Behind the Doc

Should you hang up and drive?

Posted August 26, 2010 9:50 a.m. EDT
Updated August 26, 2010 1:02 p.m. EDT

More and more frequently I see people on our roads driving far slower than the rest of the traffic and drifting out of their lane. In just about every case they’re talking on their cell phone.

I’m guilty too. I remember driving one afternoon and having a fairly long cell phone conversation. When I put the phone down I realized I remembered very little of the drive I had been on for the last 30 minutes. Those things convinced me that we needed to do a documentary about driving while talking on a cell phone.

So did two tragic accidents that we profile in the Focal Point documentary “Fatal Distraction."

I think the most interesting thing we discovered is the research that shows how having a cell phone conversation while driving is more dangerous than other distractions like eating or talking to passengers in the car because it causes a cognitive impairment.

Our documentary host Monica Laliberte found that out in a special test we set up for the program.

Producing this documentary has made me think more about my own use of a cell phone while driving and I hope it gets others to think too. I've decided to keep my cell phone use to a minimum while driving, and when I must make or take a call, I keep it short. I’ve rediscovered how relaxing it can be to just drive and listen to the radio.

And as our documentary shows you, it's safer too.


About this Blog:

Documentary producer and writer Clay Johnson provides some behind-the-scenes insight into the production of WRAL documentaries.