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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?
Old 03-05-2005, 05:29 PM   #21
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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?

Hey, TH, good point about the cell phones being more of an identifier than a cause.

I learned how to drive in Pittsburgh-- driver education, 75 mph on solid ice, and dodging potholes. Here in Hawaii most of those "skills" are wasted, although we're certainly racking up our share of junior-grade potholes. Hawaii didn't start a driver's ed program until last year.

My biggest problem with slow/erratic drivers is that, unlike smooth-flowing traffic, you can't take your eye off 'em for a second. I can barely think about other things (let alone hold a conversation) when all my reflexes are dealing with random speed changes, blinking brakelights, or wandering lane navigation. The fact that I see a cell phone when I finally pull alongside (rarely make eye contact anymore) is probably just a reflection of modern technology. A couple decades ago those same drivers would've been fiddling with their eight-track cassettes.

The driver watching his TV scared me a little, though. Eye contact had to wait for a commercial break...
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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?
Old 03-05-2005, 09:51 PM   #22
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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?

Quote:

Insurance statistics show that far more accidents are caused by a slow moving driver than one that is speeding. *. . .
Hi TH,

While I agree with a lot of what you say, this is a pretty misleading statement too. When it comes to property damage, injuries and deaths, speed kills. And it does so pretty conclusively. That's true regardless of how the statistics are sliced. The blue hair being passed by a turtle on the sidewalk may be frustrating, but they don't tend to cause injuries and deaths.

On the other hand, assigning blame to drinking, cell phones, big macs, etc. is pretty shakey science. I've always felt that MADD has done a terrible disservice by forcing states to assign alcohol as the cause of every accident where any blood alcohol level can be measured in any driver. By doing so, we avoid finding the true cause of accidents and we miss the opportunity to improve driving safety. If we could measure diet coke in the blood stream of a driver would we conclude that to be the cause of the accident?

Still, I think they should ban cell phone use in cars just because . . . well. . . just because I find those preoccupied yuppies irritating. ;D ;D ;D
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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?
Old 03-06-2005, 03:08 AM   #23
 
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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?

I find yuppies irritating, with or without cellphones.

JG
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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?
Old 03-06-2005, 06:28 AM   #24
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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?

Big Plans, eh?

Any self directed plans are better than those we had to do as part of someone else's agenda, be they customers, bosses, or co-owners or random "nit wits" thrown in to make the job a challenge. *I took about six months to re-educate myself and my wife as to the concept that this was our new life. We earned our emancipation and now we are responible for providing meaningful activity to our lives. *We have done charitable work for a Russian Orphanage, helped our family in ways that we could never have done working on a fixed schedule, traveled to places I previously never thought I would see, such a Lake Baikal, and Shanghai, and grown into better people in the process. *Follow your own path, and Live your OWN life. *You will be amazed at what happens next. *
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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?
Old 03-06-2005, 02:36 PM   #25
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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?

Quote:
Hi TH,

While I agree with a lot of what you say, this is a pretty misleading statement too.
That statistic is courtesy of Metropolitan Insurance, who urges people to drive safely, but does note with this statistic that driving slower than prevailing traffic does cause more accidents than speeders.

Does that seem intuitive to me? Not really, but I didnt make up the numbers.
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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?
Old 03-06-2005, 03:51 PM   #26
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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?

In hopes of getting this thread back on the interstate...Can we get a consensus on this cell phone thing that its a distraction? When added to all the other unavoidable distractions from both inside and outside the car, chances for accidents increase.

Bottom line (I hope)... Know when its safer to take the call and when to let the caller leave a message. Can you hear me now?

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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?
Old 03-07-2005, 10:56 AM   #27
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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?

Bum -

The data says 'no' resoundingly. Accidents have not risen in step with increased cell phone usage. In fact, accidents havent risen significantly at all.

However I think its agreeable that talking on a phone is in fact distracting, the short version of my long winded post above is that its obvious that people will find another distraction to replace the phone in its absence.

