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MA Teen - 2 Years For Texting While Driving Death  
User currently onlinevikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 10032 posts, RR: 26
Posted (2 years 3 months 2 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 2365 times:
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http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/20...son-for-texting-while-driving?lite

I say good (note that I'm assuming that he was indeed texting/reading texts when the crash occurred)!

I see waaayyyyy too many people on their phones while driving; it's illegal here in CA too. I got rear-ended on the 405 a couple months ago in stop-and-go traffic, when I came to a stop and the driver behind me didn't. It wasn't a short stop at all, either! I think there's a good 75% chance she was texting, or something.


"Two and a Half Men" was filmed in front of a live ostrich.
24 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineTheCommodore From Australia, joined Dec 2007, 2874 posts, RR: 8
Reply 1, posted (2 years 3 months 2 weeks 2 days ago) and read 2331 times:

Quoting vikkyvik (Thread starter):
I see waaayyyyy too many people on their phones while driving; it's illegal here in CA too.

Yes, this seems to be a world wide problem.

It is against the law here too in Australia, but that doesn't seem to worry most people, they just carry on regardless.
If you do use, it must be hands free and definitely no texting or SMS ing, unless the car is at a complete stop.

I personally think phones should be banned in cars full stop, but that's unlikely. Anyway, the penalty should be much harsher than it currently is, perhaps loss of license for a 6 month period, even for a first offense.



Flown 905,468 kms or 2.356 times to the moon, 1296 hrs, Longest flight 10,524 kms
User currently offlinejoffie From Australia, joined Mar 2006, 811 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (2 years 3 months 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 2260 times:

Quoting TheCommodore (Reply 1):
I personally think phones should be banned in cars full stop, but that's unlikely. Anyway, the penalty should be much harsher than it currently is, perhaps loss of license for a 6 month period, even for a first offense.

Please tell me your joking. How can you ban a phone from being in a car? What if you come across an accident and need the emergency services? Under your plan, best for the person to die?

Texting drivers are a pain, but sadly not much can be done unless they are caught.


User currently offlinemoo From Falkland Islands, joined May 2007, 3948 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (2 years 3 months 2 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 2244 times:

Quoting joffie (Reply 2):

Well, it's possible to carry alcohol in a car with it being obvious that it could not be used - but have an open container and the ball games changes somewhat.


User currently offlineTheCommodore From Australia, joined Dec 2007, 2874 posts, RR: 8
Reply 4, posted (2 years 3 months 2 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 2242 times:

Quoting joffie (Reply 2):
Please tell me your joking.

Sorry, should nave been more specific.

Too be used whilst driving/car in motion and not stationary.



Flown 905,468 kms or 2.356 times to the moon, 1296 hrs, Longest flight 10,524 kms
User currently offlineBrouAviation From Netherlands, joined Jun 2009, 985 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (2 years 3 months 2 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 2177 times:

Quoting TheCommodore (Reply 4):

Too be used whilst driving/car in motion and not stationary.

I think it is BS. Where is the line? Am I allowed to eat an apple during driving? Or to eat a bigmac? Can you prohibit women doing their make-up in the car?

I drive regularly, especially in slow traffic, while accepting phone-calls and I fail to see how that is dangerous.

The problem is lack of concentration, or lack of the ability to split your attention. It has nothing to do with handsfree or not. The danger is the same when having a normal conversation with two people in the car. I have seen people driving like maniacs, just because they were engaged in a emotional conversation.

So, should you prohibit people from talking while driving? No, you can't. Should you prohibit eating an apple while driving? Of course not.

Then please tell me, why am I allowed to talk, and hold an apple, and I am not allowed to talk while holding my mobile phone? Is there any difference?

(texting of course, is a completely different matter. Eyes on the road, no matter what. Then again, how many people crashed into the car in front of them because they were studying their road maps?)



