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Old 03-01-2008, 04:37 AM   #21
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How about "variations" of book or movie titles....

Instead of "Driving Miss Daisy" it would be "Driving Up Daisies".
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Old 03-01-2008, 05:12 AM   #22
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You may not understand the fundamental differences in mental processing required for a cell phone conversation and the other momentary distractions you mentioned.
Talking on a cell phone is not just a "distraction", instead, it effectively removes the driver cognitively from the driving situation and that's why it's so dangerous. Cell phone talkers can hang the phone up and not be able to recall situations that occurred while they were conversing on the phone. That phenomenon does not occur with any of the other types of distractions possible. Cell phone talkers have - driven in front of trains, driven through stop signs and stop lights, driven into the backs of stopped cars, etc etc.
There is a good reason why the trend is to outlaw the use of cell phones while driving. Using hands free devices also does nothing to reduce the fundamental danger of driving while talking on cell phones because it does not deal with the cognitive impairment.

None of this is to say that the distractions you mentioned, and more, are not dangerous practices while driving either but they pale in comparison to cellphone talking. Talking on the cellphone can be and has been compared with DWI and that is because of the cognitive impairment.
Plagiarized from another forum but nicely stated to those who think its ok to drive while on a cell phone (thanks Midnite)
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Old 03-01-2008, 05:49 AM   #23
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Seems to be "multitasking" at its best worst.
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Old 03-01-2008, 07:46 AM   #24
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This is why sometimes you'll see a cell phone talker in the left lane going 50mph. They just don't realize it. And finally they'll notice and go 70 again. This is more than annoying, it causes a traffic situation that is dangerous to everyone.
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Old 03-01-2008, 09:46 AM   #25
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Old 03-01-2008, 10:24 AM   #26
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And yet the accident rates per person per mile havent gone up a bit during the last few decades as cell phones have been introduced. Which either means everyones driving already sucked so much that the distractions dont cause any harm or that people just replaced other distractions with the distraction of the cell phone.

Or maybe they just arent that distracting.

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I wonder if the guy was cooking bacon?
Reminds me of the scene in "Barney's Great Adventure" (yes, a 3 year old really broadens your viewing horizons) where the guy has a deep fryer and a grill on the passenger seat and IIRC cooks a burger and some fries while driving...
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Old 03-01-2008, 11:08 AM   #27
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Reminds me of the scene in "Barney's Great Adventure" (yes, a 3 year old really broadens your viewing horizons) where the guy has a deep fryer and a grill on the passenger seat and IIRC cooks a burger and some fries while driving...
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Old 03-01-2008, 12:55 PM   #28
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And yet the accident rates per person per mile havent gone up a bit during the last few decades as cell phones have been introduced. Which either means everyones driving already sucked so much that the distractions dont cause any harm or that people just replaced other distractions with the distraction of the cell phone.

Or maybe they just arent that distracting.
I think whats happening is that modern safety features are doing their job of saving lives and statistics would be showing a decrease in road deaths but the modern day distractions like cell phones etc and the general increase in cruising speeds. is boosting the fatality rate back up to where it usually is,45000 per year.
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Old 03-01-2008, 01:21 PM   #29
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We did have some improvements in the 60's and 70's with tire technology and better brakes but we dont really have any "modern safety features" in automobiles that have been introduced since the mid 80's-early 90's (when cell phone adoption started to advance) that would account for an offset of this alleged danger.

More airbags, but those dont prevent accidents, and more ABS adoption, but most of the studies I've seen show that the benefits of ABS are pretty much nil, and that in some cases you'd be better off without it.

Twenty years ago, it was the dumb blonde, that woman driver, that idiot kid or that old man that shouldnt be driving anymore. Or the guy fiddling with the radio knob, daydreaming, not paying attention, checking the girl out on the sidewalk, reading the billboard.

Today the lightning rod is the cell phone.

We're distractable creatures that are bored behind the wheel of the car and seek to find something to fill the gap.

But this is one of those things that everyone already "knows" the answer to. The actual data wont change that knowledge.
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Old 03-01-2008, 01:43 PM   #30
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Perhaps the solution is to prohibit people from driving if they think that prayer can save them in a crash.
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Old 03-01-2008, 10:09 PM   #31
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From the NHTSA site:

Research shows that driving while using a cell phone can pose a serious cognitive distraction and degrade driver performance. The data are insufficient to quantify crashes caused by cell phone use specifically, but NHTSA estimates that driver distraction from all sources contributes to 25 percent of all police-reported traffic crashes.

And the # 1 distraction is.......rubbernecking at other accidents!!!

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Old 03-01-2008, 10:41 PM   #32
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Twenty years ago, it was . . . checking the girl out on the sidewalk . . .

Today the lightning rod is the cell phone.
That's it. I'm not using my cell phone in the car anymore.
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Old 03-01-2008, 11:14 PM   #33
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From the NHTSA site:

Research shows that driving while using a cell phone can pose a serious cognitive distraction and degrade driver performance. The data are insufficient to quantify crashes caused by cell phone use specifically, but NHTSA estimates that driver distraction from all sources contributes to 25 percent of all police-reported traffic crashes.
What sunk it for me was actually reading the study that showed that cell phone usage was worse than drunk driving.

Go read it, its interesting stuff to dig into the details of the USA Today headlines.

