CMK10 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 513 posts, RR: 4 Reply 7, posted (10 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 805 times:
In the State of New York, it is ILLEGAL to talk on a cell phone while driving, yet on my two minute drive to school, I have to use both hands and a foot to count the number of law breakers. Now to nip the clever retort in the bud, yes I am retarded and yes I have to use my fingers and toes to count.
"Traveling light is the only way to fly" - Eric Clapton
Illini_152 From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 1000 posts, RR: 2 Reply 11, posted (10 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 777 times:
It's not the cell phones; they are just the latest whipping boy for our popular culture. It is, plain and simple, inattentive drivers. People have been doing this for years; how many times have you been in rush hour traffic and looked over and seen some bimbo in a Lexus using her rearview mirror to put on her makeup while whizzing by at 80 mph, or some idiot trying to shave?
What we need aren't anti-cellphone laws; those are just the current popular bandwagon politicians are using to make it look like they're doing something. I've been using a cellphone in a car since I started driving, and have never had a problem. It's called judgement and proper division of attention. Too many people don't know when to drop the phone and drive, or divert their attentional resources from the road to their conversation.
How is talking on a cellphone differant from trying to eat a Big Mac or grab a CD out of the back seat, or quiet screaching children? I don't know; maybe since I'm young and have always been exposed to cellphones and cars it's easier, I don't have to adapt. Or maybe it has something to do with my flight experience, strict training on division of attention and operating vehicals; when to talk versus when to fly (drive).
Personally, I wouldn't mind stricter liscensing for drivers in this country. Make the road test more than back out, drive around the block, and park back in the spot, there you go son, now you can drive anything under 20,000 lbs. Restricted liscensing maybe; we have it allready; you need a special liscense for a motorcycle, or a 5th wheel trailer, or a large truck. Why not make it:
Sports cars (>300 hp & 2 seats or fewer)
Light trucks (mini sport-utes, minivans, Rangers, S-10's ect)
Medium-duty trucks (Most pickup trucks and SUV's)
Heavy duty trucks (F-350's to whatever requires a CDL)
Extra ratings for towing trailers and using cellular phones too.
And, just plain better driver training; require people to spend an hour out on a skid pad to learn how the vehical behaves near it's traction limit and on slippery surfaces. I was lucky; I had access to a small airport when I was a teenager, and often times could go out blasting around the taxiways before I had to plow, learning how my car handled with hardly any traction, and what those limits were. Have people realize what happens when their SUV has a blowout at 75 mph (Car and Driver did a study with Ford Explorers when they were having that tread seperation problem. You know what happens in a blowout at speed in those things? Nothing- they keep going in a straight line, with a slight pull to one side. Aggressive braking coupled with frantic steering inputs, however, resulted in much differant, but STILL benign handling. You had to WORK at it to get one to flip)
Now that THAT long winded rant is done with...
Cell phones + inattentive drivers + poor judgement + bad luck = accident
and the ONLY one of those that will prevent the accident if it were removed is bad luck. The next biggest factor is the inattentive driver, followed by poor judgement, then would come a host of other things, and way down that list are cell phone. Just look at the statistics- there has not been a MAJOR rise in motor vehical accident rates in the past 2 years, when cell phone usage has skyrocketed. While cell phones have been a factor in more accidents; it may just as well be that there are MORE CELL PHONES out there, therefore more of them were in use at the time of the accident. If cell phones were CAUSING more accidents, we would see accident rates SKYROCKET in the past 5 years, when they have done anything but the sort:
In New York State (the first relevant hit I got from a google search, and probibly a good representative with major urban AND rural areas http://www.nydmv.state.ny.us/mvacc2000.htm ) the Fatal and Injury Accident rate in 1991 was 177.5/100 million vehical miles. In 1995 it was 165.6, and in 2000 was 151.2. This is a rise over the previous 2 years, in 1999 it reached a low of 145.6, however, note the FaI accident rate per 10,000 POPULATION continuted down in that year, from 101.2 in '99 to 100.2 in 2000.
Happy contrails - I support B747Skipper and Jetguy
Mandala499 From Indonesia, joined Aug 2001, 6211 posts, RR: 74 Reply 13, posted (10 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 764 times:
I agree in that it's mainly inattentive driver.
Now, here's my useless contribution...
Here's a way to dial and drive at the same time (but don't do it where it's illegal to do so...)... hold your cellphone and the hand you're dialling, on the top of the steering wheel. That way, your vision is forward looking. Look at the road, and only look at the cellphone when there's enough safety margin to the vehicle in front, and don't do it crossing/approaching junctions... This may take a long time to dial, but it's a lot better than a quick accident. If the call is urgent, just pull to the side ! It's much quicker that way, and safer too.
Effective division of attention is the key. Driving while talking on the phone is a different matter though... I just slow down when I talk on the phone. And doing it on a manual with constant gear changes require some thinking ahead in the driving...
Frankly, a lot of drivers are dangerous enough without doing anything else... So, I appreciate (though don't like) the anti cellphone while driving laws...
I was driving in Sydney one day, when a woman was talking on the cellphone on a junction, making a right turn, into my lane because she was talking and not realising that it was a dual carriageway. The police just happened to be in the car next door... and they were laughing while chasing her...
If you cant pay attention, don't drive... simple.
When losing situational awareness, pray Cumulus Granitus isn't nearby !