Never ask somebody if he's a pilot. If he is, he will let you know soon enough!
User currently onlinevikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 10032 posts, RR: 26
Reply 6, posted (2 years 3 months 2 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 2173 times:
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Quoting BrouAviation (Reply 5):
The problem is lack of concentration, or lack of the ability to split your attention. It has nothing to do with handsfree or not. The danger is the same when having a normal conversation with two people in the car.

That's what I thought at first too, but then someone pointed out that when you have a passenger in the car, he/she is aware of what's going on around you. So they'll stop talking if there's something you need to focus on.

Not to mention, I'd bet it takes more concentration to have a conversation over the phone, simply by virtue of the person's voice being less clear.

I completely believe that putting on makeup while driving can be dangerous, because I often see women looking in the mirror when driving to check their makeup application. That's the part that's probably the most distracting.

Regarding eating, well, you're not having a conversation with your apple or Big Mac. You know that if you need both hands, you just drop whatever you're holding.

Not sure I would vote for things like this being illegal (well, cell phones I would, and probably makeup). But if you cause an accident while doing so, I completely support you be held liable for such.



"Two and a Half Men" was filmed in front of a live ostrich.
User currently offlineBrouAviation From Netherlands, joined Jun 2009, 985 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (2 years 3 months 2 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 2162 times:

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 6):

That's what I thought at first too, but then someone pointed out that when you have a passenger in the car, he/she is aware of what's going on around you. So they'll stop talking if there's something you need to focus on.

True, but how is this solved by handsfree calling? Which is the solution in many countries where handheld calling while driving has been made illegal.



Never ask somebody if he's a pilot. If he is, he will let you know soon enough!
User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6661 posts, RR: 11
Reply 8, posted (2 years 3 months 2 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 2142 times:

Quoting moo (Reply 3):
Well, it's possible to carry alcohol in a car with it being obvious that it could not be used - but have an open container and the ball games changes somewhat.

Here (France) it doesn't change anything, either you're over limit or you're not.

Quoting BrouAviation (Reply 5):
I think it is BS. Where is the line? Am I allowed to eat an apple during driving? Or to eat a bigmac? Can you prohibit women doing their make-up in the car?

That's not explicitly illegal here, but people have been fined for each of these things (and others, like wearing a niqab or smoking) because you shouldn't drive while being impaired by something, something being up to the officers of the law.

Once I almost got hit by a woman reading a book in stop and go traffic !

Also, watching a movie/TV while driving is now explicitly illegal and hugely fined.



New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlineGBLKD From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2011, 345 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (2 years 3 months 2 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 2129 times:

Quoting BrouAviation (Reply 5):
Am I allowed to eat an apple during driving? Or to eat a bigmac?

In Britian it is, the police can do you for driving without due care and attention. If you're driving, drive. Don't eat or make telephone calls, end of!

I drive 44 tonne trucks for a living, I've lost count of the amount of grade A nimrods I've nearly collided with who were "only" eating/drinking/phoning/setting the sat nav/shaving etc etc etc. It's not just car drivers but other truck drivers I see doing this, I overtook some total tit in a Hungarian registered truck on the M6 last week who was watching television!

When driving I stow my phone in my trouser pocket out of reach, if it rings I stop in a layby or at a services and call back, while I'm there I eat my lunch and have a coffee and a smoke. When it's time to drive the truck (or my car) I focus my attention on driving the vehicle.

A motor vehicle is potentially a lethal weapon, unfortunately they're too comfortable, easy to drive, and safe these days so people think they're indestructable when they get behind the wheel. being able to use the telephone or eat your lunch while driving is not a skill to be proud of IMHO

** Awaits flaming **
 


User currently offlinefalstaff From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 6104 posts, RR: 28
Reply 10, posted (2 years 3 months 2 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 2119 times:
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Quoting GBLKD (Reply 9):
A motor vehicle is potentially a lethal weapon, unfortunately they're too comfortable, easy to drive, and safe

I know what you mean. I have an old pickup that has no power steering, no power brakes and is a manual transmission. The clutch has no hydraulic assist and the seat is uncomfortable. When driving that truck, which I do every day, it takes my full attention. When I drive my modern car I find myself not paying attention because it is too easy to drive.

