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A guy on a scruffy bike
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I realize that some people are violently opposed to the idea that someone can hear and concentrate on something else at the same time. I don't understand this, but perhaps music is something different to those people. I don't have a problem with that. If one is easily distracted and chooses not to listen to music, kudos! You have probably made the right choice.
But then you're one who, when the subject comes up, always defends driving while phoning as not being unsafe, despite all the evidence to the contrary.

PhilB
 

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But then you're one who, when the subject comes up, always defends driving while phoning as not being unsafe, despite all the evidence to the contrary.

PhilB
Wheres the money lead phil? Cars with hands free cost more, phones with Bluetooth cost more, and speeding tickets plus being on the phone illegally cost more. Im sure if all the 'expert' testing was done on teenage girls and people over 60, then yes driving on the phone is dangerous. Some people are surprisingly coordinated, on the other hand.
If I can talk on the phone, eat a burger, and drive with my knee well enough to not wreck this long, I don't see who I'm hurting. And Ive seen people do a lot crazier while driving way more safely than most 80 year old women with there face over the steering wheel squinting into the sun. We'd have a lot safer roads if we implemented mandory retesting every other year of anyone over 60
 

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A guy on a scruffy bike
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Wheres the money lead phil? Cars with hands free cost more, phones with Bluetooth cost more, and speeding tickets plus being on the phone illegally cost more. Im sure if all the 'expert' testing was done on teenage girls and people over 60, then yes driving on the phone is dangerous. Some people are surprisingly coordinated, on the other hand.
If I can talk on the phone, eat a burger, and drive with my knee well enough to not wreck this long, I don't see who I'm hurting. And Ive seen people do a lot crazier while driving way more safely than most 80 year old women with there face over the steering wheel squinting into the sun. We'd have a lot safer roads if we implemented mandory retesting every other year of anyone over 60
:rolleyes

PhilB
 

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But then you're one who, when the subject comes up, always defends driving while phoning as not being unsafe, despite all the evidence to the contrary.

PhilB


I believe that driving while speaking is not unsafe. Anyone who can't focus on driving while speaking probably shouldn't drive. Being able to turn it off at appropriate times is also a necessary skill that apparently some people don't have. I personally don't like talking to anyone whether present or on the phone while I'm driving, because I enjoy driving and don't want it to be interrupted with a conversation any more than I want a conversation to interrupt my music. Though I do find an in-person conversation more difficult to ignore than a phone conversation. People in the car can see when they are being ignored and try harder to get my attention. People on the phone will go on for a long time before they realize I'm not listening.

Also, the evidence I've seen is when people are made to focus all their attention on the phone. That's the problem. Who says if you are on the phone it has to have and keep all of your attention? Who says you can't simply drop the phone or stop listening or hang up? I never understood this part of all the studies and videos of people driving through a slalom course in the rain while answering complicated questions on the phone. If you don't know when to stop talking, that's the problem.

If people focused all their attention on their crying babies while they were driving, would we ban babies in cars too? But they don't focus all their attention on the crying baby, do they? Parents learn to tune it out, unless something unusual tr****** their attention to focus back on the child. I know this because I have three kids and I can tune out an enormous amount of distracting sound and behavior, yet focus immediately on something that actually requires my attention. Same goes for anything else happening while I'm driving.
 

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A guy on a scruffy bike
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I believe that driving while speaking is not unsafe. Anyone who can't focus on driving while speaking probably shouldn't drive. Being able to turn it off at appropriate times is also a necessary skill that apparently some people don't have. I personally don't like talking to anyone whether present or on the phone while I'm driving, because I enjoy driving and don't want it to be interrupted with a conversation any more than I want a conversation to interrupt my music. Though I do find an in-person conversation more difficult to ignore than a phone conversation. People in the car can see when they are being ignored and try harder to get my attention. People on the phone will go on for a long time before they realize I'm not listening.

Also, the evidence I've seen is when people are made to focus all their attention on the phone. That's the problem. Who says if you are on the phone it has to have and keep all of your attention? Who says you can't simply drop the phone or stop listening or hang up? I never understood this part of all the studies and videos of people driving through a slalom course in the rain while answering complicated questions on the phone. If you don't know when to stop talking, that's the problem.

If people focused all their attention on their crying babies while they were driving, would we ban babies in cars too? But they don't focus all their attention on the crying baby, do they? Parents learn to tune it out, unless something unusual tr****** their attention to focus back on the child. I know this because I have three kids and I can tune out an enormous amount of distracting sound and behavior, yet focus immediately on something that actually requires my attention. Same goes for anything else happening while I'm driving.
Yeah, I've heard all of these rationalizations before. The key concepts are "awareness" and "reaction time". Yes, you can drop the phone when you need to focus, but the lack of awareness and the slowed reaction times caused by the diverted attention inherently mean that you run the risk of not seeing when that time comes until it is too late. THAT is why it is a dangerous practice.