Heres a funny sideways opinion...up until a year ago when I got rid of my "unlimited use" cell phone, I dont think I logged more than a total of 10 miles over 5 years when I wasnt on the phone while driving. I tended to pay a little more attention to be truthful. When I wasnt on the phone I was daydreaming and looking around at stuff. So in my case the phone improved my driving concentration. Zero accidents my whole driving life, two moving violations in the last 15 years.

SG - same logic applies to the thought that 'speed kills'. The 'Prarie Dog' approach says that when the national speed limit was raised, road deaths should have increased if speed was a factor. In fact annual road deaths stayed almost the same...but oddly they increased among women and the elderly while dropping among men. An interesting and thoughtful analysis I read postulated that it wasnt that 'speed kills' but that 'disparity in speed kills' along with 'unsafe speed (unfit for conditions) kills'. The postulation went on to suggest that male drivers started driving faster when the speed limits went up, while many women and the elderly did not. The disparity of speed (or to paraphrase, the slower driver) created the problem rather than the speed itself.
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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?
Old 03-07-2005, 11:47 AM   #28
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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?

This has related to cell phone usage while driving on city streets.

As a daily bicycle commuter, I see drivers violating 2 traffic laws at the same time, the 1st is yapping on their handheld cells and the 2nd is, no longer having a free hand, failing to signal when making a turn.

I think drivers using handheld cell phones on city street can be very dangerous to peds and bicyclists.

I wonder what the statistics would say about those circumstances.

Of course, drivers don't have a monopoly on irresponsibility. I have seen a few stupid (IMHO) bicyclists riding while yapping on cells as well. Peds are notorious for crossing streets during the day oblivious to traffic, some also yapping on cells.

MJ
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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?
Old 03-07-2005, 12:04 PM   #29
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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?

Statistically most drivers dont use their signals most of the time.

With or without a phone.
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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?
Old 03-07-2005, 03:38 PM   #30
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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?

Quote:
Statistically most drivers dont use their signals most of the time.

With or without a phone.
TH, In NY, where I live, most drivers do, that's why I brought it up.
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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?
Old 03-07-2005, 04:27 PM   #31
 
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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?

Back when I was working I would talk on the cell, take
notes, read the road map and eat simultaneously
(it's a Type A thing ).
No harm done, except that I ruined a few nice silk ties

JG
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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?
Old 03-07-2005, 07:51 PM   #32
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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?

Quote:
Back when I was working I would talk on the cell, take notes, read the road map and eat simultaneously (it's a Type A thing ).
No harm done, except that I ruined a few nice silk ties
Perhap no harm was done because either no one else was on the road with you or everyone else was watch the road and you.
I don't any problem with people taking risks with their lives as long as it doesn't risk the rest of us.
A moving car is no different then a loaded gun. Both need to be used responsibly.

MJ
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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?
Old 03-08-2005, 03:36 AM   #33
 
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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?

Hello MJ. I agree with the moving car/ loaded gun
comparison.

As a P.S. to my prior post. Once I had a CB in my car
and was rolling along with a road map spread across
the steering wheel. After I passed a semi, some guy
came on the radio and said "Hey, did you see that
S.O. B. reading the map?" Things are different now
of course, but my DW won't allow any reading material
to be viewable while I am behind the wheel

JG
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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?
Old 03-08-2005, 05:24 AM   #34
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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?

Inattentive driving causes accidents every minute of every day (according to AAA).

For almost 30 years I worked in over-the-road jobs...must be a million miles. How I survived I don't know...tons of near misses.

My most vivid memory was riding, as a rookie, with an associate who was speeding - smoking, guzzling hot coffee from a thermos, reading the map on his lap. When I asked if he brought the customer samples. He said. "In the back, I'll get it." With that he turned to the back seat rummaged around to get the sample. I hollered "look out!" to no avail. In one second we were 100 yards into a fallow farmers field. Under different circumstances, this post could have had a different ending regarding the farmer's daughter. In this case suffice to say she was nice enough to provide coffee and arranged a tow.

