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Driving with electronic device

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

  1. May 4, 2012 #241 of 384
    Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    But it is spurious logic at work.

    Consider... They banned cellphone usage and the number of cellphone related incidents dropped from 100 to 53.. Why didn't it drop to 0? I mean, if you stop stepping on nails then nail-in-foot-stepping injuries should go away entirely, right?

    So... obviously cellphone-related incidents would go down if cellphone usage went down. That's like saying drownings went down because less people went to the lake! :)

    They could just as well have banned smoking in cars and smoking-related accidents would have dropped too.

    This is a lot like my bear-patrol example.

    I am the president and chief enforcer of the local bear patrol... and there have been ZERO bear attacks in my neighborhood for nearly 30 years now! So... my bear patrol must be working, right?
     
  2. May 4, 2012 #242 of 384
    Chris Blount

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    That's a big thing with me. Any survey, news story or "factual" listing that uses words like "could" or "might" gets immediately thrown out the window. Words like that suggest speculation which has no place in stating facts.
     
  3. May 4, 2012 #243 of 384
    Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

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  4. May 4, 2012 #244 of 384
    Laxguy

    Laxguy Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.

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    Winters,...
    I didn't drop to zero because lots ignore the ban. And it wasn't incidents, it was deaths. Incidents dropped by several thousands.

    Since I banned stepping on nails in my household, there have been no reported incidents. Parts of my edict on that is that there be no protruding nails anywhere, no nails or wire left out, and de minimus walking about barefoot. And no nail guns nor throwing of nails!!

    Accident free since 1963!:nono2:
     
  5. May 4, 2012 #245 of 384
    BattleScott

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    It is certainly an entertaining read, but when you realy stop and examine the stats and the clever manipulation of the time periods, it becomes far less impressive. Accident rates in California and nationwide had already been declining over several years, so by including 2006 they were able to post more impressive drops over the 4 years. Additionally, from 2007 forward, the declines were on par with that of the previous several years in CA and accross the nation as a whole. So nothing really out of the ordinary happened in CA over that time.

    Estimates range anywhere from 25% to 50% of all accidents are due to "distracted driving". In 2009, based on the state reported 3076 fatalities, that would put the CA distracted driver death toll anywhere from 769 to 1538. With 53 being cell-phone related, that would be a 3-7% window. I would much rather target the other distractions that are causing the 95% of them.

    (hey look at that, there's that 95% figure again...)
     
  6. May 4, 2012 #246 of 384
    Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

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    I would be happier if they enforced the laws on the books now, rather than adding more laws that are next to impossible to enforce until AFTER an accident.
     
  7. May 4, 2012 #247 of 384
    Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Yeah... soon as I figure out how to clone myself, I'll get right on it :)

    Agreed 100%. Laws exist that would allow them to punish someone who caused an accident because of cellphone distraction without having to try and legislate cellphone use specifically.

    Incidentally... I noticed a lot of one-handed-because-they-were-smoking drivers today... People who lit the cigarette (usually a two-handed activity) while driving too... but unless they get into an accident, it's hard to justify banning it to me.

    There are probably more people causing accidents that aren't distracted (just are bad drivers) than specifically due to cellphone use... especially hands-free use.
     
  8. May 4, 2012 #248 of 384
    runner861

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    It is unlikely that any law will punish someone for causing an accident because of cell phone distraction. That is an accident that is ultimately based on negligence, which is not a standard usually employed for criminal intent. I am not aware of any law that simply punishes someone for causing an accident. It is exactly that--an accident. Accidents are not normally the basis of criminal prosecution. I doubt that cell phone use while driving rises to the level of criminal negligence.

    There are vehicular homicide statutes, but those only apply if someone is killed. There are laws against driving while intoxicated and causing an injury to someone with a concurrent traffic violation. There are laws against hit and run, but the crime is the running, not the hitting. And there are general statutes against reckless driving.

    However, someone causing an accident because of cell phone use is like saying someone caused an accident because of speeding. No criminal prosecution will result, other than a possible ticket for speeding. And proving someone caused an accident because of cell phone use would be virtually impossible. One can see all the disagreement about the statistics and other information shared about cell phone use and car accidents that has been bouncing around in this thread. People simply do not agree on whether cell phone use while driving is contributing to accidents.
     
  9. May 4, 2012 #249 of 384
    fluffybear

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    Peachtree...
    I am guessing that you did not watch the clip all the way through.

    Kari did say that their study proved driving while using a cell phone was potentially as dangerous as driving drunk. Adam rebutted her by saying that they failed the driving while on a cell phone by a considerably larger margin and that the myth was "absolutely confirmed"

    By no means am I saying that we should take this with anything more then a grain of slat as there is a number of times where I can find flaws (if not numerous flaws) in their experiments (including this one) but I just thought it was interesting clip which I had run across.
     
  10. May 4, 2012 #250 of 384
    fluffybear

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    Peachtree...
    People who are going to break the law are going to do it no matter what law is on the book. Did everyone give up alcohol all together during prohibition? Of course not. The fact there was a such a reduction as this of any kind says a lot.
     
