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William K.
User Rank
Platinum
Cellphone ban for drivers?
William K.   1/12/2012 11:48:31 AM
NO RATINGS
It has been admitted quite a while ago that at least 80% of all vehicle accidentrs are caused by driver inattention. The other 20% includes drunks, erors, and mechanical failures. 

Now we get to the interesting question about the degree of distraction. Some tasks take a lot more attention for a much longer time, we all know that. Switching on the wiper or headlights only takes a little attention for a second or two. Drinking coffee, (not spilling it, just sipping it) takes a small degree of attention for several seconds, but spotting the cup to grab it only takes a very few seconds, and many can do it without ever taking their eyes off the road.  Conversation may not require any visual effort, but keeping track of what is being said takes much more effort for times that may be many minutes. So there is agreat deal of difference in the kind of distraction, which many people choose to ignore.  Carrying on a conversation takes a lot more attention than eating a hamburger, if one does not drop the burger. And spilling hot coffee in ones lap is quite distracting. 

The problem is that we have a serious problem with serious consequences, and a fairly new industry with lots of money that does not want any problems found to be caused by it's products, since that would reduce the profits.

A very fundamental part of the problem is that people believe that they can multitask all the time, and that no task is so demanding that it takes 100% of ones concentration. Unfortunately both of those assertions are lies. But bad habits are very hard to break, and the fact that so many people are terribly addicted to being on the phone while driving is a real problem, and it will take a real effort to solve it.

Of course the auto companies are not helping by putting in more and more toys to provide driver distractions, to relieve drivers from the boredom of concentrating on driving. Unfortunately for all, the toys are a big profit item and will not go away without a fight that is bound to leave some injured.

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Don't take mine until you give up yours
Charles Murray   1/11/2012 8:24:06 PM
NO RATINGS
Rob, you've pointed to the two behaviors that I've associated with distracted driving: not keeping up with traffic and not staying in the lane. These sound eerily like drunk driving symptoms.  

JamesPDX
User Rank
Iron
Would Cellphone Ban Secure Car Safety?
JamesPDX   1/11/2012 2:51:25 PM
NO RATINGS
In short, NO: not cell phones alone.  Governmental intervension in this regad is not the cure.  Much more thought on the part of law makers, must go into that option before any action is taken.

The long, what does 'secure car safety' mean?  Will the engine fall out?  I've seen that happen in the middle of an intersection, to a Corvair, and they did not have cell phones, CBs, texting devices, etc. in those days.  There was however, a fellow paqssenger who may have distracted the driver/mechnic who may have been in the process of attaching the engine to the transmission, and did not do it properly.


JamesPDX
User Rank
Iron
Re: New Innovation in Electronics to Solve the Problem - NOT YET
JamesPDX   1/10/2012 9:33:33 PM
NO RATINGS
Great response.  My first license after taking high school driver's ed, was in Whittier, CA (1959). 

Anyone with an auto pilot installed and in use, might just wakeup shortly thereafter, at St Peter's gate along with several drivers who were in his/her way.  Hopefully, those devises will not be seen in consumer use for quite some time.  Heaven forbid at that time, that drivers might not need to be licensed to use them...

dougspair
User Rank
Gold
Re: New Innovation in Electronics to Solve the Problem - NOT YET
dougspair   1/10/2012 8:59:23 PM
NO RATINGS
...I didn't read your presentation completely, but I DO agree that the real problem with the cellphones and such gadgets...whether hand-held or not...you're mind is just somewhere else.

  Telex-33...yes, I worked with those in 1967-70 at the Telephone Company, then later to program (by making the punched tape) the early Numerical Control Machinery, before the Microprocessors..

 

 I'm seeing ads now for self-parking cars...but in 1963, when I received my first license...you had to actually parallel park...twice...

dougspair
User Rank
Gold
Re: Don't take mine until you give up yours
dougspair   1/10/2012 8:50:30 PM
NO RATINGS
...I agree...I often see the weaving and 'variable speed' driving here too. I'm in Sacramento, California...we have a no cell-phones (handheld) law, but now poeple still use the. They just try to hide them by holding in their lap...while texting...

  I drive a commercial size Dodge 1/2 ton van, and being a bit elevated...I see many interesting things...as does my brother..who has driven semi-trucks (logging) most of his adult life.

dougspair
User Rank
Gold
Re: Automation Perils
dougspair   1/10/2012 8:47:05 PM
NO RATINGS
  Auto-pilot......He (or she) may get a very rude awakening when arriving at their destination..!

  I and my brother...both in our 60's, have driven for a living, and cell-phones and other stuff are just insane to allow while operating any motor ehicles...unless maybe you're properly trained...police, emergency vehicles..etc...

  We both also ride motorcycles, and suggest perhaps anyone who  wishes to have a drivers license be made to ride a motorcycle for ...maybe 2 weeks...to understand the real deal with driving... 

JamesPDX
User Rank
Iron
This Topic Must be Expanded to Include Other Distractions
JamesPDX   1/10/2012 3:34:04 PM
NO RATINGS
I do not think that we have gone off target because these distractions are real and causing serious concerns for us all.  The principal topic here is a question as to whether or not the government should ban cell phones, which is cause for further discussion under the topic "which government should take on the responsibility for banning cell phones?"  The implication of including only the cell phones in this discussion is short sighted, and as such the topic of this thread should be expanded to include exactly what we have, to date, included by us all, below.  We are not off topic in my opinion.

I did mention emergency service use of cell phones without an in-depth discussion.  That should be a part of a discussion towards another concern for the legislators (law makers) to debate over.  Legislators need to listen to these discussions before swinging their pendulum too far in a wrong direction, and then again before needing to recant their laws with a swing too far in another direction.  After all, laws alone are a trial-and-error process in an effort to understand how things work (on their end and from their point of view).  Lawyers typically do not have the technical background of experience for making such decisions without relying on those individuals who do possess that knowledge.  We have a rather in depth knowledge set of educated engineers and technicians within this community who can and are offering their points of view on this greater topic.

Hopefully, it will be a long time before the casual consumer will be allowed to utilize an auto pilot system without proper licensing (thinking of the rigid FAA regulations).  I'm sure that the automotive industry will lobby very hard to get their neat features past the point of requiring any licensing from the government(s) (my "greed factor" topic for the past ~30 years).

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Don't take mine until you give up yours
Rob Spiegel   1/10/2012 1:24:12 PM
NO RATINGS
I've seen similar sights on the freeways, Watashi. You can always tell by the slow driving -- and not holding the lane. It is getting dangerous out there. Texting seems to have taken distraction to a new and scary level.

Lou_C1357
User Rank
Iron
Re: New Innovation in Electronics to Solve the Problem - NOT YET
Lou_C1357   1/10/2012 11:07:05 AM
NO RATINGS
Do we really need to have automobiles do the driving for us?  Have we as a society reached the point were taking ownership of the task of drive is beneath us?  In all honesty, driving is not the only area where we suffer from lack of attention, and have become too dependent on machine to do our bidding.  Gone are the days of the skilled craftsman, just look at the home building industry.  Everything is becoming more automated.  While sure it improve efficiency, I think we are suffering from the lack of creativity, and appreciation for the things we have.  In today's disposable society that technological advancements have brought about, where has the innovation gone. Is a faster computer/cellphone, or different UI innovative?

I have gone off topic, but in all actuality, do we really need yet more government regulation telling us how to behave, when all we need to do is use common sense. 

 

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