I definitely agree, Nancy. I actually agree with NTSB, too. I would prefer to see a law that says you have to stow your phone while driving. People won't stop that behavior unless there's a more powerful motivation to do so.
I find touchpads easier, but it does require one hand and both eyes. Until we can keep one eye on the touchpad while keeping the other on the road, the touchpad will mean that the driver is looking away from the road. It only takes a couple seconds in inattention to get into trouble.
Voice Recognition software has come along way since it introduction in the late 80's early 90's. My 12 year old son was able to train the Dragon Speech software on my wife's Window 7 computer in less than 20 minutes. Now he's able to write his school papers by speaking instead of typing. If this software or something similar was used in vechicles as to a touchpad, then texting while driving would be less of a distraction. Also, operating infotainment systems in vehicles become hands-free like the Ford "Sync" technology because of voice recognition instead of interacting with a touchpad. Even with simple scripting commands on a touchpad provides a safety concern while driving because both hands and eyes are not on the road.
That is a good point about over-regulation, Charles - sounds silly, doesn't it? But if the horse spooks and I fly off, I am hurting myself - not other riders. I could even drink and ride without putting others at risk. Just wish people would use common sense...driving a vehicle at high speeds while distracted by any means could end in tragedy for more than just the driver.
I understand now why my parents always said "it's not like the good old days." Boy, do I feel old. My horse is my alternate means of transportation but that is purely recreational. It's funny though - I ride to get away from everything and while I am grateful I have my cell phone in my pocket in case of an emergency, the last thing I want to do is actually have to use the thing. I'll see riders going along with their wireless headset chatting away on a cell call. If there horse spooks they could land in the dirt - and some horses will spook when they hear a ringtone. I actually spent some time desensitizing my horse to a cell phone ringing. Technology distractions are dangerous even on horseback!
This year, Design News is getting a head start on the Fourth of July celebration. In honor of our country and its legacy of engineering innovation -- in all of its forms -- we are taking you on an alphabetical tour through all 50 states to showcase interesting engineering breakthroughs and historically significant events.
Earlier this year paralyzed IndyCar drive Sam Schmidt did the seemingly impossible -- opening the qualifying rounds at Indy by driving a modified Corvette C7 Stingray around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
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