Quoting joffie (Reply 2):
Please tell me your joking. How can you ban a phone from being in a car? What if you come across an accident and need the emergency services?

or break down and have to call a tow truck, which happened to me a couple of months ago.

Quoting Aesma (Reply 8):
Once I almost got hit by a woman reading a book in stop and go traffic !

I once was hit by a woman who got out of her car and left it in gear. I drove out into traffic and t-boned me.

There are other distractions too. 15 years ago I was working at a shop and a I saw a guy staring at our receptionist's butt (who was outside working in the shop's flower garden) and he crashed into the car in front of him.



My mug slaketh over on Falstaff N503
User currently offlineBrouAviation From Netherlands, joined Jun 2009, 985 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (2 years 3 months 2 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 2119 times:

Quoting GBLKD (Reply 9):

In Britian it is, the police can do you for driving without due care and attention. If you're driving, drive.

Well, we agree on that. What I fail to understand however, that somebody in government thought that calling handheld in ALL situations is dangerous and should be fined, while other things are up to the interpretation of the local policeman.

If I am in a traffic jam, no policeman will fine me for eating my hamburger. Doing it with 70mph, without hands on the wheel, is an entirely different story. I would suggest the same goes for calling.

I just don't understand why they see calling with a handheld as such a dangerous situation. It can be, but not in every case. Leave it up to the drivers responsibility and the police, just like we do with eating, doing make-up and reading your map. If you fail to drive decently, you get fined. No matter what you are doing: calling, eating, masturbating..



Never ask somebody if he's a pilot. If he is, he will let you know soon enough!
User currently offlinefr8mech From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 5453 posts, RR: 14
Reply 12, posted (2 years 3 months 2 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 2112 times:

First, texting while driving is stupid and should be banned, across the board. Though I have a good friend who is a B757/767 pilot who insists that it's perfectly safe...people just need to learn to do a proper scan.

As for phones...there are plenty of things that people do in a car that are as distracting, if not more distracting than talking on the phone.

But, as far as I'm concerned, dialing a phone is the same as texting. So, you should only be dialing when stopped (if the law allows that), otherwise, you will need to use some sort of voice control.

I used to eat in the car all the time (when I was young, stupid and indestructible), and I assure you, that can be a whole lot more distracting, at any speed, than carrying on a phone conversation.



When seconds count...the police are minutes away.
User currently offlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17508 posts, RR: 45
Reply 13, posted (2 years 3 months 2 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 2019 times:

I really feel sorry for this teen. Texting while driving is stupid, but so are many other distractions. I'm not quite sure what two years in jail is going to do for someone that had no intention to kill anyone. Making an example out of one guy isn't going to do anything. Everyone out there is going to applaud it and say, well I would never do something like that as they fumble with putting ketchup on fries behind the wheel...

Quoting BrouAviation (Reply 5):
Where is the line? Am I allowed to eat an apple during driving? Or to eat a bigmac? Can you prohibit women doing their make-up in the car?

Changing the radio, glancing at what's making that rattling sound, looking back at your baby--there are so many distractions that people don't even consider until it upends their or someone else's life. And of course eeeeeeeeeveryone knows better in spite of doing all these stupid little things all the time  Never mind that most of the people leaving the bar at closing time are probably tanked as they get in their car...

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 12):
Though I have a good friend who is a B757/767 pilot who insists that it's perfectly safe...people just need to learn to do a proper scan.

Sure, that's what everyone says until something bad happens.

Quoting BrouAviation (Reply 11):
Leave it up to the drivers responsibility

That's the problem--drivers aren't responsible.

Quoting GBLKD (Reply 9):
unfortunately they're too comfortable, easy to drive, and safe these days so people think they're indestructable when they get behind the wheel.

  



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlineAcheron From Spain, joined Sep 2005, 1656 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (2 years 3 months 2 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 2006 times:

Quoting BrouAviation (Reply 5):
I drive regularly, especially in slow traffic, while accepting phone-calls and I fail to see how that is dangerous.

