Txting Whl Drvng

6 Comments

[qi:014] Concerns over the use of cell phones while driving used to be confined to talking on them, prompting numerous states and even countries around the world to ban the use of the device while driving unless used in conjunction with a hands-free accessory. From an occupied hands perspective, however, texting is clearly a bigger danger, and many of the laws have been amended to include or simply stress a ban on that activity as well.

This video from Nuance Communications (NUAN) features a send-up of “The Amazing Race” to show off its voice-prompted texting product:

What about you? Do u txt whl drvng?

6 Comments

Michael Chiu

At first, I thought it was a hassle to text while driving, but using common sense, there are times when it can come in handy.

When I’m stuck in traffic, I take a picture and send it to friends to let them know that I’m going to be late. It’s one of those “picture or it’s fake” kind of situations.

With a Palm Treo or regular feature phone, I have no problem texting with one hand, and without looking at the screen… although the words might not come out perfectly, the other end can figure out what I’m trying to say.

With the phones with the pull out keyboards, I have a bit more difficult time with them, but have started adjusting how I hold the phone while texting, and use the keyboard with one hand while it is vertical. But I do have to look at the keyboard which makes it more dangerous.

The thing about texting instead of talking while driving that is beneficial for me is:

1) It’s less obvious that you are using a phone, so other drivers don’t get as impatient if I’m not driving THEIR desired speed because I’m on the phone.

2) I get less annoyed for having to listen to someone yap on and on about something I could care less about, and even less while driving.

3) A text takes me roughly 30 seconds to type out and send. A call takes my attention off the road for a longer period of time on average.

Josh Bernoff

Recently, in Sao Paulo, a driver was taking me to the airport in insane traffic.

At the same time, he was on the phone, and then he started reading text messages. But when he decided to start texting (on a RAZR, which has no alpha keypad) at about 50 mph I began to start yelling.

I don’t speak Portuguese but I got my point across. I wasn’t quite ready to die, you see . . .

David

Whilst it is already illegal to use a non-hands-free mobile whilst driving in the UK for texting or talking, the law is not enforced enough. Few people seem to take any notice, and if they are fined they merely complain about ‘stealth taxes’..idiots

I do believe that a recent study showed that even handsfree mobiles were twice as dangerous as talking to someone sitting in the car.

If people really want to text/talk/email they should use public transport and save the planet at the same time

Patrick de Laive

Hi Carolyn, funny you mention this. I live in the Netherlands (you know, that country where everything is allowed..) and I often visit SF for business. I’m always very surprized that people call and txt message while driving. That is something we banned 4 years ago.

I’m actually very glad that I’m not allowed to call (unless handsfree) while driving. The law in the Netherlands goes even a little bit further, it is not that you’re not allowed to call, but you’re not allowed to have a cellphone in your hand while driving! So no emailing and texting as well.

Some people really go too far and want to abandon calling on your bike in Amsterdam, oh and listening to your iPod while biking is also dangerous… Well, if that happens, I’m moving to SF.

Igor Jablokov

Solving this disconnect is the reason we were founded, but it’s nice to see the Nuance folks driving awareness (pun intended ;-) of this problem. They could do more to make it safer; hopefully when our solution is public it’ll be obvious how to architect this correctly.

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