Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Get a Bluetooth hands-free kit dammit...

Driving and talking on a cellphone.
Not a great combo at the best of times - your mind is actively engaged in the content of the conversation, while still having to do all of the things that it needs to do in order to keep your car on the tar and off of the pavement, or worse...
I got my Bluetooth hands-free kit a few years ago when I got fined for chatting on my phone while driving.
Thankfully I got off lightly - a R 500 fine was all it took to convince me to go Bluetooth.

What got me thinking about this, is how often I see people driving with headphones on.
Sometimes its the in-ear ones, which are better than nothing I suppose - at least you can theoretically talk "hands-free", but you still have cables dangling down which really isn't ideal.

Worse though, is when I see drivers wearing the proper huge headphones - those crazy ones that are essentially miniature boom-boxes that fit over your head, which completely cover your ears and provide incredible sound insulation (for your listening pleasure, of course).

Circumaural headphones have large pads that su...
Circumaural headphones have large pads that surround the outer ear. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Apart from making the driver look odd, the problem here is the fact that these headphones are so well insulated in the name of sound quality, that they essentially put the driver into his or her own little audio bubble.
This means that if a theoretical 10 ton truck were bearing down on said driver, and its brakes were to fail, then said driver would likely not hear the truck blasting its horn for the driver to get the hell out of the way.
In fact, all that the driver would hear are the bangin' beats in his head, and the subsequent crunching of metal (and I don't mean heavy metal)... Ouch.

While pumping loud music from a car sound system also probably cuts into a driver's awareness of their surroundings, at least their ears are not closed off from the rest of the world completely.

Bluetooth kits can be expensive though, which brings me to my final rant for today:

IF YOU DRIVE A LUXURY VEHICLE, THEN WHY THE HELL AREN'T YOU USING YOUR BUILT-IN BLUETOOTH KIT???

This is another matter altogether, but one which I see almost daily in traffic.
Luxury vehicles today are almost certainly factory fitted with Bluetooth, yet it astounds me how many executive looking types dice around in their snazzy vehicles, blissfully unaware of how idiotic they look holding their phone to their face like a walkie-talkie...

What is it - laziness? Don't know how to pair a Bluetooth device?
Google it guys, we live in the age of information!

In the name of safety people, if you must talk while driving, then use Bluetooth.
Sure, scientists in 25 years may discover how many crazy ailments are caused by wireless technologies such as Bluetooth, but at least you will be that much safer now while driving :)
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