The problem is lack of concentration, or lack of the ability to split your attention.
Quote:
Is having a cell phone pressed to your ear while behind the wheel the equivalent of driving while intoxicated? According to a study by University of Utah psychologists, the answer is, unfortunately, yes.
"Just like you put yourself and other people at risk when you drive drunk, you put yourself and others at risk when you use a cell phone and drive," writes David Strayer, a psychology professor and the study's lead author. "The level of impairment is very similar."
http://news.cnet.com/8301-10784_3-6090342-7.html

Of course, you wouldn't be the first guy who thinks they are awesome at driving while using a phone, just like there are plenty of people out there that think they are awesome drivers even while drunk.

That is, until they crash into someone and either get themselves or others killed.


User currently offlinefr8mech From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 5453 posts, RR: 14
Reply 15, posted (2 years 3 months 2 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 1985 times:

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 13):
Texting while driving is stupid, but so are many other distractions. I'm not quite sure what two years in jail is going to do for someone that had no intention to kill anyone.

But, the kid made a mistake and has to held responsible. We can't just say 'oh well, you didn't mean to kill anyone, off you go'.

I really don't see this as any different from someone that gets into a car drunk. He made a choice to be unsafe. He has to pay for that choice.

Back in 1999, I worked a wreck where a twenty-something ran into the back of a small pick-up, pushed it over the side of the interstate onto railroad tracks. Two older folks were killed.

That girl made a mistake when she got behind the wheel of the car after having a few drinks. She spent less than 90 days in prison. And, that is wrong.

Sure, this kid's life is ruined, but he set himself on that road...

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 13):
Sure, that's what everyone says until something bad happens.

That's what I tell him, but, you know pilots.

[Edited 2012-06-07 11:55:02]


When seconds count...the police are minutes away.
User currently offlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17508 posts, RR: 45
Reply 16, posted (2 years 3 months 2 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 1964 times:

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 15):
But, the kid made a mistake and has to held responsible. We can't just say 'oh well, you didn't mean to kill anyone, off you go'.

I understand. I've been pretty close to both sides of the equation, and it's horrible for everyone involved. In fact I'm not sure it's better to be the guilty one alive.

Quoting Acheron (Reply 14):
Of course, you wouldn't be the first guy who thinks they are awesome at driving while using a phone, just like there are plenty of people out there that think they are awesome drivers even while drunk.

   And then there's driving whilst tired, which is also like driving intoxicated. And how many businesmen/woman a day do you think are driving on not enough sleep, while texting/talking on their cell/blackberry? I really think there's a culture of irresponsibility when it comes to driving, but of course we're all so quick to string up anyone that actually gets caught.

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 15):
She spent less than 90 days in prison. And, that is wrong.

Did she have any priors? I'm just not sure what putting someone, with a clean record, in prison does, when the crime was a terrible lapse in judgement that happens a million times a day...teach them a lesson? Get revenge? Right a wrong? Make the victim's family feel better?



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlinefr8mech From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 5453 posts, RR: 14
Reply 17, posted (2 years 3 months 2 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 1942 times:

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 16):
teach them a lesson? Get revenge? Right a wrong? Make the victim's family feel better?


It's a little of all of those and more. There has to be punishment for willfully performing an act that resulted in an inadvertent death. 90 days probably isn't enough, maybe 2 years is too much. Bottom line, in my opinion, the kid does need to go to prison.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 16):
terrible lapse in judgement that happens a million times a day


That terrible lapse that happens a million times a day doesn't always result in a death or injury, but when it does, it must be punished.

Look, I'm not a perfect driver. Have I fired off a text while cruising along at 70mph? Yup. Have I gotten behind the wheel when I was just on either side of the 'limit'? Probably. Thankfully, I caused no accidents and have pretty much curbed my behaviour, especially when the kids are in the car (not because their lives are any more precious to me than anything else, but, because they learn from me). but, if I cause an accident, I fully expect The State to hold me accountable...at some level well above 'slap on the wrist: go sin no more'.



