light turns green.

That is because it is assumed that the driver at the front of the pack is thoroughly engaged online.

Aug. 13 2013 11:49 AM
Jeb from Williamsburg

If we prosecuted texters like drunk drivers, we could easily correct this terrible public health threat in a generation. Drunk driving laws cannot eradicate drunk driving, but they can decrease the incidence of accidents and deaths. Texting laws would be the same. How bad is it? See below from Car and Driver...

Reaction times for braking:

Unimpaired: .54 seconds to brake
Legally drunk: add 4 feet
Reading e-mail: add 36 feet
Sending a text: add 70 feet

Aug. 13 2013 11:42 AM

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