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Re: Talking on Cell phones while driving is todays biggest problem on the Highways..
Old 12-12-2006, 11:24 AM   #21
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Re: Talking on Cell phones while driving is todays biggest problem on the Highways..

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It will be illegal to talk on the phone in California starting in July.
Is that right, TromboneAl? I'd heard that they were banning used of HAND-HELD phones, but I thought you could still use speaker phones or the little doo-hickeys you hang on your ear. (Yes, I'm a techno-peasant when it comes to these things.)

If they're banning the whole lot -- great. If it's only hand-held devices, then we've still got a problem.

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Re: Talking on Cell phones while driving is todays biggest problem on the Highwa
Old 12-12-2006, 12:08 PM   #22
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Re: Talking on Cell phones while driving is todays biggest problem on the Highwa

Cut-throat only posted this to make me write something.

There are no studies that show a measurable loss of driving ability by someone using a cell phone in a car. There was one study done that put people on a driving device, tested them, then got them drunk or put them on a cell phone and retested. That study showed that there was a very minute drop in response time for the .08 drunk driver and the cell phone driver.

Made for great headlines that "talking on a cell phone as bad as driving drunk!".

What that study actually showed was that compared to a benchmark where someone is undistracted by phone or drink and knows their driving skills are being tested, that anything brought into play will create at least a nominal distraction.

Several other studies then adopted that technically true, yet practically false conclusion (study building...another of my favorite ways to get headlines) and coupled them with other half baked "tests" that supposedly show that hands free cell phones or even just speaking to someone else in the car is just as bad.

As i've mentioned the other half dozen times this has come up, if cell phones increased the likelihood of an accident, there would be an increase in national accident rates in lockstep with cell phone adoption and use in cars. Yet, from 1990 (when almost nobody had cell phones in their cars) to 2006 when almost everyone does, the adjusted per capita accident rates are about the same. By some measures they're actually lower now.

Last year two legislators asked the california highway patrol to evaluate accidents to see if cell phones were a causative factor. The CHP came back and said that they could establish no correlation whatsoever between accidents and cell phones. The legislators changed the data to show a causative factor if a cell phone was present in either vehicle, even if it was not being used. And voila! Cell phones were a causative factor in many, many accidents! With their junk study/science data in hand, they passed the law Al mentions, which prohibits use of a phone without a hands free device.

Several countries and several states have outright banned the use of cell phones while driving. Their accident rates haven't changed one bit.

A lot of people just dont like people "talking on the phone" in public. A lot of people dont like rude cell phone users. A lot of anecdotal evidence surrounding "that guy cut me off because he was yapping on the cell phone!". And gosh darn it, it just makes sense that someone on the phone wont drive as well!

What explains it? A lot of people are bad drivers, a lot of people get bored while driving, and a lot of people are easily distracted by dozens of internal and external objects and activities.

As the accident data shows, people seem to find their own level of inability to drive and ability to be distracted, and those causative factors cause accidents and near misses. Take the phone away and that distraction will be readily replaced by another one.

Theres an old saying that I really like. Its "when the finger points at the moon, the fool looks at the finger". Sometimes its said "the fool bites the finger".

In this case the moon is bad drivers who dont learn the rules of the road in the first place and have forgotten what they did learn, coupled with bad habits like tailgating, turning without signaling, cutting people off, swerving through traffic, speeding, etc.

The finger is the phone they have stuck to their ear while they're doing these things...

Funny thing for me is that I probably logged a quarter million miles in a car while talking on a cell phone (hands free) without even a close call. I find that when I was talking to someone it kept my focus up and I paid more attention. When I wasnt on the phone I was usually daydreaming and not paying as much attention.

Read this for more data and some additional links to some more detailed information.
http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,56733-0.html
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Re: Talking on Cell phones while driving is todays biggest problem on the Highwa
Old 12-12-2006, 12:11 PM   #23
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Re: Talking on Cell phones while driving is todays biggest problem on the Highwa

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Re: Talking on Cell phones while driving is todays biggest problem on the Highways..
Old 12-12-2006, 12:13 PM   #24
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Re: Talking on Cell phones while driving is todays biggest problem on the Highways..

Its raining out and everything I want to do requires dry weather.

Be careful now, it may rain again tomorrow.
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Re: Talking on Cell phones while driving is todays biggest problem on the Highways..
Old 12-12-2006, 12:39 PM   #25
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Re: Talking on Cell phones while driving is todays biggest problem on the Highways..

TSFR:

Based on personal observation I don't believe your rant.

If nothing else, holding a cell phone up to your left ear partially blocks your vision to the left. Now tell me how safe that is when operating a 6000 lb SUV going 70+ MPH.

Check your data cause California has no laws blocking cell phone use while driving. There are no laws requiring hands free headsets while driving in California either.