When seconds count...the police are minutes away.
User currently offlinestarbuk7 From United States of America, joined Apr 2008, 599 posts, RR: 5
Reply 18, posted (2 years 3 months 2 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 1924 times:

Mythbusters did a test on this back in 2005, episode #33. Talking on the phone faired worse that driving drunk at 0.08%.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MythBus...son)#Cell_Phones_vs._Drunk_Driving

Cell Phones vs. Drunk Driving

Both Adam and Kari failed a general-purpose road safety test both while talking on a cell phone and while driving after drinking alcoholic beverages (though with a blood-alcohol content just below 0.08% and not legally drunk). Cell phone driving failed by a wider margin. Adam commented that one can put away a cell phone if necessary, but not simply become sober as needed.


User currently offlineBrouAviation From Netherlands, joined Jun 2009, 985 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (2 years 3 months 2 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 1924 times:

Quoting Acheron (Reply 14):

Of course, you wouldn't be the first guy who thinks they are awesome at driving while using a phone, just like there are plenty of people out there that think they are awesome drivers even while drunk.

That is not what I am saying. And your reply lacks respect, and I don't understand how you even dare to put me on the same level with drunk drivers. You clearly don't read what I am saying.

No, I shouldn't drive a bizzy multiple-lane highway while handling an importand mindconsuming call. But I can handle a call with a friend of mine while stuck in a traffic jam perfectly, especially when driving an automatic.

So what I am saying is that there are many situations where calling handheld is not threatening safety at all, for you and for me. Just like when eating a hamburger you can't handle with one hand. If you can't think of any situation in which you couldn't handle a call while in control of a car, you should not be allowed to have a license.

What I don't understand, is that the government is so strict when it comes to calling, when it in fact is just an other potential threat to your concentration and focus.



Never ask somebody if he's a pilot. If he is, he will let you know soon enough!
User currently onlinevikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 10032 posts, RR: 26
Reply 20, posted (2 years 3 months 2 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 1890 times:
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Quoting BrouAviation (Reply 7):
True, but how is this solved by handsfree calling? Which is the solution in many countries where handheld calling while driving has been made illegal.

I wasn't saying it is solved by hands-free calling.

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 15):

But, the kid made a mistake and has to held responsible. We can't just say 'oh well, you didn't mean to kill anyone, off you go'.

  

I really don't see this as any different from someone that gets into a car drunk. He made a choice to be unsafe. He has to pay for that choice.

  

Quoting starbuk7 (Reply 18):
Talking on the phone faired worse that driving drunk at 0.08%.
Quoting starbuk7 (Reply 18):
(though with a blood-alcohol content just below 0.08% and not legally drunk)

Well, that's not surprising. For many people, 0.08% barely feels like anything, and probably has very little effect.



"Two and a Half Men" was filmed in front of a live ostrich.
User currently offlineTheCommodore From Australia, joined Dec 2007, 2874 posts, RR: 8
Reply 21, posted (2 years 3 months 2 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 1844 times:

Quoting BrouAviation (Reply 5):
I think it is BS. Where is the line? Am I allowed to eat an apple during driving? Or to eat a bigmac? Can you prohibit women doing their make-up in the car?

Lets compare apples with apples shall we.

How hard do you have to concentrate when you eat an apple ?

A big Mac is also somewhat different, as you have to concentrate whilst eating it, that the entire filling dose not end up on your lap or down the front of your shirt.

Talking on the phone is a distraction which ever way you look at it, and there have been numerous studies that show that.
Im not going to list the endless study results listed on the net, as we be here all day .
Quoting BrouAviation (Reply 19):
So what I am saying is that there are many situations where calling handheld is not threatening safety at all, for you and for me.

Well, when I was taught to drive, I was told to have 2 hands on the wheel, not one.



