December 4, 2003 - Driving Behavior
All over the world, they are passing laws against driving while talking on a cell phone. The dedicated staff of edhat.com drove around Santa Barbara yesterday to get an accurate count of how many drivers are doing the drive/talk thing in our local community. What we found out right away is that there ought to be a law against driving and counting other peopleís cell phone use. As we stared into the partially tinted windows of cars speeding in the other direction, we found ourselves ignoring the basic traffic rules like stopping at stop signs and keeping safe driving distances.
So, in order to achieve our goal of counting 500 cars, we parked our green car in the conveniently located corner lot of the La Cumbre Animal Hospital at the corner of La Cumbre Rd and the Five Points entrance. Our car almost stuck out into the sidewalk from the odd shaped parking lot, but drivers paid us no attention. They drank super-size sodas, used the rear view mirror to put on lip stick and fix their hair, smoked, blew their nose, bit their finger nails, and ate bananas, apples, and hamburgers. A few people read - a map and the newspaper. Geez!
But, as predicted by most of our edhat subscribers, the most popular activity was yacking on the cell phone Ö most holding it in their left hand, some with their left elbow leaning against the side door. In all, 30 of the 500 cars we looked at had phone talking drivers. Thatís 6% for all you statistically minded people! Eating and drinking was second with 17 (3.4%). The one thing that we didnít see any one do was sing. A couple of times we thought it was singing, but turned out to be people talking on the phone with ear pieces.
An amazing 92% of our subscribers guessed cell phone in the daily contest. To settle the tie, we put all the names in our size large Ed hat and randomly selected a winner. The lucky person today is PoloLady who will receive a $10 Peetís coffee card with which she can buy a cup of coffee to drink while driving around town.
Here are the complete results of our study (500 cars surveyed):