What the study showed was that:

a) people who know their driving is being monitored while on a driving test machine may drive better than they do in real life. Unless you've usually got a dude sitting next to you in the car with a clipboard staring you down and actively critiquing your driving.
b) from that ideal, driving with a cell phone is minutely worse in terms of reaction time, but nothing that would translate into a "success/fail" situation...they were looking at stuff like "oh, in a perfect world its 10 seconds, with a cell phone, it was 10.3 seconds". I'm betting in the real world "holy cow, look at that hot chick/hmm...I guess I better file my taxes" world, its 10.3 seconds and 10.3 seconds.
c) the drunk driving (.08 ) numbers were slightly better than the cell phone numbers.

What it "proved" to me was that neither driving while .08 or with a cell phone was a significant distraction and that I'd like to see some sort of real world testing where they hook people up to the tester for 3-4 hours and measure their responses to very occasional input towards the end, vs the .08 and cell phone reaction times.

If THAT didnt sink it for me, it was over when the CHP did a study on behalf of the CA legislature who wanted to pass anti cell phone laws and came back with a conclusion that cell phones were not a contributing factor to accidents in CA. They were then directed by the legislature to consider any accident in which a cell phone was present (in use or not) to be an accident caused by a cell phone. With that revision, they came back with a low double digit number and some new laws got passed.

Funny how you start with a conclusion and end up with some 'facts', eh?
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Old 03-02-2008, 03:26 AM   #34
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By the tone of your responses i.m assuming that you think your abilities at multi tasking behind the wheel do not affect your attention when driving.,i think if you were tested you would be amazed at how impaired your driving can become whilst enrapt in that important phone call at 80mph.
From personal observation on the few times i have had to use a phone while driving i found i was distracted to an unacceptable level as my mind was more preoccupied with the phone call than what was going on in front of me a kind of looking but not seeing scenario.And if cell phones arent bad enough now we have people text messaging,fiddling around with GPS units and trying to hunt for a satellite radio signals there is no way people can do multi tasking and not have their reaction times impaired and at todays speeds on the highways fractions of seconds can mean the difference between life and death.
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Old 03-02-2008, 04:19 AM   #35
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There's a whole lot more to avoiding accidents than response time.
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Old 03-02-2008, 08:46 AM   #36
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And i'm hoping that a driver is competent enough to use all means at his disposal to avoid an accident but one has to have response time to demonstrate these driving skills.
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Old 03-02-2008, 09:22 AM   #37
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You didnt take my tone correctly.

My tone has more to do with people who feel they already "know the answer" even when the vast majority of the data says that the answer they "know" is wrong. I get even tonier when people manipulate the data to falsely conform to their predisposed "knowledge".

I think the facts that ARE in evidence are that many drivers are poorly trained, have a weak grasp of the rules of the road, are inadequately punished for dangerous driving, and that short of encapsulating the driver in a sensory deprivation tank equipped with a direct neural video stream of the road ahead free of any unnecessary distraction...that you're going to have a problem.

My observation is that there are far more problems caused on the road by people driving too aggressively, tailgating, rapid lane changes, cutting people off and so forth. Use of a car as though it was some sort of toy or weapon.

I say to heck with the cell phones, lets start suspending the licenses of people who drive like they're flying an f-16 in Top Gun.
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Old 03-02-2008, 10:33 AM   #38
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My observation is that there are far more problems caused on the road by people driving too aggressively, tailgating, rapid lane changes, cutting people off and so forth. Use of a car as though it was some sort of toy or weapon.

I say to heck with the cell phones, lets start suspending the licenses of people who drive like they're flying an f-16 in Top Gun.
Sometimes it seems people are learning to drive by playing Nintendo. They will risk their lives (and mine) just to get to the stoplight an eighth of a millisecond earlier than otherwise.
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Old 03-02-2008, 10:50 AM   #39
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You didnt take my tone correctly.

My tone has more to do with people who feel they already "know the answer" even when the vast majority of the data says that the answer they "know" is wrong. I get even tonier when people manipulate the data to falsely conform to their predisposed "knowledge".

I think the facts that ARE in evidence are that many drivers are poorly trained, have a weak grasp of the rules of the road, are inadequately punished for dangerous driving, and that short of encapsulating the driver in a sensory deprivation tank equipped with a direct neural video stream of the road ahead free of any unnecessary distraction...that you're going to have a problem.

My observation is that there are far more problems caused on the road by people driving too aggressively, tailgating, rapid lane changes, cutting people off and so forth. Use of a car as though it was some sort of toy or weapon.

I say to heck with the cell phones, lets start suspending the licenses of people who drive like they're flying an f-16 in Top Gun.
Cause and effect are easy to spot - quite obvious that it's the negative waves from the cellphone,man. As for me, i eschew eating, drinking,or cell phone use in the car and if i'm serious turn off the radio so i can focus on driving like an F-16 pilot - which includes looking as far ahead as possible.
One could say that turning the key is the main cause of car acidents...
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Old 03-02-2008, 11:02 AM   #40
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Sometimes it seems people are learning to drive by playing Nintendo. They will risk their lives (and mine) just to get to the stoplight an eighth of a millisecond earlier than otherwise.
I liked my ex-girlfriends idea of replacing peoples airbags in the steering wheel with an explosive charge that goes off if you hit something.

That might make for some safer driving. Either way.
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