Phone while driving: what would you do? - NowWheels
A dilemma I faced recently: I'd be interested to hear other people's views on it.

You are setting out on a 10-mile journey in a friend's car, and the owner is at the wheel driving through heavy but free-flowing urban traffic. The route takes you around roundabouts, down narrow streets with pavements clogged with pedestrians, around plenty of blind corners, and onto some stretches on 40mph dual carriageway.

The friend has been in argument with someone and is still a bit stewed up. After a mile or so, the driver decides it's time to phone the other person, and "sort it out". Apart from involving illegal use of a mobile phone while driving, (there's no hands-free), this is clearly going to be a long and heavy call, with plenty of conflict: precisely the sort of call which is likely to be most distracting.

As the driver picks up the phone, you point out that it should not be used while driving, but with one hand on the wheel while turning a corner, the dialling begins with the other hand.

I was a coward. I just kept silent, having made my point. And I don't think I did the right thing.

What would you do?
Phone while driving: what would you do? - Hamsafar
You should have held the wheel for them.
Phone while driving: what would you do? - PW
Probably exactly the same. Only other choice would be to suddenly point to an imaginary police car, and say you saw them taking an interest in the driver.

Having a go at the driver could have led a row in the car- which may have been as distracting as the call.
Phone while driving: what would you do? - yeoman
I'd have said - as assertively as I could - "you need to pull over if you're going to make a phone call". Someone could have been seriously hurt or killed with such a distraction.
Phone while driving: what would you do? - Dalglish
... What would you do? ..

>>

i would do exactly the same as if the person had begun to consume alcohol, or start to smoke.
ask them to stop, and let me out. absolutely, no doubt. i have the courage ..... ...
Phone while driving: what would you do? - leef
Tell them to pull over and make the call, I'd also offer to drive while they had there rant in the passenger seat.
Phone while driving: what would you do? - Altea Ego
You say

I am not comfortable with this situation, please stop and let me out and I will get a cab.

the outcome will be that

a: They will comply, and let you out and the friendship can be repaired later
b: They will suddenly realise the stupidity of the situation and the friendship will remain in tact
c: they will ignore you, you get to the end destination of both the journey and the friendship

IN reality if c: happens you get out at the next set of lights.
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TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Phone while driving: what would you do? - No FM2R
Not simple.

Partly its about making a point and you did that.

But its also about being safe and trying to ensure the safety of those around, and that you did not.

Were it my wife/friend/relative then I would have got as stroppy as required. Were it a business acquaintance where significant business was or could be involved, then I would be more reluctant although it would clearly depend on the character of the business contact and the perceived business risk.

All in all, I'd have probably pushed it harder than you, especially if I was with a friend, but there would be a point I would pull back under certain circumstances.

Phone while driving: what would you do? - Peter D
Ask him to stop and let you out or pull over and turn engine off to make the call. Anyone who holds the steering wheel for him is not only crazy but can be prosecuted for dangerous driving and not being insured whilst driving as it could be you that causes the accident. Regards Peter
Phone while driving: what would you do? - wotspur
I agree with those who'd demand for the car to be stopped, highlighting a major previous accident that they'd been involved in where some pratt did or almost killed a kid /dog/ policeman/caused a 7 car pile up etc, thinking they could drive whilst dialing /holding a phone and probably driving with a fag in hand and that I was to young to die.
Until the Government make the penalty at least £500, double the cost of a good hands free bluetooth unit,muppets even in Porches/B,M.W'S and I've even seen a R.R. being driven whilst doing a call, nowt will happen.
Phone while driving: what would you do? - Lud
Some people may be able to make phone calls without endangering anyone significantly. Question of driving ability plus manual dexterity. Others are terrifying drivers even under the most favourable circumstances.

So If the driver is the first kind, I won't say a word. If he or she is the second kind, I may well have made other travel arrangements. I don't think I'd bother to tell them it was illegal. I would expect them to know already.
Phone while driving: what would you do? - Manatee
Agree with Lud. 2 separate issues - legality and danger. You could argue that any driver is less safe while making a phone call but for me it would depend on the driver. Whether he/she wants to break this particular law is up to him/her.
Phone while driving: what would you do? - Andrew-T
"2 separate issues - legality and danger"

I see your point, Manatee, but these issues aren't separate - using a mobile is illegal because it has been shown to be dangerous. Of course if you are the type that thinks 'legal' means whatever is do-able without being caught by plod, that's different.
Phone while driving: what would you do? - Manatee
No, Andrew-T, I am not that kind of person, nor in general do I choose the laws I obey and the ones I ignore;-)

I think they are separate considerations though - unless it only became dangerous when there was a law against it!
Phone while driving: what would you do? - yeoman
"Some people may be able to make phone calls without endangering anyone significantly" i.e. All those who do so presumably - at least, they like to think so...........
Phone while driving: what would you do? - pksknqx
No some people really can, as judged by others. In some circamstances police have to use one hand for a radio push to talk and discuss complicated arrangements while driving, e.g. a CID officer coordinating an operation involving many officers.

