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Old 12-15-2011, 03:31 PM   #81
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It's because a passenger who is physically present with you has context. If you're in the middle of explaining your weekend plans, and you need to merge into traffic, your passenger sees this and instinctively waits. Someone on the other end of a phone, however, will simply prod you with, "Hello? Jim? Are you still there?"
Yep, I've come to believe there's some truth to the distinction after a few discussions yesterday. And a passenger or more would provide additional eyes on traffic too, not so if you are alone talking even hands free. Thanks...
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Old 12-15-2011, 03:47 PM   #82
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Originally Posted by kombat View Post
It's because a passenger who is physically present with you has context. If you're in the middle of explaining your weekend plans, and you need to merge into traffic, your passenger sees this and instinctively waits. Someone on the other end of a phone, however, will simply prod you with, "Hello? Jim? Are you still there?"
To take that a little further, if you are alone and talking on the cell, there's also no nervous passengers telling you to shut up and watch the road so you don't kill everyone in the car.

I can talk to someone who is driving, but if I notice the discussion is causing them a distraction -- they are not paying sufficient eyes on the road -- I'll stop talking or cajole them into getting their eyes back to where they need to be when driving. Someone on the other side of a phone conversation
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Old 12-15-2011, 04:49 PM   #83
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Additionally, you just don't seem to hear about claims being denied based on the insured doing something they should not have done. That kind of goes against the idea of mutual protection. Maybe they will not be renewed, but the claims get paid.
In the early 70s I had car insurance with a company called Preferred Risk that covered non-drinkers only. It saved me a lot of money and the policy was written so that in case of an accident were the insured was DUI the policy was void.
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Old 12-15-2011, 05:25 PM   #84
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In the early 70s I had car insurance with a company called Preferred Risk that covered non-drinkers only. It saved me a lot of money and the policy was written so that in case of an accident were the insured was DUI the policy was void.
Anything is possible if it is written into the policy. I was talking about the general case. Should I have said that?
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Old 12-15-2011, 07:37 PM   #85
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You don't have to create new laws to prohibit this--the insurance companies can make it part of their policies that they will not cover damage if it occurs while a communication device is being used. You can be sure they'll be looking up the cell phone usage for every accident reported to them.
Whether that would work is a good question.

With a law, you have the risk that a cop will see you and give you a ticket. If you are a law abiding citizen, you will also not want to do something illegal.

With the insurance system, you are given permission to talk, but with the risk that in the unlikely event of a crash killing someone, you may go bankrupt.

In freakonomics, they described how late pickups increased at a preschool when they implemented a fine. The fine gave people permission to break the rules.
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Old 12-15-2011, 10:01 PM   #86
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I recall several years ago some lady was behind me constantly yakking on her cell phone, always running up behind me at each red light. The road had only one lane each way so switching lanes was not an option. At the next red light, after this had gone on for a mile or two, I knew it was a long wait and I was soooo close to getting out of my car and walking to hers and start yelling at her to HANG UP AND DRIVE. But I then pictured the cops visiting my place and busting on me for harrassment or menacing even though I would not have threatened her.

At the light, she turned right and I went straight so that was the end of
it.
Maybe unrelated, but I did confront a driver (actually her back-seat passenger). I was pulling up to a stop light when I was suddenly dazzled by a light in my eyes (this was during broad daylight). It took me a second to realize someone had pointed a lazar at me. Turns out, some 13 (or so) year old boy in the back seat of a car behind me was shining the pointer into my inside rear-view mirror. I slammed on the brakes. Backed up until I was within a couple of inches of the driver's bumper - so they could not escape. Exploded out of my car and went back and pounded both fists on the driver's and passengers windows. Sort of glad the driver wasn't a 6' 6" wrestler instead of a house wife - but it wouldn't have stopped me. I WANTED them to call a cop and complain about my actions. I think I made my point as the driver turned around and started screaming at the boy. I don't recommend this behavior. In retrospect, it wasn't very intelligent. Still, it was rather satisfying. I'm just glad they didn't have their windows down or the doors unlocked. I might still be in prison.

In the great scheme of things, I've been far more threatened by cell phone/text users than that one lazar pointer.

Oh, pedestrians were mentioned as being in danger from those using cell phones in cars. True enough. But I often see pedestrians talking/texting as they cross a street. While anyone running over them will most likely be charged with a crime, I'm convinced that the pedestrian who makes themselves clueless by cell phone use in an intersection should share at least some of the (moral) blame for their own injuries. This is especially true here in paradise where we have un-signaled crosswalks on 6 lane streets. If I ever worked up the courage to step out into such an environment, I would NOT want to be distracted. I would want to be ready to dive out of the way of the 17 year old girl doing 50 while texting - "OMG - Jst ht sum ol gy".
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