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JamesPDX
User Rank
Iron
The government needs to step
JamesPDX   1/13/2012 3:12:28 AM
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The government needs to step in with greater license testing, not bans.

Automobiles drivers and airplane pilots were not require a have license when these vehicles were first brought on the scene.  As the concerns for safety grew due to the ever increasing abilities of these vehicles and the number of people using them increased, licenses were designed and issued for that purpose.  Education was soon required for anyone to pass the tests for each type of license.  Now, with the trend towards ever increasing automotive electronic gadgetry there needs to be a corresponding increase in license testing for the safe use of these gadgets on the highways and streets, just as there are for pilots.  There are far too many people involved to ignore this problem.  It will not go away, but get worse with time as you say.

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Worse before it gets better
Charles Murray   1/12/2012 8:02:16 PM
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It's worth noting that the trend toward more electronic connectivity is going to get worse before it gets better. Virtually every concept car at this year's Detroit Auto Show was packed with systems aimed at helping connect the driver to GPS, phones and even Internet. Most of the concept cars are aimed at 2015 introductions or even later, so we can expect the distractions to get worse over the next few years.

JamesPDX
User Rank
Iron
Drivers need Education and Understanding
JamesPDX   1/12/2012 4:35:40 PM
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Metal attendance to conversation is a condition that we have all been trained to participate in to a high degree (full attention).  Such training or conditioning is important, but has its drawbacks.  Face-to-face conversations may take the driver away from the task at hand for several minutes.  The familiar radio and audio recordings (music or conversation) can take the driver into a transfixed metal area for quite some time or even the greater portions of an hour or more when travelling long distances. 

The movie industry is being totally irresponsible by providing us with depictions of the driver turning to look at the passenger while carrying very long periods of casual and in depth conversations without regard for the speed at which the actors might be travelling.  To see this is a great distraction for me while trying to take in a nice ride that the movie should be presenting.

In concept, the multi-tasking phenomena (per se) of computer timeshare (circa 1957-1987), has provided us with distractions that are relatively more recent.  Competition for our perceived needs has further pushes us in to multi-tasking our activities.

The addicted to using a phone while driving is a problem, but the issue is not to break or change the habit, but to understand it and when such mental activity (complete attention) is required and necessary.  It is like dressing properly for an occasion or purpose.  It would appear that there are too many drivers who are not capable of this.

As long as there is the "greed factor", there will be manufacturers out there who would profit from lobbying to not allowing legislation to ban phones or other expensive 'toys'.


William K.
User Rank
Platinum
Cellphone ban for drivers?
William K.   1/12/2012 11:48:31 AM
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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
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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
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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... 

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