Its up to everyone whether they chose to use their phone whilst driving (accepting getting seen could have consequences), but if they were to use it anyway - in the situation you describe NowWheels, assuming they are a competent and experienced driver, I would probably have let them get on with it but kept my eyes on the road in order to give a warning to stop in case he misses a hazard.
Phone while driving: what would you do? - robcars
I've always wondered why the police are above the law in this respect.

If its illegal to use a phone on the move, then why isnt it illegal to use a 2 way radio on the move?

It's just as dangerous! To me!
Phone while driving: what would you do? - pksknqx
With good observation and some common sense theres no reason why using a phone or a radio is so shocking. Lots of drivers are much less observant even when theyre not on the phone, than someone who is thoughtfully talking on the radio or on a handheld phone while still concentrating on driving.
Phone while driving: what would you do? - Cardew
Most of us would not think twice if the driver was exceeding the speed limit by a couple of miles an hour.

Most of us would not tolerate the driver being very drunk.

So with an agitated driver on his mobile it is down to your perception of the risk; tempered by your relationship with the driver. We just might be more tolerant of our employer than an employee!!!
Phone while driving: what would you do? - L'escargot
Let him who is without sin cast the first stone. Since I frequently sin driving-wise in other ways I couldn't be so hypocritical as to say or do anything.
--
L\'escargot.
Phone while driving: what would you do? - greenhey
It seems the law hasnt done anything to alter peoples' view that they have a god-given right to talk, or even text, while driving.
Over the last few months I have seen - an artic with fully-laden trailer negotiate a mini-roundabout in the middle of a small village, with driver on the phone- numerous lorries change lane on the motorways while on a call- bus drivers doing hand-held call with dozens of passengers on board- mothers ( presumably) in MPVs and 44s calling while their children are on board.
I dont think the calculation re fine vs cost of a hands-free affects peoples' judgement on this. Just like most drivers caught DUI are several times over the existing limit , so reducing the limit wouldn't change that behaviour- they ignore the limit anyway.
This is all to do with something deep- call it values if you like. Seems to me that over some years we have moved to a "me-first" culture and a lot of people live without any consideration for the impact of their actions on others . There is an argument that this got rolling under Thatcher and that Blair realised that if he challenged it he wouldn't be elected ; tho I suspect there's more to it than that.
There's a pub near me popular with the local "country sports" crowd. We like the pub, but generally avoid talking to most of the customers as we think we'd get into arguments .Last weekend we sat having a drink listening to a conversation at the bar. A guy who we know is in there every night from about 530 until at least 8 on his way home, and drinks about 2 pints of lager an hour, was pontificating about "yobs" and how ASBOs are useless. They needed "short sharp shock" , because you have to have deterrents! We know that this guy drives home every night from this pub ,about 5 miles.
And yes, we have reported him to Crimestoppers- over a year ago.
Phone while driving: what would you do? - pksknqx
Really? He has about 5 pints and then drives home? Shouldn't the landlord be having words with this numpty along the lines of getting a minicab and then coming back for his car in the morning?
Phone while driving: what would you do? - mss1tw
He couldn't speak to him like that, who does he think he is?

It's a human right to be able to drive drunk, and no-one should be allowed to impose on it.
Phone while driving: what would you do? - Altea Ego
I am still trying to get my head round the idea that you can like a pub and hate all the regulars.

They guy does have a right to drink as many pints as he likes and while not causing aggro in the pub the landlord has the right to serve him.

The guy also has the human right to choose to drive home in whatever state he likes just as the forces and law and order have the authority to bang him up for doing so (were they there to catch him doing so) and the rest of society have the right to vilify him if he does so
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TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Phone while driving: what would you do? - Lud
the rest of society have the right to vilify him
if he does so
------------------------------


Or to mind its own damn business unless he's obviously lethal.
Phone while driving: what would you do? - Statistical outlier
Lud, he *is* obviously lethal!! If the OP doesn't want to ring the police directly, then if they want to pass me the details then I'll do it for them.
Phone while driving: what would you do? - Lud
He sounds a tiny bit unsympathetic from the OP's description, but there's nothing about his driving after a few pints. Some people are hardly affected at all, while others are barely compos after a small sherry.

I don't want to get into this gruelling drink/drive argument again though. I am aware that my libertarian approach to the issue is not shared by the majority. I am aware too that the individual and the amount of drink consumed are not the only variables, so that a normally safe drunk driver can suddenly turn out to be less safe if he/she is ill, upset or otherwise in an odd state. I note in my own case that age doesn't help, so I am much more cautious on this matter than I used to be.