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Re: Talking on Cell phones while driving is todays biggest problem on the Highwa
Old 12-12-2006, 12:49 PM   #26
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Re: Talking on Cell phones while driving is todays biggest problem on the Highwa

I don't think the police should target people simply because they see someone talking on the cell phone. Evidence of some sort of impairment should be present, or breaking another law. For example, if a person on the cell phone is weaving in their lane, runs a red light, makes an improper lane change, or actually proves through their driving that they are being a danger, then by all means ticket them.

However, if the driver isn't doing anything that draws attention to themselves...no weaving, cutting others off, or other signs of distracted, reckelss driving, then leave them alone.

That being said, I see people on a regular basis doing stupid things while they're talking on the cell phone. Camping in the left lane, slamming on their brakes because they didn't realize their turn was coming up so fast, speeding, not signalling when they change lanes, almost drifting into cars beside them, etc. However, rather than making up new laws, there already ARE laws on the books that cover speeding, reckless/impaired driving, and in some areas, left lane camping. Just ENFORCE the laws we already have!
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Re: Talking on Cell phones while driving is todays biggest problem on the Highwa
Old 12-12-2006, 01:56 PM   #27
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Re: Talking on Cell phones while driving is todays biggest problem on the Highwa

I have observed people driving while talking on a cell phone held between the ear and the shoulder (to leave the left hand free to smoke (and throw the smoking detritus out the window)).

That has got to have some negative influence on driving proficiency.
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Re: Talking on Cell phones while driving is todays biggest problem on the Highways..
Old 12-12-2006, 03:17 PM   #28
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Re: Talking on Cell phones while driving is todays biggest problem on the Highways..

Yeaah, but try outlawing driving while STUPID... :P
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Re: Talking on Cell phones while driving is todays biggest problem on the Highways..
Old 12-12-2006, 03:31 PM   #29
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Re: Talking on Cell phones while driving is todays biggest problem on the Highways..

Talking on a cell phone and still driving responsibly isn't too hard if you understand the issues and make a conscious effort to keep driving, not talking/listening, your priority.

I always felt more challenged typing replies on my Skytel text pager! Starring down at the tiny keyboard, trying to read the tiny print on the screen, etc., was more than challenging! I rubbed a tire on a curb one day while turning a corner and typing at the same time, ruining the tire. That was the end of communicating via text pager and driving at the same time and I never read or typed a message while underway again!

I will use my cell phone sparingly, with an earpiece, while underway if driving conditions are calm at the time. But it's something I do thoughtfully.

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Re: Talking on Cell phones while driving is todays biggest problem on the Highways..
Old 12-12-2006, 03:43 PM   #30
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Re: Talking on Cell phones while driving is todays biggest problem on the Highways..

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I'd heard that they were banning used of HAND-HELD phones, but I thought you could still use speaker phones or the little doo-hickeys you hang on your ear.
Yes, that's right, unfortunately.

Quote:
if cell phones increased the likelihood of an accident, there would be an increase in national accident rates in lockstep with cell phone adoption and use in cars. Yet, from 1990 (when almost nobody had cell phones in their cars) to 2006 when almost everyone does, the adjusted per capita accident rates are about the same.
It's easy to argue that increased safety in cars and laws offset the negative effects of cell phones (increased use of anti-lock brakes, improved visibility in car design, improved laws related to teenage driving, stronger drunk-driving enforcement).

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Re: Talking on Cell phones while driving is todays biggest problem on the Highwa
Old 12-12-2006, 05:06 PM   #31
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Re: Talking on Cell phones while driving is todays biggest problem on the Highwa

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Originally Posted by TromboneAl
It's easy to argue that increased safety in cars and laws offset the negative effects of cell phones (increased use of anti-lock brakes, improved visibility in car design, improved laws related to teenage driving, stronger drunk-driving enforcement).
Its easy to argue if you missed the "adjusted" part of the statement.

Accidents have actually dropped by as much as 50% since 1980 due to improvements in auto design, roads, and safety equipment. Adjusted by the NHTSA for these improvements, accident rates are almost flat decade on decade.

The particular example I pulled out was between 1990 and 2006; there have been rather limited changes in driving factors, vehicle design or safety equipment in those 16 years, yet cell phone adoption and usage has boomed. Unadjusted accident rates have dropped. Adjusted rates...about the same.

Even looking at unadjusted numbers, when a state or country outlaws cell phones, the following years numbers should show a measurable drop in accident rates. Yet the data shows no trend change in those situations. Did the cars and roads suddenly become far worse to offset the cell phone ban? Pretty dang unlikely. Of course, the naysayers claim that people are still secretly using their phones and the police just arent enforcing the laws, and thats why things are still the same.

Bottom line: cell phones replaced other distractions and there was no detrimental or beneficial effect to be measured in real world statistics.

