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I could actually agree with a law against using the phone while driving. When I say that I am talking about non hands free type using the phone. I can see how it would be distracting to hold the phone to your ear or worse to type a message and such.

If we are talking about even hands free type using the phone I am against that for a couple of reasons. First how do you prove I was on the phone if I am using hands free? What if I am just talking to myself or singing to music? Second is I would need an actual controled study to show that I am not able to drive while talking on my hands free device. I would accept a study using a simulator that people drive so that nobody is put to risk while doing the study. In order for it to be accurate you would have to test each person three times I would say. First test would be the person alone with no distractions to see how good they could drive with nothing going on other than driving. The second would be with their normal things going on in the car without the phone such as friends or kids in the car... radio on ... different stuff like that. The last test would be the same as the first one but with the phone. Once all that data has been collected then you might be able to change some peoples minds one way or the other but untill that happens everyone has their mind set and you wont change either side without solid evidence.

I did read once that a study was done to test an old persons reflexes and it found that most people above something like 60 or 70 had reflexes simular to a drunk person.... yet they still get their license without a retest.
 

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I wonder if that downward trend wasn't caused by the adoption of airbag technology. It certainly wasn't because anyone was driving better.

this makes my brain hurt.

airbags have been used extensively since the friggin 80s dude.
 

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Discussion Starter · #203 ·
I could actually agree with a law against using the phone while driving. When I say that I am talking about non hands free type using the phone. I can see how it would be distracting to hold the phone to your ear or worse to type a message and such.

If we are talking about even hands free type using the phone I am against that for a couple of reasons. First how do you prove I was on the phone if I am using hands free? What if I am just talking to myself or singing to music? Second is I would need an actual controled study to show that I am not able to drive while talking on my hands free device. I would accept a study using a simulator that people drive so that nobody is put to risk while doing the study. In order for it to be accurate you would have to test each person three times I would say. First test would be the person alone with no distractions to see how good they could drive with nothing going on other than driving. The second would be with their normal things going on in the car without the phone such as friends or kids in the car... radio on ... different stuff like that. The last test would be the same as the first one but with the phone. Once all that data has been collected then you might be able to change some peoples minds one way or the other but untill that happens everyone has their mind set and you wont change either side without solid evidence.
Those studies have been done, and hands-free has repeatedly been shown to be as hazardous as handsets.

PhilB
 

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this makes my brain hurt.

airbags have been used extensively since the friggin 80s dude.
Airbags were not widely adopted in the eighties, hell the first law requiring seat belts wan't enacted until 1984. IN 1991 the U.S. Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act required passenger cars and light trucks to have air bags for the driver and the right front passenger, but they weren't required until 1998. Allow a few years for new vehicles to filter into the fleet and you see fatalities subside.

If folks were really driving that much better you'd expect to see motorcycle fatalities and accidents to subside, especially since most are caused by cagers. You see exactly the opposite. I can't find statistics on the rate of nonfatal cage accidents, that's the informative trend. I'll bet cage crashes are up just like bike crashes but airbags are saving occupants.
 

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Those studies have been done, and hands-free has repeatedly been shown to be as hazardous as handsets.

PhilB
So I decided to actually look it up and see. Sure enough the first one from AAA said exactly that. This is what the they said.

AAA recently teamed up with experts at the University of Utah to conduct the most in-depth analysis to date of the impact of cognitive distractions on drivers’ performance. They found that some hands-free technologies, like voice-to-text email, can be far more dangerous than even handheld phone conversations. Unlike previous studies, they also found that conversations with passengers can be more distracting than those on the phone, but only if the passenger is kept unaware of what’s happening on the road.
Now part of the study shows that talking to the passengers can be more distracting than talking on the phone. Of course this is only if the passenger is kept unaware of whats happening on the road which I am guessing they are thinking adult passanger. Say it is me with my children in the back. They want to talk about their day. At this point I am more distracted than talking on the phone because I have never had my kids even notice much about the road at all let alone say anything to me about it.

It also said a little later that talking on the phone would be a moderate distraction but they only listed 3 levels of distraction so I am not sure how distracted that is. I simply need to see more specific data to say that talking on the phone is worse than many other things you do in the car. Change the radio station, turn on lights, shift gears, watch your speed, set cruse control, roll down your window, and the list goes on.

Do we make each of these things illegal? Do we make it illegal to talk to your children when in the car? Does talking on the phone have the same effect on everyone? How do we inforce the law if we do make it illegal to talk using hands free? How would anyone know I was talking using a hands free device to give me a ticket? We have so many laws already that they can not all be inforced.

All of that said I do appriciate you bringing it to my attention that it might not be a great idea to talk using hands free while driving. I dont like to talk on the phone at all really and do it much less when driving than any other time but it is still good info to read up on.
 