PhilB
 

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How do cops drive around with open laptops at their fingertips without leaving a trail of carnage behind them?
Not a very good analogy, All you really use the computer for while driving is to run plates, which requires you to watch the road as well to read the plate and watch where the car is going. Reading the plate info takes a quick glance. Otherwise it just shows you the address of the call you're going to, and a map/GPS if your system is advanced enough.

I can run plates on my computer while driving all day, but I can't text, it's too much for me.

I hate people talking on phones while driving, because most of the time when someone does something really stupid on the road, when I look into their car, they're on the phone. But music I really don't have a problem with.

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A guy on a scruffy bike
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
How do cops drive around with open laptops at their fingertips without leaving a trail of carnage behind them?
There have been quite a few documented incidents of crashes caused by exactly that, with carnage included.

PhilB
 
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eh, if I answer the phone while driving, I find it no more distracting than juggling a drink, a burger, and a stick shift (and I can do that, and it's legal here Phil :p)

Unfortunately, laws must be made for the people who CANNOT do those things. for the lowest common denominator.

the idiots.

I can answer a phonecall, say "hey, I'm driving, make it simple" and literally answer "yes" and "no" and be fine. I rather recall Mythbusters doing a test like this, wherein the person on the phone had little to no issue driving with simple conversations involving simple answers, even in "interesting" traffic situations.

However, introduce a conversation with more thought involved (such as doing math in your head) and the results got steadily more grim. And obviously so.

However, we cannot be making laws that state "you can only answer your phone for a non-distracting call". So instead it's "no phones".
 

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There have been quite a few documented incidents of crashes caused by exactly that, with carnage included.

PhilB
Yet they still do it, and mostly don't have any issues, despite all the other distractions they have as well. How do they manage it?

Not a very good analogy, All you really use the computer for while driving is to run plates, which requires you to watch the road as well to read the plate and watch where the car is going. Reading the plate info takes a quick glance. Otherwise it just shows you the address of the call you're going to, and a map/GPS if your system is advanced enough.

I can run plates on my computer while driving all day, but I can't text, it's too much for me.
You mean they don't allow themselves to be distracted by it? Wow!! Did they need special training or a brain implant to be able to perform this advanced skill? ;)

The point is, you use good judgement and don't answer/talk when you aren't (for example) just driving down a straight highway with hardly any traffic and no obstacles. Have the ability to end the conversation. Because some people have to be idiots doesn't mean we all are.

There are many distractions while driving, if you can't manage them properly maybe you shouldn't be driving.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yet they still do it, and mostly don't have any issues, despite all the other distractions they have as well. How do they manage it? ...
It's an odds game. Would you support driving drunk being legal, since most people who drive drunk do indeed get there without causing a crash?

There's a risk in driving -- even if you're sober and careful and paying attention, you might crash and die. Even if you're drunk and careless and on the phone, you'll probably get where you're going. But the chances you are taking are different; in the latter case you are risking the lives of yourself (which you have the right to do), and more importantly, other people (which you do NOT have the right to do) unnecessarily and unacceptably.

I'm not sure I understand, PhilB. Are you saying we should condemn the action in its totality based on the mistakes of the few?
It's not the "mistakes"; it the FACT that driving while phoning, or drunk, or otherwise impaired, is irresponsibly dangerous to other people. NO ONE drives as well when impaired by these things as they do when paying proper attention. Driving while phoning, due to the way our brains function, is a b***** distraction than most, and studies show it to be equivalent in impairment to driving at the legal limit of drunk -- about FOUR TIMES the risk of driving responsibly.

So yes, the action should be condemned, as it is inherently hazardous to others, and thus falls under "lack of due care", or dangerous negligence.

PhilB
 

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It's an odds game. Would you support driving drunk being legal, since most people who drive drunk do indeed get there without causing a crash?

PhilB
I support, as you do (and have said many times) the fact that we should not be prosecuting until an aggression has been committed against another party.

Meaning I think it should be perfectly legal to drive right licked.
Until you smash into that pole or that van full of kids.

Then they should nail your ass to the cross.

Making laws for what *might* happen is stupid. you've said it yourself. I don't support driving with even a single drink in you in the last hour. I don't do it. I wait a good 90 minutes after a single drink.
But it should not be illegal to drive home, and get home safely, with 5 in you. There are people out there who are FINE at .08. Why should they be penalized with a DUI, license suspension, car impound, the whole deal, because Mary Jane Rottencrotch down the road can't hold her liquor for shit?