Ahhhh sales!


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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?
Old 03-08-2005, 05:40 AM   #35
 
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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?

Yep, it only takes a second. My driving record is good
but I think the most impressive thing is the bazillion
miles I drove through heavy deer populations and never hit one. Several near misses though. Anyway,
inattention is dangerous, no question. Also, if you are in a
car and run off the road, most times it's just embarrassing. On a motorcycle though there's an excellent
chance you'll be dead. I miss it, but it's a dangerous
hobby.

JG
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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?
Old 03-08-2005, 08:41 AM   #36
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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?

Yup, I was in New Hampshire when I saw my first person on a sport bike, no helmet, talking on a cell phone as he manuvered through traffic.....very scary...
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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?
Old 03-08-2005, 10:22 AM   #37
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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?

Quote:

TH, In NY, where I live, most drivers do, that's why I brought it up.

I've driven extensively in New York. Come on. I'm fairly sure that 90% of New York drivers would take more than 30 seconds to identify where their turn signal lever was located in the vehicle.

The code of driving in the northeast is to never signal your intended plan to the other opposing drivers to assure they have no advance warning and attempt to thwart your maneuver.

Besides, again we'd see some sort of statistical variance on increased pedestrian and bicycle injuries/deaths in lockstep with increased cell phone adoption. But there isnt any.

My two favorite cell phone stories.

I was in a costco gas station and watched a guy on the next aisle over pull up to the pump, get out and proceed (in defiance of the sign on the pump that says to turn off cell phones while fueling) to make a good 5 minute phone call while standing next to his car without ever putting the pump in it. The guy behind him yelled something unintelligible, whereupon this fine fellow yelled back "up your butt". Ignorant *and* rude. An excellent combination.

The other was when I was walking out of a store and did one of the things that bugs me most about californians...the blind, never looking up stroll in the crosswalk, presuming drivers are attentive and watching out for you. I almost walked into the side of an Excursion (or had it run over my toes) as it passed by, going at least twice the parking lot speed limit. Woman on the phone, eating some fast food item, about 900 kids in the back. Clearly she never saw me.
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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?
Old 03-08-2005, 11:04 AM   #38
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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?

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I've driven extensively in New York. Come on. I'm fairly sure that 90% of New York drivers would take more than 30 seconds to identify where their turn signal lever was located in the vehicle.

TH,

I think you meant NJ drivers. The state plate should be changed from Garden State to Guess What I'll Do Next

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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?
Old 03-08-2005, 11:13 AM   #39
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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?

LOL. I wanted to make up some bumper stickers that said "See if you can guess what I'm going to do next" and apply them to some of those drivers cars.

Now, when you speak of NJ drivers, which exit are you referring to?

(actually I used to have a girlfriend in Montclair, very nice town, and most of new jersey is rather nice.)
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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?
Old 03-08-2005, 02:12 PM   #40
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Re: Big Plans for ER and then ...?

Quote:
Yep, it only takes a second. My driving record is good
but I think the most impressive thing is the bazillion
miles I drove through heavy deer populations and never hit one. Several near misses though. Anyway,
inattention is dangerous, no question. Also, if you are in a
car and run off the road, most times it's just embarrassing. On a motorcycle though there's an excellent
chance you'll be dead. I miss it, but it's a dangerous
hobby.

JG

I live in deer country and have hit two in my driving career. Both in the dead of night.

I have also hit (or been it by) two birds when motorcyling. this could kill you. One was a pigeon that ended up flapping wildly in my lap; I pushed it away as I wobbled a bit. The gross out factor was greater than the danger. I was probably going only about 10 miles an hour. Dumb pigeon.

The other bird incident was a grouse I ran over in the road. Totally destroyed the bird. No effect on the bike.

My husband once had a bee go in his mouth and sting the back of his throat while motorcycling. I most always wear a full face helmet but when I don't I keep my mouth closed.

Martha
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