August 2, 2005
Dear CNET members,
We've all heard the great debates over the safety of cell phone usage while driving, and every time I see a person being distracted by a phone call while behind the wheel, I want to scream, "Shut up and DRIVE!" But on the other hand, what about today's car stereos? Are they just as guilty of distracting the driver? Bells and whistles of car stereo technology come with a deadly price; they're no longer simple AM/FM radios with a volume knob. They're satellite radios, MP3 players, multiple disc players, and so forth that incorporate a slough of small buttons, knobs, and displays, all in the small real estate of the car's dash, making it a monster of a task to decipher even when you're not driving. So is there something the car industry can do to make it safer for us to operate our car stereos? I know many of you have some great ideas brewing in the back of your mind, but before you chime in, read our Editor at Large Brian Cooley's latest article, "Your next car stereo could kill you," and see what suggestions he offers for making the car stereo more driver-friendly. And when you're ready to rock 'n' roll, tell us what other tips you have in mind to make car stereos safer--or if you think it is a hopeless cause and you'd be better off screaming, "Stop messing with your car stereo and DRIVE!" TalkBack to us.
This week's hot topic:
Dangerous car stereos
The more feature-rich car stereos become, the more dangerous they are to drivers. After reading the latest Driving It column, many of you shared handy suggestions on how to safely access your stereo when in the driver's seat.
Make mine remote
With a remote control, CNET member bunnybash can queue up tunes to his heart's content, without ever taking his eyes off the road. He keeps it attached to his dashboard when he's not using it so that he doesn't have to go searching for it when driving.
Read bunnybash's full post in CNET TalkBack
Keep your hands on the wheel
CNET member mpinter pines for his 1989 Olds Cutlass and its simple stereo control buttons that sat behind the steering wheel. The buttons gave him adequate sound control without his hands ever leaving the wheel.
Read mpinter's full post in CNET TalkBack
Make the stereo talk back
Granted, simple steering-wheel-based buttons might not cover all the functionality of modern-day stereos. So CNET member sgordonson suggests those buttons be not only user programmable but also provide audio feedback on the action being taken.
Read sgordonson's full post in CNET TalkBack
What's your take on keeping "DJ'ing and driving" safe? Read "Your next car stereo could kill you," then speak up in the TalkBack section.
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