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Originally Posted by MasterBlaster
Check your data cause California has no laws blocking cell phone use while driving. There are no laws requiring hands free headsets while driving in California either.
Governor Schwarzenegger signed SB1613 into law in September of this year and it will take effect July 1, 2008, giving the Department of Motor Vehicles time to update its manuals and drivers time to get used to the idea. SB1613 prohibits the use of cell phones by drivers unless they use a hands free device.

Seems that in the lengthy discourse, my prime point was lost. I am not arguing that cell phones aren't a distraction or detrimental to driving. I'm pointing out that in the absence of them, both decades ago and after bans are put into effect, that people found other ways to be distracted and in general demonstrate poor knowledge and execution of the rules of the road.

Laws are already on the books in most states that prohibit distracted driving. This is nothing more than a legislatively expensive emotional reaction that has demonstrably failed to solve anything.

Gosh, you know what? This is every bit as unenjoyable as I remember it
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Re: Talking on Cell phones while driving is todays biggest problem on the Highwa
Old 12-12-2006, 05:11 PM   #32
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Re: Talking on Cell phones while driving is todays biggest problem on the Highwa

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Gosh, you know what? This is every bit as unenjoyable as I remember it
Only because you get your shorts in a wad when you should be throwing out a few "bite me's".

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Re: Talking on Cell phones while driving is todays biggest problem on the Highways..
Old 12-12-2006, 05:26 PM   #33
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Re: Talking on Cell phones while driving is todays biggest problem on the Highways..

Avocados and harvest golds, too...

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Re: Talking on Cell phones while driving is todays biggest problem on the Highways..
Old 12-12-2006, 05:28 PM   #34
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Re: Talking on Cell phones while driving is todays biggest problem on the Highways..

Ah good times...good times...

Pretty good little document: http://www.ncsl.org/programs/transpo...neupdate05.htm
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Re: Talking on Cell phones while driving is todays biggest problem on the Highways..
Old 12-12-2006, 07:01 PM   #35
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Re: Talking on Cell phones while driving is todays biggest problem on the Highways..

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This is every bit as unenjoyable as I remember it
OK, let's make it a joke. I'll start.

There's this naked lesbian driving down the highway, and she stops to pick up a hitch-hiker...
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Re: Talking on Cell phones while driving is todays biggest problem on the Highways..
Old 12-12-2006, 09:08 PM   #36
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Re: Talking on Cell phones while driving is todays biggest problem on the Highways..

Suddenly, her cell phone vibrated rang...
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Re: Talking on Cell phones while driving is todays biggest problem on the Highways..
Old 12-12-2006, 10:21 PM   #37
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Re: Talking on Cell phones while driving is todays biggest problem on the Highways..

Interesting about no evidence in accident increases while cellphone used increased.

But seeing other people drive while holding cellphones really bothers me because I often see crazy behavior with one hand on the wheel and the other holding a cellphone and an apparently distracted driver. Seems like the guy/gal crossing several lanes in one wild sweep to make an exit in front of a bunch of cars always is holding a cell phone to their ear.

While I'm driving the big rig I'm always looking out for reckless driver behavior (you know - super defensive driving, my rig weighs 30,000 pounds) and seems like they are most often holding cellphones.

It also blows my mind that some folks seem to need to jabber non stop on the phone while they are driving. Are there really that many people that need to be talked too?

I see people pull out their cellphone and start yacking as soon as they pull out of their parking spot!

[Grrrr, grrrr, grrr, grumpy curmudgeon whining.......]

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Re: Talking on Cell phones while driving is todays biggest problem on the Highwa
Old 12-13-2006, 01:58 PM   #38
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Re: Talking on Cell phones while driving is todays biggest problem on the Highwa

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Originally Posted by TromboneAl

Also, I am convinced that talking on cell phone is very distracting, even with a hands free set, but I wonder why that is any more distracting that talking with the person in the passenger seat?
there is research that shows that it is significantly more distracting.
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Re: Talking on Cell phones while driving is todays biggest problem on the Highwa
Old 12-13-2006, 02:13 PM   #39
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Re: Talking on Cell phones while driving is todays biggest problem on the Highwa

I disagree with tsfr--there are lots of studies showing heightened accident rates for cellphone users as well as other distractions. Too many for him to glibly try to argue away although I'm sure he'll try.

http://www.iii.org/media/hottopics/i...ce/cellphones/
http://ppc.uiowa.edu/driving-assessm...d_abstract.pdf
http://www.buzzle.com/articles/vehic...dent-risk.html

there are plenty more.

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Re: Talking on Cell phones while driving is todays biggest problem on the Highwa
Old 12-13-2006, 02:19 PM   #40
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Re: Talking on Cell phones while driving is todays biggest problem on the Highwa

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Originally Posted by DanTien
I notice a lot of SUVs and vans with DVD players hung from the ceiling - is the driver able to watch also if he leans back enough ?
Is it possible to watch DVDs while driving... have you seen it done ...have you yourself done it?
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