Drudge links to a new study that proves that cell phone users tie up traffic.
Do you need a moment to let that sink in?
When I used to make the 35-mile commute into work, it was through a mind-numbing area of Interstate 95 known as "Death Alley". We'd happily tailgate one another at 80 mph in the left lane until some man (just wait a minute...) would pick up their cell phone. All of a sudden, traffic slows by 10 mph. Now 70 may be safer than 80, but it's the differentials that cause the problems, and nothing will cause more lane changing, cursing, and general apoplexy than some inattentive idiot in the rocket-sled lane, talking on his cell phone, left foot lazily resting on the brake pedal, (which should be a felony driving offense) wondering how in the world he got rear-ended while driving 70 mph.
Traffic seemingly gets better, however, when women pick up the phone, and the article doesn't address that. Well, I won't say it gets better, it just gets faster. Honestly, women pick up the cell phone while driving and their emotional revs go right to their feet. Look in the rear view mirror and you'll see her, talking on the phone, yelling and gesturing and apparently steering with her knees because she needs both hands to orchestrate her commute-drama as she inspects the tailpipe on your car doing 80 mph.
But talking on the phone also makes them hit the brakes more... like every three fargin' seconds. Nature's way of saying, "steer clear."
By contrast, two women talking to each other inside the car will drive slower than anybody, even your local drug dealer. Something about the personal interaction just pings all the social cylinders to the exclusion of the rest of the world's need to get to work on time.
A non-work-related person I know (heh.) is a horribly egotistical driver who has no basis for such an opinion of himself. Even his girlfriend begs me to drive if the two of us are traveling with him. One 2-hour trip with him took four, because he's addicted to the Blackberry and his personal phone, both of which are steadily clamoring to add more drama into his life. He thrives on it. However, he weaves all over the highway, slows waaayyy down, has to put on old reading glasses to see all the emails, (but can't see the road with them on, so it's a constant juggling act) or light a cigarette, and can't understand why every driver around him is flipping him off, cutting him off, or pointing a gun at him.
I find it breathtakingly fatalistic to get out on the highways lately.
Your mileage may vary.