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Driving with electronic device

Discussion in 'The OT' started by kevinturcotte, Apr 27, 2012.

  1. May 3, 2012 #221 of 384
    BattleScott

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    That's good to hear. The last thing we want is people being ditracted by using a cell-phone when they're enjoying a cup of coffe and driving their overloaded golf-cart with a baby under one arm... I was worried we might have overlooked something... :rolleyes:
     
  2. May 3, 2012 #222 of 384
    Laxguy

    Laxguy Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.

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    The dangling ciggie with a hot ash about to fall in the crotchal area. Now, isn't that special!!:hurah:
     
  3. May 4, 2012 #223 of 384
    fluffybear

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    In a community with over 100 miles of paths (not to mention that on some streets, vehicles and carts share the road) and 10,000+ registered golf carts, it's nice to see our elected officials take them more serious.

    It's clear that you missed the point in my response to that particular post from djlong which was that if someone (regardless they are using a cell phone or not) drives a vehicle such as a golf cart with so little regard for the safety of themselves and others, is this someone who really should be allowed to operate a vehicle?


    To refresh you with my opinion on this subject: I am not against someone speaking on a cell phone which is more or less completely hands-free (a phone placed between shoulder and head is not hands free in m opinion). What I am against is someone using a hand held device for any purpose while driving.
     
  4. May 4, 2012 #224 of 384
    James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Around here we have pony carts which are driven by children of any age wherever their parents allow. We had a fatal accident a couple of months back where a pony cart was hit on a public road. There was some public discussion about banning them but it ended up being treated the same as a child on a bike ... who at pretty much any age has the right to ride in the street and be killed. Low powered motorbikes (scooters) also evade any licensing (I have not looked for an age requirement).

    Apparently some proven fatal activities are permitted.



    The United States Department of Transportation estimates that over 500,000 truck accidents occur every year. One person is injured or killed in a truck accident every 16 minutes. And yet is anyone seriously talking about a total ban on trucks? The government manages that problem by regulating who can drive a truck ... special licenses issued by class to those who have proven their skills.

    Motorcycle fatalities represent approximately five percent of all highway fatalities each year, yet motorcycles represent just two percent of all registered vehicles in the United States. But again, these dangerous devices and the use of them are not banned from our nation's highways. The government manages that problem by regulating who can operate a motorcycle ... special endorsements to those who have proven their skills.

    I want a cellphone endorsement for my license. I have been driving for more than a decade legally using a cellphone and have had no accidents. I have proven my skills. I, like many other professionals, have a need to be able to be contacted by cell phone and text message (or pager) while driving. I have safely received text messages for more than a decade (generally responding by voice call - not reply texts). I have proven my skills.

    It a trucker can get a CDL and anyone with desire can get a motorcycle endorsement by proving their skills I should be able to get a cellphone endorsement.

    (And if you want to ask how the police would know if I had an endorsement or not first ask how they would know if I had a valid CDL or motorcycle endorsement if they saw me operate that equipment. All three could be treated the same.)
     
  5. May 4, 2012 #225 of 384
    The Merg

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    I remember that my parents took away my grandfather's car keys since they did not think he should be driving anymore. Not long after they had brought over some bagels. He promptly walked over to our house and returned them. He refused to talk to my Mom for the next month. Unfortunately, he passed away before they could reconcile as he passed away at the end of that month. It was something that my Mom hated doing, but she knew it had to be done.

    - Merg
     
  6. May 4, 2012 #226 of 384
    The Merg

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    VA does not require a license to operate a moped. You have to be 16, wear a helmet, have eye protection, but must have some sort of government ID showing that you are 16. You can also operate a moped if you have a suspended or revoked license with the exception if it was suspended or revoked for DUI.

    - Merg
     
  7. May 4, 2012 #227 of 384
    BattleScott

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    And the snippet you quoted from me was only part of a statement on how the puclic focus is wrongly on the "evils of cell phones" when in fact they are a much lower contributor than many other common forms of distractions you had outlined in the same example.

    If you are against cell-phone use because you believe they are a significant source of distracted driving accidents, then you should not distinguish between the two modes. According to the studies at the center of the push for bans, there is no differnce in the increased risk level with "hands-free" devices over normal.

    If you would rather trust the facts, neither one is a significant player in overall accident rates.
     
