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Thursday, October 27, 2005

Between The Gadgets And Breakfast, Who Has Time To Watch The Road?

When it comes to drive distractions, the one most people talk about is talking on a mobile phone. It's become politically popular to ban talking on a phone -- and there is plenty of evidence that it is quite distracting. However, it raises questions about specifically targeting certain behaviors rather than simply targeting bad or dangerous driving. While one approach is to ban driving distractions one by one, it looks like that list is only going to get much longer over time. The NY Times is running a series of articles on cars and car culture, including one that looks at how gadgets in cars are on the rise, including just fancier, more distracting dashboards, and another on how common it is for people to eat and drive, leading to a whole business in providing in-car eating accessories. What becomes clear very quickly is that it's just part of the way we view driving -- and everyone's willing to help out, from automakers who add new flashing gizmos and gadgets along with special in-car spaces for fast food containers to the fast food restaurants who hand out driver placemats and study their meals to make sure they're less likely to drip on drivers' laps. While lawmakers may start trying to cut down on each of these, there are always going to be some new form of driver distractions, and focusing on bad or dangerous driving still seems to make a lot more sense.

[via TechDirt]


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