TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: 511 Traffic Phone Lines May Raise Crash Risk

Re: 511 Traffic Phone Lines May Raise Crash Risk

Robert Bonomi (
Thu, 08 Mar 2007 16:04:31 -0000

In article <>, <> wrote:

> On Mar 6, 4:06 pm, (Robert Bonomi) wrote:

>> Its not so much 'talking on the radio' per se, but the _kind_ of
>> conversations that go on. ...

> This is very true and very significant. Some claim it is the hand-
> held unit that is the problem and a headset solves it.

Hand-held units pose their own problems, in that you only have one
hand 'free' for the controls. Especially problematic in a vehicle
with a manual transmission.

Note, however, that the same is true in using a hand-held microphone
for a two-way radio. This, BTW, _is_ one of the reasons
law-enforcement vehicles are almost invariably equipped with automatic
transmissions. :)

There is also an interesting 'human factors' aspect that comes into
play -- the 'minimal-seeming' act of having to "push the button" to
talk on a two-way radio has a _major_ effect on the thought-process,
and serves (indirectly) to greatly reduce the 'distraction' effect of
a 'juicy' conversation. "Push the button" requires an overt and
conscious decision (and effort), which triggers an awareness of the
diversion from the 'primary mission' of operating the vehicle. The
logic seems a little silly on the face of it -- the fact that you have
to work harder at it makes it _less_ distracting -- but it _does_ work
that way.

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