[A]lthough many people now agree that driving while on a cell phone can be dangerous, they think the rules should apply to those other drivers -- not themselves. A University of Utah study found that 97.5 percent of the population does not have the ability to multitask in the manner required to talk on the phone and drive safely. The rare group who can might make good fighter pilots.
"The big problem is that people think they're in that 2.5 percent," said Smith. "Unless you're 'Top Gun,' you can't do it."
The problem is not caused by holding a phone -- people don't drive less safely because they have a stick shift, Smith noted. The problem is a phenomenon called "inattention blindness," which means you can be looking straight out the windshield and not see what's in front of you because your brain is elsewhere. Many drivers who have been in cell-phone related crashes said they didn't see that the light was red, Smith said.
"Their brain is task-switching, instead of multi-tasking," said Smith. Drivers using cell phones look but fail to see up to half the information in their driving environment, according to Dave Strayer, an author of the Utah study. Talking with a passenger is different, because a passenger can point out hazards and stop talking if driving conditions change.
2. If you're tired, pull over, turn the car off and take a nap:
Andy Dangerfield had been on his way college after an early start when he nodded off at the wheel.3. In Illinois you are required to stop for pedestrians anywhere there is a marked crosswalk, even if there is no stop sign:
He careered into the centre of Interstate 90 in Montana and straight into a metal guardrail which speared through the engine of his Chevy Suburban.
Before he could slow the station wagon, it had passed through and exited via the rear window - missing his body by inches.
Chicago police have gone on a ticketing blitz focusing on dozens of high-accident locations to enforce a new state law requiring drivers to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks.Fun, huh? (Having been hit by a taxi while crossing an intersection on a green light with a walk signal, I can tell you that no one is going to obey this law unless the tickets fly fast and furious and without end.)
The law, which took effect this summer yet remains little-known among the public, is all about improving safety and reducing crashes involving pedestrians, officials said....
From neighborhoods to congested business districts, the two-month-old crosswalk law is intended to create a sweeping change in the rules of the road pertaining to pedestrian safety by clarifying drivers' responsibility and making it clear-cut for police to ticket violators, authorities said.
The former crosswalk law in Illinois required drivers to yield to pedestrians and stop only when necessary.
Now, drivers must stop for pedestrians in all crosswalks — even those that are unmarked or don't have a stop sign or a traffic signal. The penalty for failing to stop is a traffic citation of $50 to $500. Fines vary by county.
The new law also applies to instances in which a pedestrian enters the crosswalk against a "Don't Walk" signal or a red light, just as the old law required drivers to yield in such cases, officials said.
4. Curb Your Dog. I totally agree with Zorn that this woman was the victim and not the perpetrator:
Those who don't pick up after their dogs deserve nothing less than a little frontier poop justice.Update:
5. Don't Drink and Drive:
A Crest Hill man died early Tuesday in a crash near southwest suburban Lockport....Act like a future Darwin Award Winner and you'll more than likely get your wish. (Just ask Jake if you don't believe me.)
Angus would not comment as of 7:15 a.m. on whether or not alcohol was a factor, but did say Mahalik’s driver’s license was revoked for DUI in the past.