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So as I'm texting and driving the other day, I realized the most dangerous part about it is having to try to hide my phone way down low because I don't want a ticket. If I could hold my phone just above the steering wheel it'd be so much easier and safer. And I see other people doing the same thing all the time, looking way down at their phone in their lap. So I guarantee making it illegal is causing way more accidents.
 

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So as I'm texting and driving the other day, I realized the most dangerous part about it is having to try to hide my phone way down low because I don't want a ticket. If I could hold my phone just above the steering wheel it'd be so much easier and safer. And I see other people doing the same thing all the time, looking way down at their phone in their lap. So I guarantee making it illegal is causing way more accidents.
Right. It's having a law against being dangerously irresponsible that's the problem, not the people actually being dangerously irresponsible. :rolleyes

Phil
 

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Right. It's having a law against being dangerously irresponsible that's the problem, not the people actually being dangerously irresponsible. :rolleyes

Phil
That GODDAMNED Heads Up Display motorcycle helmet and HUD on the Corvette are gonna make people crash dammit!
Since. . .well. . .since that's basically what he is talking about. holding the phone on the same plane visually as the road so a guy can see both, rather than taking your eyes off the road to text like a highschooler in class staring downward at his phone.

Just to play devil advocate since it'll make some blood vessels pop. :D

Steingar: or. . .or wait. . .maybe. . .maybe it's cause more people are riding motorcycles? Holy fucking shit. I bet that plays a part too when we see that more people are dying on bikes. . .I bet it does ya know. . .huh. . .

For reference:
My 94 ford had airbags
my 95 ram has airbags.
my parents 95 and 94 windstar had airbags
as did their Corsica
as did my sisters escort
and her tempo
and her boyfriends jeep
and my chev truck
and her boyfriends civic

non of them were newer than 97.

You were saying. . . what. . .exactly. . .about airbags being uncommon in the 90s? Because none of those models besides my 94 ford were high trim level vehicles. Most of them were barely above base models.
 

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Discussion Starter · #210 ·
That GODDAMNED Heads Up Display motorcycle helmet and HUD on the Corvette are gonna make people crash dammit!
Since. . .well. . .since that's basically what he is talking about. holding the phone on the same plane visually as the road so a guy can see both, rather than taking your eyes off the road to text like a highschooler in class staring downward at his phone.
...
Well, no. An HUD is displaying information directly related to the main task you are performing, and thus the shift in attention is FAR smaller than it is with texting to someone somewhere else. AND, an HUD is designed to be projected in such a way that you don't have to refocus your eyes much to see it, whereas even in your line of sight you have to completely refocus from distance to closeup view to go back and forth.

Both of those are major differences in function that make the HUD and the textphone not anywhere near equivalent in effect. The two situations have very different relations to both brain function and eye function.

PhilB
 

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I wonder if that downward trend wasn't caused by the adoption of airbag technology. It certainly wasn't because anyone was driving better.

JK's chart appears to follow this one pretty closely




this has been a throroughly fab thread by the way
 

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***moved from another thread***


I don't think the OP is going to crash and burn because he didn't take an MSF course. I didn't, and I'm still here decades later.

All that said, I don't think the street is the place for tucked-in racing turns. One shouldn't become so fully committed in an insecure environment. When that dialed in it becomes difficult to recover if conditions change suddenly, i.e. scree on the road, clueless drivers, errant pedestrians, and other common road hazards.
I don't want to hijack this thread but I would like to say that when I presented this same basic argument about people's ability to manage distractions while driving, you told me I was crazy and a menace to society.
 

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Discussion Starter · #213 ·
I don't want to hijack this thread but I would like to say that when I presented this same basic argument about people's ability to manage distractions while driving, you told me I was crazy and a menace to society.
He can't be wrong about everything ALL the time. :D

PhilB
 
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I don't want to hijack this thread but I would like to say that when I presented this same basic argument about people's ability to manage distractions while driving, you told me I was crazy and a menace to society.
If I said you were crazy I apologize, the more salient term is incorrect. My argument was simple, the human mind can only focus on one thing at a time. This is known. Thus, if you are dialing your phone, yelling at your kids in the back seat, or doing much of anything besides driving you are distracted. I personally know someone who killed a pedestrian because he has dialing the radio.

You countered with the argument that you had done this for years and came to no grief. I countered that you were not in a collision, but you have no idea how much of that was because other drivers got out of your way. You do not and cannot know just how many other drivers you endangered. Could be zero, but I'll bet the number is somewhat north of that. I suspect that number of north of zero for all of us, distracted or no. Shit happens. Hence it is my opinion that you are not as good a driver when conducting non-driving activities as when you drive in a sterile environment free of distraction. Unfortunately for you there is a boatload of research that shows I'm right, and as of this writing 12 states are acting on this blocking use of cell phones in cars.