  8. May 4, 2012 #228 of 384
    hdtvfan0001

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

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    OK - then trust the facts - for those repeatedly defending cell-phone use as "not a real problem" or "insignificant"...perhaps you need to actually READ some facts - these come from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:

    •About 6,000 deaths and a half a million injuries are caused by distracted drivers every year.
    • While teenagers are texting, they spend about 10 percent of the time outside the driving lane they’re supposed to be in.
    •Talking on a cell phone while driving can make any driver’s reaction time as slow as that of a 70-year-old.
    •Answering a text takes away your attention for about five seconds. That is enough time to travel the length of a football field.
    •In 2009, 5,474 people were killed in the U.S. because of accidents that involved distracted driving. Another 448,000 were injured.
    • In 2010, of the 5,474 killed because of distracted driving, 995 involved reports of a cell phone as a factor. However, the number of fatalities caused by cell phone use could be much higher. For those who were injured, 24,000 involved reports of cell phone use as a distraction.
    •In 2009, 867 fatal crashes were reported to have involved cell phones as a means for driver distraction (18% of all fatal distracted-driving crashes).

    The official stats for 2011 are not yet released...but all the cell-phone related numbers are expected to be higher according to the NHTSA.
     
  9. May 4, 2012 #229 of 384
    fluffybear

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    What was the last number the NSC reported, 1 in 4? that's nothing!

    here are some of my own facts:

    5 years ago, I was rear-ended at a stop light by a woman who was using a cell phone while trying to make a lane change.
    3 years ago, Mrs. Fluffybear was side-swiped by a vehicle because the driver was busy texting.
    That same year, Mrs. Fluffybear's car was parked at a Rite-Aid and a woman backed into her car while on a phone.
    6 months ago, a co-worker of Mrs. Fluffybear's hit the front end of her car in a parking lot while calling her supervisor to tell them they just missed the shuttle.
    Just after New Years, my neighbor while picking up her kids (in a golf cart) at the school rear ended another golf cart while using her iPhone.
    This past weekend, a woman nearly side-swiped my car at a 4-way stop while she was on the cell phone.

    By no means am I saying that any of these accidents could have been avoided had the driver not been using hand held phone but I do have to wonder if things would have been different had the person had both hands on the wheel or did not have the head tilted & possibly reducing vision on one side.

    Let me add that I have no issue with something that effects you ad you only. Don't want to drive with seat belt, fine by me. Want to stick a needle a in your arm or something up your nose, go ahead! It's your life but when your actions take the life of an innocent party, I have an issue. All those incidents I mentioned occurred not because someone was eating a cheeseburger or putting on make-up or changing the radio station but because someone was using a hand held phone. In the end, I like many others have to pay for it through higher insurance rates, etc
     
  10. May 4, 2012 #230 of 384
    djlong

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    According to what I read, there are still 11,000+ drunk driving fatalities in the US every year.

    Given that this implies a 10:1 ratio of Alcohol:CellPhone deaths and the fact that there is a LOT more cell-phone driving than drunk driving it shows where the media attention is these days.
     
  11. May 4, 2012 #231 of 384
    bobukcat

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    I read the quoted facts, when I read one that shows any improvement in accident rates or fatality rates that can be attributed to a cell-phone ban I will consider changing my position.
     
  12. May 4, 2012 #232 of 384
    fluffybear

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    Will this one do?

     
  13. May 4, 2012 #233 of 384
    BattleScott

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    Ok - good someone is finally engaging in actual stats now instead of simple annecedotal stories:

    here we go:

    •About 6,000 deaths and a half a million injuries are caused by distracted drivers every year.
    - And cell-phone use, while reportedly the most widely identified distraction (by a large margin) is not even in the top causes identifed in those crashes. Eating is the #1 cause (yet no screaming from the political roof-tops for bans on drive-thrus or even simply "eating while driving".

    • While teenagers are texting, they spend about 10 percent of the time outside the driving lane they’re supposed to be in.
    - while definitely a great emotional reference, who doesn't like a great teen-texting tradgedy, the behavior is already covered under existing stautes and is statistically irrelevant when talking about cell-phone use while driving.

    •Talking on a cell phone while driving can make any driver’s reaction time as slow as that of a 70-year-old.
    - and yet, 70 year olds are still driving out there (and having low accident rates too!). But don't let a good sound-byte pass you by..