I have never been done for dd, although I have been breathalysed four or five times over the years.
Phone while driving: what would you do? - L'escargot
Since so many of you are on this "holier than thou" trip, what about being totally honest and admitting how often you exceed a speed limit. I'll start by admitting that I exceed the speed limit each and every time I drive. Not always by much and not constantly for each stretch of road but always nevertheless. And I judge this by mentally deducting 7% from my speedo reading to allow for the fact that (according to a parked police speed-indicating trailer I passed recently) my speedo reads 7% fast. But I don't expect my passenger to say anything, and I certainly don't expect them to report me to the police. Live and let live is my motto. Anyone who says they have never exceeded a speed limit is a fibber!
--
L\'escargot.
Phone while driving: what would you do? - daveyjp
The only time I conciously exceed the speed limit is on the motorway and even then only to an indicated 80. At other times I drive within the limit and will set cruise control where it is safe to do so to enable me to achieve this. I visited the office at 7am this morning and the roads were empty. I apologise to the BMW driver, but the 30 limit applies for 24 hours a day and getting up my tailpipes won't disconnect my cruise control. I managed to stick to the limits on my test, why should it be any different 20 years later?
Phone while driving: what would you do? - L'escargot
At other times I drive within the limit and will set
cruise control where it is safe to do so to enable
me to achieve this.


I'd be very surprised if your cruise control is that precise in it's control. And I doubt whether it's calibration is any more accurate than your speedo.
--
L\'escargot.
Phone while driving: what would you do? - No FM2R
>>And I doubt whether it's calibration is any more accurate than your speedo.

In which case he'd be upto 10% below the speed limit but categorically not over it.

But aren't you getting just a little silly about this subject ?
Phone while driving: what would you do? - L'escargot
But aren't you getting just a little silly about this subject
?


Sticks and stones, No FM2R, sticks and stones ......
--
L\'escargot.
Phone while driving: what would you do? - No FM2R
Not meant to be, I just thought it was taking the idea a little far - I can't say I would be bothered about 1mph over the speed limit, I would be bothered about 50mph over the limit. I probably wouldn't be bothered by a 1min calm telephone conversation I would be bothered with an intense phone argument. - don't see the relevance or the connection.
Phone while driving: what would you do? - Statistical outlier
I make every every effort to stick to 30 and 40 limits, often to the fury of some behind me. Yes, on a fairly free motorway, I tend to stick to an actual 77 (inidcated about 82). That's illegal, but it's not putting anyone in danger IMHO.

Drink driving *is* putting everyone in danger. Always. I would shop anyone for doing it without hesitation, and would expect the same to be done to me. I don't play russian roulette with other peoples lives and don't expect them to do so with mine.
Phone while driving: what would you do? - Lud
Go as fast as you want if you can get away with it. Drink as much as you like if you can get away with it. Take full responsibility for any resulting damage or injury, and bear in mind at all times that this is what you will have to do. It's a self-regulating system. Incompetents, psychopaths and those who don't understand the constraints soon filter themselves out.
Phone while driving: what would you do? - Statistical outlier
You'll take full responsibility for your actions? Brilliant, I'm sure that will be a great comfort to anyone you injure or kill through your attitude.

I've argued with you before Lud, I'm not going to carry on now, there's no point, I don't think our outlooks are reconcilable.
Phone while driving: what would you do? - Lud
Perhaps not Gordon M, but note: 'Bear in mind at all times that this is what you will have to do'.

This has a powerful restraining effect: anyone who bears the possible consequences in mind is unlikely to be much more reckless or drunk than you are yourself. That said, a rigid either/or approach is essentially inelegant and gauche. People should be free if they know what they are doing. I don't expect everyone to agree though.
Phone while driving: what would you do? - NowWheels
Go as fast as you want if you can get away with it. Drink as much as you like if you can
get away with it. Take full responsibility for any resulting damage
or injury, and bear in mind at all times that this is what you will have to do.


It'll reassure me immensely to hear that the speeding drunk who runs into me accepts full responsibility for his actions.
Incompetents, psychopaths and those who don't understand the constraints soon filter themselves out.


Unfortunately, they tend to filter out a few others along the way.
Phone while driving: what would you do? - PW
Unfortunately Lud, people en masse seem incapable of taking responsibility for themselves. It's never their fault, and they will never accept that. To be honest, I dont fly into a rage whenever I see someone being moronic, firstly because I am frequently moronic myself without intending to be, and secondly what difference would it make?

If, however, I was in a car with someone being an idiot I would point it out to them, because if the worst happened I would have to live with myself for not doing anything, just as I encourage my friends to point out when I am being stupid, and stop me before I make it worse.
Phone while driving: what would you do? - Lud
Oh dear. I said I didn't want to get into this argument again. Evidently I have brought it on myself.