Flown 905,468 kms or 2.356 times to the moon, 1296 hrs, Longest flight 10,524 kms
User currently offlinestealthz From Australia, joined Feb 2005, 5696 posts, RR: 44
Reply 22, posted (2 years 3 months 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 1824 times:
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Quoting GBLKD (Reply 9):
** Awaits flaming **

Not from Me!

the question often comes up, how is using a phone even a hands free one any different to using a two way radio, a CB or tuning the car radio or changing a CD etc

The answer is lots! Whilst all those are distractions, they tend to be much shorter and many times as in the case of two-way and CB often task related and indeed related to the main task at hand i.e driving.

Phone conversations tend to be much longer, interactive and about things unrelated to operation of the vehicle.

Serious personal or business discussions require a lot of concentration and take a considerable time, detracting greatly from the focus you can place on the serious task of driving.

An example,
Many years ago I would regularly drive from Sydney to Canberra for business, roughly 300km each way. I had a hands free phone(in 1990, how many of you can say that!?) but a car without cruise control. Whilst I would rarely initiate a call I often received business calls and would regularly find that subconciously I would gradually slow from 110+Km/h to 80-90Km/h** as my focus moved to the business call.
A year or two later I upgraded to a car with Cruise control, When I received one of those calls my mind would again subconciously "slow down" to what it considered a safe speed**... guess what the car did... nothing... it kept on going at the preset speed, so suddenly you find your 80K mind travelling at 110+ and way, way behind the situation.

** This in itself has an inherent danger as the safest speed most of the time on a major highway is the set speed limit or something like the speed of the majority of traffic.



If your camera sends text messages, that could explain why your photos are rubbish!
User currently offlineAcheron From Spain, joined Sep 2005, 1656 posts, RR: 2
Reply 23, posted (2 years 3 months 2 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 1786 times:

Quoting BrouAviation (Reply 19):
That is not what I am saying. And your reply lacks respect, and I don't understand how you even dare to put me on the same level with drunk drivers. You clearly don't read what I am saying.

Is it disrespectful how, exactly?.

I did read what you wrote but you crealy didn't read what I wrote. My point is that just because you perceive yourself to be able to use a cellphone and drive at the same time, doesn't make it any more true than when someone believes they can still drive while drunk.

As have been shown multiple times, driving while using a cellphone impairs you as much as alcohol.

Quoting BrouAviation (Reply 19):
So what I am saying is that there are many situations where calling handheld is not threatening safety at all, for you and for me. Just like when eating a hamburger you can't handle with one hand.

No, you shouldn't drive while eating either, specially if whatever you are eating can't be easily held.

Quote:
The reaction times of motorists who indulged in a snack while driving were up to 44 per cent slower than usual, researchers at the University of Leeds found.
When sipping a drink, responses were up to 22 per cent slower and drivers were 18 per cent more likely to experience poor lane control.
By comparison, studies undertaken by the Transport Research Laboratory found that motorists who used their phones to send text messages were 37.4 per cent slower to react while alcohol at the legal limit slowed reaction times by 12.5 per cent.
A hands-free mobile phone conversation slowed reaction times by 26.5 per cent.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/...re-dangerous-than-using-phone.html

Quoting BrouAviation (Reply 19):
If you can't think of any situation in which you couldn't handle a call while in control of a car, you should not be allowed to have a license.

I can think of a few, except I don't try to justify as safe as you seem to be implying. And I've made it clear to everybody I know, if I'm driving, chances are I won't pick up the phone if I can't find a place where to park the car and answer.


User currently offlinegeezer From United States of America, joined Aug 2010, 1479 posts, RR: 2
Reply 24, posted (2 years 3 months 2 weeks ago) and read 1681 times:

Quoting falstaff (Reply 10):
There are other distractions too. 15 years ago I was working at a shop and a I saw a guy staring at our receptionist's butt (who was outside working in the shop's flower garden) and he crashed into the car in front of him.