I never said you were a hazard on the road, simply unknowingly distracted, like many cagers. That's why we bikers have to watch out hard for them. I've had to carry out evasive maneuvers for moms yelling at kids in the back, I can see them through their car windows. I've had to dodge clueless folks yakking on their fucking cell phones so many times it isn't funny. Those folks didn't cause a collision because I got out of the way, not because they could drive so fucking well while distracted.

The problem with our OP is he could be tucked into his racing turn and enter the environment of such a driver. His options to get away could become hazardously limited.
 

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Sigh... now I have to move posts.

No... what I said was I didn't allow myself to be distracted even though I had access to a phone for X number of years and had kids in the car for another X number of years. Not being on the phone most of the time or turning around to scream at kids or whatever. You chose to misinterpret what I said.

The point was adults should be allowed the freedom to choose when it's ok to speak and/or listen and when it's not. Otherwise if they really can't be trusted at all, and then they should be in a sealed compartment away from any other source of input.
 

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Sigh... now I have to move posts.
Actually, you didn't. Discussions can get hijacked and drift. Nature of the beast and all that.

No... what I said was I didn't allow myself to be distracted even though I had access to a phone for X number of years and had kids in the car for another X number of years. Not being on the phone most of the time or turning around to scream at kids or whatever. You chose to misinterpret what I said.
I will repeat, because of the nature of distraction you cannot say with any confidence at all that you were "never distracted". If you refrained from using your phone while driving you were certainly acting in a responsible fashion. But it is simply impossible for anyone to say they were never distracted.

The point was adults should be allowed the freedom to choose when it's ok to speak and/or listen and when it's not. Otherwise if they really can't be trusted at all, and then they should be in a sealed compartment away from any other source of input.
Adults should be, but many adults behave so abysmally that they endanger others. Unfortunately, when that happens the result is almost always the loss of freedom by everyone.
 

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The nature of this topic dictates the need to move it to a dedicated thread.

Again the idea that lack of tickets and accidents mean you are an unsafe driver. Not buying it.

Since we are punishing the masses based on the actions of a few, does this mean you are in favor of bans on "killer motorcycles", Mr Danforth?
 

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Again the idea that lack of tickets and accidents mean you are an unsafe driver. Not buying it.
Now you're putting words in my metaphorical mouth. I never said you or anyone else was an unsafe operator. What I did say was that you (or I, or anyone) could be subject to distraction without knowing it.

Since we are punishing the masses based on the actions of a few, does this mean you are in favor of bans on "killer motorcycles", Mr Danforth?
The one good thing about motorcycles is they tend to only kill their drivers, and tend not to be operated commercially. Were scads of innocents dying in motorcycle crashes the laws might change.

I recall an experimental aircraft design that killed every one of its pilots. Every airplane crashed. But they were not available for commercial ops and nothing changed (except the airframe design). When commercial airliners show a tendency toward mishap (it has happened) their operations are restricted by the FAA (as are all certificated aircraft) until the defect can be addressed. The idea is to protect innocents agains the folly of us airplane types.

I imagine if a car design turned out to be dangerous in some way the laws would weigh in as well.
 

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Here's what you said. The implication is there.

The really sad part is you have no idea how many times you've endangered others due to distraction. You got away with it, but you did it, you couldn't avoid it. Human beings are inherently distractible.

Saying "I did something forever, nothing happened and therefore that activity is OK" is illogical reasoning. Just because you got away with it doesn't make it safe. Like I said, every drunk driver who's even been pulled over or smashed into something drove drunk when they didn't. Driving drunk a bunch of times without grief doesn't make it safe or smart.

Sorry, the science is incontrovertible. I'll take that over anecdotes any day of the week.

And, by the way, what about you being fine after not taking the MSF? Isn't that the same sort of illogical reasoning you don't like?

As you yourself said, people are inherently distractable. The mind will find something to occupy it when it doesn't have enough to do. Driving down a straight, empty highway with nothing around isn't enough stimulation. You are either going to daydream, or find something else to do, or maybe even fall asleep if the trip is long enough. You need to be able to maintain situational awareness while avoiding boredom.

I never said I've never been distracted either. I did say that I find passengers to be very distracting, and that people should be able to manage the many distractions that come with modern life. Any time you look at your speedometer or dash lights/gauges, adjust your mirrors or change a radio station, look at your GPS, try to figure out where the sound of sirens is coming from, or check your blind spot, you are distracted from the road or some part of it.

Last weekend I nearly got hit by a truck who was looking for traffic coming from the opposite direction and didn't look back one more time before pulling out. He was distracted BY his attention to the road. He didn't hit me because experience, instinct and muscle memory (not conscious thought) made me prepared to countersteer quickly out of his way.

Answering or making a phone call for a few minutes at appropriate times (not, for example, when pulling out into traffic) doesn't take up very much of your $10 of attention, if you are an experienced driver.

Making up redundant laws doesn't change or resolve anything either.
 
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