  11. May 4, 2012 #251 of 384
    Davenlr

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  12. May 5, 2012 #252 of 384
    Laxguy

    Laxguy Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.

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    Winters,...
    My point was the myth was neither confirmed nor denied. It was the worst of their shows I've ever seen, insofar as scientific testing of anything went. I have liked a number of their shows, some of which show convincing demo's of something that is or something that isn't.
     
  13. May 5, 2012 #253 of 384
    hdtvfan0001

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

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    Cell boys cell boys...
    What ya gonna do...
    What ya gonna do
    when they come for you....
     
  14. May 5, 2012 #254 of 384
    James Long

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    In general, I like Mythbusters ... it is a DVR every show program for me. But too many "myths" seem to be an excuse to get drunk or blow something up.

    I'm not against blowing stuff up - although it is better when a myth is involved. The getting drunk for science thing is annoying and often those myths are skipped when I watch the show.

    As previously stated in this thread, so many of the experiments that prove the dangers of cellphones are contrived. One can STOP using a cellphone as the driving situation changes ... one cannot stop being DUI.


    Reading this thread has made me look at my driving more - and I realize that I'm doing all that drivers ed stuff from decades ago. I'm keeping my eyes on the road but I am also checking the mirrors - which takes my eyes off the road ahead. If I catch up to a slow driver or approach an intersection my driving changes ... watching the cars closer to me more than looking at stuff that isn't there. When I am following someone I give them room in case they do something unexpected. I also look ahead of their car to see what they may need to react to so I can be ready. A safe and reasonable speed is followed and when I'm in congested areas the alert level is on high watching as much as humanly possible.

    After decades of driving I know when it isn't safe to reach down for my beverage or glance at the radio. I know when it isn't safe to spend more time looking at empty mirrors than the car ahead. And I know when it isn't safe to answer the phone or look at a text message. It is a shame that isn't enough for the supporters of the nanny state who want to put bans on activities that can and have been safely performed for decades.

    I guess their personal choice to drive without a cell phone (unless they are hypocrites) isn't good enough and they have to force their choices on others. My choice doesn't stop them from driving without a phone.

    Absurd exaggerated demonstrations are not reality.
     
  15. May 5, 2012 #255 of 384
    hdtvfan0001

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

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    The fact that people actually don't "get it" despite statistical evidence of deaths and accidents each year, numerous hundreds of studies proving beyond a doubt that it is a risk, and various educational information on this topic....and then attempt to defend their choice to drive and be knowingly distracted...is the pinnacle if irresponsibility on their part. This is not to single out any specific poster, but a general statement.

    People can defend this until the cows come home, and yes - they will do what they want in a number of cases no matter what...right until they end up one of the causes or victims of the statistics. There is no law that prohibits the "right" to be stupid, at least not until it impacts someone else.

    People can carry a cell phone, and chose not to use it until the vehicle is not in a driving condition to be safe (parked on the side of the road for example).

    It's a shame some people have to learn important things the hard way. The majority of people just hope that these people keep the heck away from many others who want no part of their distraction activities.
     
  16. May 5, 2012 #256 of 384
    James Long

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

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    Not if the nannys get their way ... dictating that only "parked on the side of the road" is safe does not give a choice. It can be illegal and is often unsafe to pull over to the side of the road.


    I suppose you could always do this while driving:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lU-Uwl7AZ7o

    A family sing is not distracting at all. :)
     
  17. May 5, 2012 #257 of 384
    BattleScott

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    It is possible to denounce the act without condoning the ban, which is what you fail to be able to grasp. I always assumed that there was a certain level of distortion and exaggeration of the facts by those promoting the bans, I just did not realize how much.

    The simple truth about this matter is:
    • Distracted driving is the cause, or a plays a role, in a high percentage of traffic accidents and fatalities
    • Cell-phone use is the most widely reported “distraction”
    • Cell-phone use is NOT a major contributor in distracted driving incidents

    Since the leading distraction is not a leading cause of incidents, that means that it is generally not that high of a risk. So, I see no reason to support any effort to ban it across the board. The statistics from the areas that have already chosen to do so simply reinforce that.
     
  18. May 5, 2012 #258 of 384
    hdtvfan0001

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

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    That only holds true if people did what they are supposed to do most of the time, which obviously is not the case. The only thing some here fail to grasp is there is no excuse, viable reason, or common sense mentality behind using a cell phone while driving. It's simple to comprehend for many. :rolleyes:
     
  19. May 5, 2012 #259 of 384
    MysteryMan

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    DUI is a distraction. One of the reasons why DUI laws were passed. In some states offenders are issued DUI license plates with driving restrictions. Same should apply to those who use cell phones while driving.
     
  20. May 5, 2012 #260 of 384
    Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    So... it's worth asking again... why not ban radios and eating and makeup and shaving and vanity mirrors and talking with passengers too?

    All of those things are distracting and have caused accidents.

    We should all be strapped into the car Clockwork-Orange style so we can do nothing but focus on the road, right?
     

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