There are thousands of things that contribute to people having collisions while driving a vehicle; men staring at women's butts is just one of many things that have caused a lot of wrecks. In 1952, I had enlisted in the Navy, and right out of boot camp I was going to a metal working service school in Norfolk, Va. While I was going to the school, I had a '49 Ford; a guy I was going to school with had just bought a new Harley 74 motorcycle; his girl friend's mother didn't "allow" motorcycles, so he convinced me to lend him my Ford, and he taught me to ride the Harley; after a few weeks or so, I was cruising up Granby Blvd, (a 4 lane divided "boulevard" ); on the far left sidewalk, there was a girl walking towards me, who had a huge "chest"; I became very distracted, staring at her "chest"; during my "distraction", another sailor, driving a 1937 Buick coup, caught up with me (on my right side), and got maybe 50 feet or so in front of me, when all of a sudden he decided to make a "U" turn, turns into my lane, then stops, waiting for traffic so he can "finish" his highly illegal U turn; when I realized I had a car stopped directly in front of me, I was about 10 feet away; that's all I remember; no noise, no crash, nothing; when I "came to", 3 days had passed, and I was laying in a bed in Portsmouth Naval Hospital; (I might add, there were no motorcycle helmets being worn by anyone other than motorcycle cops, in 1952 ) as it turned out, quite a few people "eye witnessed" the "event'; I spoke with a few of them; they told me that when my Harley hit the car, the back end came up, and the Harley went clear over the car, and landed on it's rear wheel. The guy "riding while gawking". (me), left the bike head first, sailed airborne clear across the opposing two lanes of traffic, and landed face-first on the far sidewalk; (bare headed) Amazingly, I didn't sustain any broken bones, but I had problems with my back for the next 30 or so years, and needless to say, got pretty "skinned up".

Did this "object lesson" teach me to never gawk at female anatomy while driving ? Unfortunately, I can't really say that it did; people just do many stupid, senseless things, and some people learn very "hard"; I guess I did learn to do my "gawking" a little quicker, as I've not had another vehicle crash due to looking at something other than the road.
As for cell phones.................I use my cell phone so infrequently, I'm apt to need to pull over and park and get the manual out to see how to operate the thing; as far as what's being discussed relative to cell phones on this discussion, I need to point out a thing or two; there's a big difference between "using" a cell phone, to take an incoming call, or call someone to tell them where you are, etc, AND having long winded, half hour "conversations" as I see many people doing every day. That's my first point; My second point is........there is a HUGE difference between "individuals"; we have all known and seen people who can probably play chess, talk on a cell phone, and maybe even read a book at the same time; some people really can "cope" with many things at one time; the problem is, most people can't do that. Some people would be challenged trying to chew gum and walk at the same time; And the people who write our laws will all tell you, you have to write the law aimed at the dumbest person "out there"; you can't make "different laws for different people"; so if you happen to be a world class "multi tasker", that's great, but you STILL have to abide by the same laws as the idiots do.

The only reason that the "no cell phone while driving" laws make any sense, is because of the afore-mentioned idiots, (who need to be sitting down just to chew gum) Can some people drive quite safely at say, 65 mph, on s nice straight road ? Of course they can, but the laws must be written to take into account the people who can't drive safely at ANY speed. My own personal opinion is, almost ANYONE can get a driver's license to begin with; you aren't required to prove very much; and often times, the person giving the driving "test" may even be one of those "need to sit down to chew gum types". I have been thinking about this problem for years and years now; and there really IS a "better way", but unfortunately, we will never see it happen; here's my "better idea"; I think the states who hand out drivers licenses should make the requirements more like the FAA does, to get a pilots license; I think anyone getting a drivers license should be required to demonstrate knowledge of the "rules", ability to safely operate the vehicle, a very through "back ground" check, and to demonstrate a willingness to follow and abide by the rules, before ever being granted a drivers license; it's just too easy, to "overly simplified" and too "taken for granted". If you're a lousy driver, you should be very thankful that I didn't become a traffic court judge, because if I had, a lot of people would be walking instead of driving !

Charley



Stupidity: Doing the same thing over and over and over again and expecting a different result; Albert Einstein
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