You cannot make laws to prevent what might happen.
 

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It's an odds game. Would you support driving drunk being legal, since most people who drive drunk do indeed get there without causing a crash?

There's a risk in driving -- even if you're sober and careful and paying attention, you might crash and die. Even if you're drunk and careless and on the phone, you'll probably get where you're going. But the chances you are taking are different; in the latter case you are risking the lives of yourself (which you have the right to do), and more importantly, other people (which you do NOT have the right to do) unnecessarily and unacceptably.

It's not the "mistakes"; it the FACT that driving while phoning, or drunk, or otherwise impaired, is irresponsibly dangerous to other people. NO ONE drives as well when impaired by these things as they do when paying proper attention. Driving while phoning, due to the way our brains function, is a b***** distraction than most, and studies show it to be equivalent in impairment to driving at the legal limit of drunk -- about FOUR TIMES the risk of driving responsibly.

So yes, the action should be condemned, as it is inherently hazardous to others, and thus falls under "lack of due care", or dangerous negligence.

PhilB

Talking doesn't impair your ability to drive. Also you can put the phone down. Once you speak a word on the phone you aren't stuck in that state for hours until it leaves your system.
 

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A guy on a scruffy bike
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Talking doesn't impair your ability to drive. Also you can put the phone down. Once you speak a word on the phone you aren't stuck in that state for hours until it leaves your system.
Talking on the phone DOES impair your ability to drive. This is an extensively tested and proven fact. Denial of simple reality is not going to advance your position one tiny little bit.

We've been over this several times, and probably will again.
You will not convince me that it is acceptable behavior to endanger other people through negligent behavior.
Doing so is an act of aggression against any and all who share the road with you.

PhilB
 

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What else is new? No one can convince you to believe anything you don't want to believe. I suppose you can't see that your lane splitting was endangering anyone when you got a ticket for it either.

If speaking and/or listening impairs your ability to drive then why are drivers in the same compartment with passengers?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
What else is new? No one can convince you to believe anything you don't want to believe.
I am perfectly willing to reconsider beliefs if given a compelling rational argument to do so. That doesn't happen a lot, but it does now and then.

However, from an ethical standpoint, I live by and am committed to the Non-Aggression Principle. It is morally wrong to aggress against other people. Aggression includes initiation of violence, fraud, theft, property damage, and dangerous negligence. So I will indeed flat out say that you will never convince me that it is acceptable behavior to assault people, to defraud them, to steal from them, to destroy their belongings, or to endanger them either intentionally or negligently. Those are moral wrongs, period.

I suppose you can't see that your lane splitting was endangering anyone when you got a ticket for it either.
a) I did not lanesplit in a way that endangered anyone else. And indeed, lanesplitting carries very little risk to others (and also very little to the rider himself if done well).
b) I did/do so only where it is legal, which it is in CA (and unfortunately not in NH).
c) I have never received a ticket for lanesplitting. I have been harassed a couple of times, in both cases by officers who actually outright lied to me during the harassment in question, but never ticketed.

So your attempted "point" is factually wrong.

If speaking and/or listening impairs your ability to drive then why are drivers in the same compartment with passengers?
Speaking with people in the car does impair your ability to drive some, but not nearly as much as being on the phone. Conversing with passengers increases the crash risk by about 50%. Phoning while driving increases the crash risk by about 300%; SIX times as much, and (again) about the same increase as driving legally drunk.

Again, would you support the repeal of laws against drunk driving? If not, you are being inconsistent and self-contradictory.

PhilB
 

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I disagree about passengers being less distracting.

Again, you can put the phone down. Once you speak a word on the phone you aren't stuck in that state for hours until it leaves your system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I disagree about passengers being less distracting.
You can disagree all you want, but that's why actually measuring stuff and using science is worthwhile. That's how you can tell what's actually true and what isn't. Often, what we think is true is, and a good study can confirm that. Often, though, it turns out that what we think is true is in fact not. This, for you, is one of those cases.

Again, you can put the phone down. Once you speak a word on the phone you aren't stuck in that state for hours until it leaves your system.
Already been over this multiple times -- key words: awareness and reaction time. It's too late to put the phone down once you've already crashed, due to not perceiving the danger in time to put the phone down, due to BEING ON THE PHONE.

PhilB
 

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As opposed to what other distractions? Like having a laptop at your fingertips, or screaming kids, which no one objects to.

Also, most people know to put the phone down before it becomes an issue. That's why things aren't really that bad.
 
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