NW and GM: I don't think people should drive recklessly. I don't think they should drive when significantly impaired by drink. That was what I meant when I said they should bear in mind the possible consequences of their own actions.

Some do these things, however. One can only hope they don't filter out too many others along the way.
Phone while driving: what would you do? - Lud
PW, you have a good attitude (and agreeably self-deprecating).

One reason why people are reluctant to take responsibility for their own actions is that they are encouraged to believe that there is a right and wrong way to do everything, laid down in the regulations. Driving by numbers so to speak. Anyone with half a brain knows that this is not really so.
Phone while driving: what would you do? - Statistical outlier
NW and GM: I don't think people should drive recklessly. I
don't think they should drive when significantly impaired by drink. That
was what I meant when I said they should bear in
mind the possible consequences of their own actions.


Lud, I'm quite sure that the possible consequences of our actions mean that you're no more likely to drive drunk than I am. Trouble is, even some of my friends have no concept of abstract consequences. One in particular springs to mind ? he was going to go for a drive after drinking solidly for about 6 hours, thinking he wouldn?t be caught and it would be fun; he changed his mind when confronted with the rather more specific consequence of my phoning the police with his car details and rough location.

Greenhey's original post referred to someone that regularly has 5 pints, then drives home at 8 in the evening. To my mind that's indefensible. On the other hand, if he drove a mile up a farm track at midnight, then you're right, who does it harm?

My point really is that there has to be a limit decided and then imposed by 'society? when there is significant potential for avoidable harm to others. Look at it this way ? my views on drinking before cycling mirror almost exactly yours on drinking and driving. I wouldn?t drive after two pints, but I will happily cycle. It?s still illegal (actually, is that true?) but I don?t think I?ll get caught; much more importantly, I think I would only pose a risk to myself, not to others. That?s a risk I feel qualified to take, as it only affects me. And if it does backfire, well, as you say, evolution in action!
Phone while driving: what would you do? - Altea Ego
We dont have prohibition.

That is there is no law that says you can not drink. There is no law thats says you can not drink more than a certain amount, nor is there a mechanism in place to prevent you. Thats what a free society and personal responsibility is all about. Like snaily who said eveyone has broken the speed limit, everyone has gotten drunk at some time,

With no prohibition* all you can do is put laws in place about the consequences. The consequence of driving drunk (or whatever limit is chosen) is that you get caught and banned. If you kill someone you go to jail for murder. Its really very simple. Unless you want every aspect of what you can do and when controlled by the state.

We have laws but we have no consequences. I can drink and drive with virtual impunity. The chances of me getting caught are so very very remote. The only time I am likely to get caught is if i crash or kill someone. This fits nicely into the current and growing trend of law enforcement. The blame culture. We dont care who does what, what laws are broken as long as we can pin something on someone when something really bad happens. Whats the point in the law? with no consequences for breaking the laws it might just as well non existant.

So the man *is* fully responsible for his actions. He will be caught and punished for any bad outcomes of his behaviour (like killing someone) but not for ignoring the laws of the land.


------------------------------
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Phone while driving: what would you do? - Lud
Very interesting analysis TVM. Mostly spot on. But the police do sometimes just fish for over-the-limit drivers. Plenty get pulled, sometimes with dire consequences, without having done anything to cause it. Just being in the wrong place at the wrong time can get people into trouble. That doesn't refute anything you say though.
Phone while driving: what would you do? - Altea Ego
They gave up fishing round out way years ago Lud. There is no traffpol any more. Just a pool of resources sent from incident to incident, be that burglary rape or an RTA. They dont have time to sit and fish any more
------------------------------
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Phone while driving: what would you do? - horatio
Offer to dial for him, then get ready to hold the wheel if necessary (it shouldn't be), but really driving with a phone on your ear ain't as evil as some people make it out to be. I'm happy that it has been made illegal though.
Phone while driving: what would you do? - commerdriver
I think part of NWs original post was that the call would be a significant one, taking up a lot of attention and that the driver's state of mind was not ideal for driving anyway.
I think what you do depends on the relationship you have with the "offender" and thus the likelihood of being able to affect the behaviour. I have on one occasion each stopped my sons driving following a major argument (not that we're always having them).
In both cases I believed that an inexperienced driver in a very upset and angry state was something to be avoided for everyone's safety. In both cases they accepted the situation but I don't know what I would have done in NW's place, if it was a close friend I might have pushed the point and suggested he stop as it was likely to be a bit heated otherwise difficult to say how far to push it.
Phone while driving: what would you do? - Peter D
If you all think that someone can use a no hand free phone without effecting his or her driving, how come you can spot them at 200 yards away even at night. This is because your spacial awarness if muted and you wander around. Have you spotted a non hands free driver without seeing them actually on the phone. Never mind the idiot driving round an island and slicing the lands up because he only has one hand on the wheel. I though this thread would go for while Regards Peter
 

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