Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Driving while drunk is safer than driving while talking on a cell phon

  1. Jul 24, 2005 #1
    driving while drunk is safer than driving while talking on a cell phone, according to Mythbusters.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 24, 2005 #2
    And according to some misleading statistics...
  4. Jul 24, 2005 #3
    this was determined my experiment. they had people do a road test and had them take it on a cell phone and had them take it drunk. they failed on both the cell phone one and the drunk one, but they did better when drunk than while on a cell phone.
  5. Jul 24, 2005 #4


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    This is just stupid. I'm not even going to justify myself.
  6. Jul 24, 2005 #5
    what is stupid about it?
  7. Jul 24, 2005 #6
    How drunk where they? Drunkeness is on a scale, whereas talking on a phone is just stupid, although i admit i have driven whilst talking on a phone and i have driven whilst drunk (only in a very large completely deserted carpark with a mate in the passenger seat) And to be honest driving and talking on the phone isnt to much of a problem aslong as you remember to keep your distance from the car infront and if you know the layout of the road.
  8. Jul 24, 2005 #7


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I bet the claim is true. I think they did a count last year in my city that showed more accidents involved 1 or more parties on the cell phone then accidents where 1 or more parites were drunk. But then again people in my city are absolutely stupid when it comes to driving and are cell-phone obsessed.
  9. Jul 24, 2005 #8
    iirc, bal was right below the legal limit.
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2005
  10. Jul 24, 2005 #9
    Well there you go....now get them hammered and do the experiment again.
  11. Jul 24, 2005 #10


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Being a "drunk driver" can range from someone having had half a pint in the pub with their dinner at lunchtime, to being absolutely twatted. While talking on the phone provides a distraction, it does not directly affect reaction times or judgement. Give someone 10 pints, and I would bet my right bollock that my little sister could drive better than them, on the phone.

    Pengwuino, I suspect that far many more drivers are prepared to drive whilst talking on the phone, than drunk. This would explain the numbers in your city.

    In addition, I do not believe the mythbusters test to be trustworthy. I'm assuming that the participants had been briefed on what they were actually doing? What criteria were they tested on? Reaction times? Maintaining control of the vehicle?

    Given the choice, I'd much rather step off the pavement into the path of a driver who was talking on their phone, than someone who had drunk as little as 2 pints.
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2005
  12. Jul 24, 2005 #11
    it was the actual test to get a license.

    what is untrustworthy about mythbusters?
  13. Jul 24, 2005 #12


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    You need a multivariable analysis for an experiment to even be valid:

    1. Drunk test: Blood Alcohol Level? How many different obstacle tests? How does it vary with BAL? How many sensors are impared?
    2. Cell test: One hand? Which hand? Hands free? What if you are holding a cell phone and dialing it, looking at it - thus imparing 2 senses
    3. Drunk AND on Cell phone - How does it compare to either test? What is the percentage of failure on either obstacle test?

    Now perform this experiment with about a 100 individuals, and with different medical conditions, age groups, genders, and race, and then we can somewhat conclude, with a significant margin of error, that either talking on the cellphone or driving drunk is worse
  14. Jul 24, 2005 #13
    On the phone whilst drunk, i'll have to give that one a go i could imagine that one being most damaging. I can remember having to drive my car about 200 metres from outside my friends house to the parking around the back off it. I was soo drunk i had to close one eye to see where i was going. BUT I WOULD NEVER HAVE DONE IT IF IT WASNT SUCH A SHORT DISTANCE AND IF I WASNT GONNA GET CLAMPED AND FINED SEVERAL HUNDRED POUNDS FOR LEAVING IT WHERE IT WAS.

    just thought i would add that.
  15. Jul 24, 2005 #14


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I have absolutely no idea, never seen it. :smile:
  16. Jul 24, 2005 #15
    And for God's sake don't use your cell phone while driving drunk! :yuck:

    I think Brewnog and Cronxeh are on the right track here. If the person knows they are being tested, they will react differently then if they are not aware they are being tested. Same for both conditions, drunk or phoning. This could alter behavior enough to invalidate any results. In fact both could be far worse then testing would indicate.
  17. Jul 24, 2005 #16
    how would you go about testing people without them knowing?
  18. Jul 24, 2005 #17


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    There is an actually study that demonstrated that drivers that were under the influence of alcohol (around .08) are "safer" than drivers having a cell phone conversation.


    From experience, people having a cell phone conversation while are dangerous especially in large city with dense circulation. They often erratic behavior (i.e. break for no reason, slow down, speed up, etc). The only thing that limit accident is that people around are paying attention to the road and it is daylight.
  19. Jul 24, 2005 #18


    User Avatar

    We all knew that, its just... sometimes... you can trust the Canadians!
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?

Similar Discussions: Driving while drunk is safer than driving while talking on a cell phon
  1. Doing math while drunk (Replies: 49)