Ask McFartnuggets: “Should Talking To Someone While They’re Driving Be Illegal?”

Dear McFartnuggets: 
Studies have shown that driving while taking a phone call on a Bluetooth hands free device is just as dangerous as holding a phone in your hand because your brain is still being distracted by the conversation. Does that mean it should be illegal to talk to someone who’s driving regardless of whether or not you’re on a phone? If a conversation counts as distracted driving then why should it be okay to talk to the driver of a vehicle even when you’re sitting right next to them in the passenger seat? -- Mindy from Wichita, Kansas

Dear Mindy:
Technically, yes just talking to someone while they’re driving is distracting them and counts as “distracted driving.” The obvious problem is almost everyone is distracted by something when they drive. It’s a matter of responsibility to try and limit your distractions as much as possible. You can’t arrest people just for talking to a driver. That type of law enforcement would be impossible and far too intrusive for most people. Holding a phone provides an added distraction and handicap while you’re driving so it’s most dangerous. Talking on a Bluetooth is still a distraction because you’re dividing your attention between the call and the road so it’s a little less dangerous. And talking to someone who’s actually in the car is slightly less dangerous than a hands-free call because the other person can be riding next to you and warn you if you’re about to crash into something or even grab the wheel if necessary. Someone over the phone wouldn’t be able to be an extra set of eyes for the driver like that. So, no a passenger shouldn’t be arrested for talking to a driver as long as they’re keeping their eyes out and watching the driver’s blind spots.

Distracted driving is no joke, sucka.

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