    •Answering a text takes away your attention for about five seconds. That is enough time to travel the length of a football field.
    - another good sound byte, but irrellevant to the argument.

    •In 2009, 5,474 people were killed in the U.S. because of accidents that involved distracted driving. Another 448,000 were injured.
    - again, lumping cell-phones (statistical minority) and ALL distracted driving together, yet singling-out cell-phone bans as the answer

    • In 2010, of the 5,474 killed because of distracted driving, 995 involved reports of a cell phone as a factor. However, the number of fatalities caused by cell phone use could be much higher. For those who were injured, 24,000 involved reports of cell phone use as a distraction.
    - again, focus on the cell-phones instead of the leading causes of the other 4,479 (82%) of deaths and 421,000 injuries (95%).

    •In 2009, 867 fatal crashes were reported to have involved cell phones as a means for driver distraction (18% of all fatal distracted-driving crashes).
    -statistically the same as 2010 (even though bans had already been enacted over that time...)

    Read what I wrote, or not, it simply doens't matter because the only stat that matters is "are accidents being reduced as a result of the bans"? The answer is "NO".
     
  14. May 4, 2012 #234 of 384
    Chris Blount

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    I had almost the exact type of post ready to go but deleted it. No matter how much the "facts" are disputed, people will believe them as written in stone. The part about 70 year old sounds too made up to be considered fact.

    Also, as you mention, lumping the statistics give the appearance that all distracted driving accidents are caused by cell phones. A tricky play on words that are usually delivered for people not paying attention.
     
  15. May 4, 2012 #235 of 384
    fluffybear

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    just discovered this minimyth segment from Mythbusters which 'confirmed' talking on a cell phone while driving was just as bad as driving drunk.
     
  16. May 4, 2012 #236 of 384
    Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Since the point keeps being missed... let me try again.

    Talking on a cellphone while driving is distracting... and when distracted you might have an accident.

    I don't think ANYONE has disputed the above statement.

    BUT

    Banning cellphone use is an arbitrary thing to ban with regards to distractions for drivers.

    Also... IF you ban cellphones, then IF people adhere to that ban, than accidents probably will go down because the accidents that would have been caused by those cellphone users might not happen. This is just common sense.

    I would similarly expect accidents to go down if you banned radios or passengers or driving late night (when people might be sleepy) or any number of other possible distractions.

    Heck.. banning driving entirely would result in 100% less accidents! :)

    So... the point... is why only ban cellphone use? If you aren't going to ban all distractions, then there's no rationale to ban cellphones. Also, we don't want to go down that path.. and since you can't ban stupidity, some people will find a way to be distracted.

    Think of a baby... babies like to put things in their mouths. You have to either watch your baby 100% of the time OR remove all objects other than the baby from the room at all times... if you miss something, the baby will find it and try to bite on it.
     
  17. May 4, 2012 #237 of 384
    bobukcat

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    Very interesting. I don't have the time to try to track it down right now but I'd like to see the data and full analysis behind that because a couple of things in the statements jumped out at me:

    Makes me wonder how much of the 22 percent decline in overall traffic deaths the number of hand-held deaths made up.

    While this one:

    Makes me wonder if they are suggesting that the ban on hand-held use somehow also created a decline in accidents and deaths due to hands-free usage. It also makes me wonder what percentage can be attributed to other factors, such as public awareness campaigns on the dangers of distracted driving.

     
  18. May 4, 2012 #238 of 384
    fluffybear

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    Here is what I was able to locate, from the Huffington Post:

    Personally, I see just one death as being a significant improvement but 47 only drives the point home.
     
  19. May 4, 2012 #239 of 384
    bobukcat

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    I don't mean to minimilize the loss of human life but both of those (100 and 53) are REALLY low numbers for the entire state of California over a two year period. I'd bet more people are killed or injured by retreads flying off trucks and then sitting in the middle of the road for everyone to dodge or hit and send flying into the vehicles behind you.

    I do like this quote from the article you linked (thanks for that BTW):

     
  20. May 4, 2012 #240 of 384
    Laxguy

    Laxguy Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.

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    Uh, not even confirmed.... even they say it might indicate. The sample was absurdly small, test conditions too contrived, etc. Crappy drivers even when sober and not 'distracted'! (probably)

    Now the Berkeley study has some real merit.
     

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