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Distracted driving will not change

As I see it, people will continue to drive while texting, talking on the phone, playing with the GPS or a fiddling with a radio you need an engineering degree just to turn on, regardless of the laws. The punishment is not harsh enough and there is no good way to enforce it. Here in NY state a “no cell phone” law has been on the books for a few years now. Every day I see many drivers with a phone in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other. It is very sad. I think most people feel it doesn’t apply to them, or that they are good enough drivers they do not need to obey the law. This all happens while driving 70mph on a crowded highway or 30mph in a congested city with many crosswalks! Until people realize how dangerous this type of driving is, or until it is physically impossible to do any of the above with the car still in motion, people are going to die or kill others because something was so “important” they could not pull over for a minute! I hope I am never on the receiving end of peoples selfishness or stupidity. Peoples attitudes, not just laws, need to change.

replace the airbag with a giant spike that sticks one inch away from the driver’s chest or face

And get rid of seatbelts, ABS, traction control, etc. Put people in touch with the idea that they are sitting in a chair flying through the air directly behind a piece of glass (and giant spike).

Correct me if I am wrong but remembering a car commercial, in 1908 there were two registered cars in ohio, and they had an accident, things have not changed all that much!

Probably b/c one of the drivers was writing a love note to his girlfriend while driving down the road.

Or just put the driver’s seat on the hood :smiley:

Oh sure, if you limit yourself to only one solution, you can afford to be cynical. Using legislation to make such foolishness illegal is only one idea. I think the problem should be approached from more than one angle.


Hey Waterboy, there were also only about 2 paved roads in OH in 1908 and only one lane was paved. I remember single lanes of pavement. It was understood that at the top of a hill the driver on the right had the right-of-way and the other one had to go off onto the gravel. Trouble was both drivers were on their right!

I think a major part of this is that folks are so insulated from the fact they are operating a machine that can kill them. Everything is automatic or computer controlled so there is almost no apparent need to pay attention, so people don’t…

Odd, isn’t it. Once we develop enough experience to be safe drivers many of us become complacent and become deadly again.

On a rare occasion an accident happens that was unavoidable, like hitting a sinkhole or a road gator flying off a tractor trailer, but the overwhelming majority of them are simply because someone was not paying attention. Like the lady in the Mercedes I saw this morning who was trying to talk on the cellphone, write, and drive all at once. She had a vanity plate that suggested she was a realtor.

Actually, the “road gator” is preventable too. NHTSA knows they fly off. And they know they’re dangerous. But politics prevents them from banning the retreads.

People are off the hook if they use hands-free headsets, but I read that they actually don’t do a ton to reduce the likelihood of an accident, because the distraction is not the hand being off the wheel but mentally being focused on a conversation rather than driving.

the distraction is not the hand being off the wheel but mentally being focused on a conversation rather than driving
I've heard that argument before, and I don't think I agree. If I'm talking to someone on my phone, using a wireless headset, I'm more involved with driving than if that person was sitting in the car with me. If you're having a conversation with someone, the tendency is to look at them. If they're not present in the vehicle, you look around you more. I'm fully more awake if I'm talking to someone - especially if the conversation is important, or a subject you care about - than just listening to traffic.

I’ve heard that argument before, and I don’t think I agree. If I’m talking to someone on my phone, using a wireless headset, I’m more involved with driving than if that person was sitting in the car with me. If you’re having a conversation with someone, the tendency is to look at them”

It may NOT be true for you…but there have been studies on it…and it is true. The problem arises when the person on the other end is talking (maybe even saying very important to you) and a situation arises that needs your attention immediately (car stops suddenly in front of you)…Without the phone distraction you’re much more likely to avoid the accident.

“…I’m more involved with driving than if that person was sitting in the car with me.”

If the person sitting next to you is a good driver, they’ll tune their interaction with you to the other demands on your attention. Someone on the other end of a phone conversation hasn’t a clue and will keep blathering on, even when you’re making a left at a busy intersection.

“…the tendency is to look at them” sounds like a personal problem.

I agree that talking by itself is a big distraction.
I’ve had close calls and got my last speeding ticket (2 years ago) while having a lively conversation with a passenger in my car.

The only accident I’ve almost had (that I’m aware of) caused by cell phone use was when a lady ran a stop sign while holding a phone at her ear. The act of holding the telephone did not impair her ability to move her foot to the brake pedal. It was the distraction of the conversation that kept her from obeying the stop sign.

A few times, I’ve talked on the phone while driving before, even though I know I shouldn’t. I’m not sure why, but for me it’s somehow more distracting than talking to someone in the passenger seat or back seat.

I don’t know of a good solution. I support laws, even though I don’t think it’s a solution. Laws against murder don’t stop murder, but maybe they reduce it, and it gives us a way to keep people from murdering again (imprisonment). The laws may deter a few people, but the point is that the people determine that you shouldn’t drive while talking on a telephone. We also determine that you shouldn’t drive above a certain speed, and people do it anyway, usually without incident. The fact that people frequently drive too fast and don’t wreck doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have speed laws. We need a better solution than legislation, but I think we need legislation, too, to make the formal declaration of the problem.

"Distracted driving will not change"
As stated by others ; as long as people insist on forgeting about the machine they’re operating.

THAT will continue as long as those poeple continue to purchase it and operate it like furniture and appliances.
And THAT will continue as long as people SELL vehicles like furniture and appliances.

At NO time during the potential sale of car or truck does the subject of product operating knowledge ever come up,

  • NEVER -
    It’s just assumed.
    and the sales pitch continues based on; color, looks, prestige, seating feel, sound system, luggage capacity, accessories fit and function, warranty, fuel mileage, safety features, etc,etc,etc.
    NEVER does a salesperson even wonder the buyer’s ability to operate the machine.
    – ATVs most times.
    – Motorcycles, always ( that I’ve heard )
    – Backhoe and skid-steer bobcat…darn right.
    And these other vehicle types will offer, or refer you to, training courses to benefit your purchase.

but not cars and trucks.

And NOW the car companies are adding even more crap to take away from the motor vehicle function and only add to the living room feel that is the root problem.

My mom can be a distraction sometimes when I’m driving her around. She’ll make a comment about a house or business of to the side in the distance, or say “did you see that over there?”. Often times I’ve told her I’m looking at/paying attention to the road ahead, not the side or behind us.
She tells me it’s nice to get to look out the window and not have to worry about driving once in awhile.

And that would be why YOU’RE doing the driving ?

Yes, though there have been times I’ve been riding with her and paying attention to the road ahead seems to take the back burner when something interesting pops up. I’ve seen her remove both hands from the steering wheel to show me the approximate size of something she’s talking about, watched her look behind her while she’s a good 500 feet behind someone, seemingly weave around the lane and suddenly jerk the car back over(feels like she’s warming her tires up for a go at NASCAR), keep her speed up until what seems like the last possible second and hit the brakes, disregard issues with her car; saying she doesn’t care about the air bag service message on her dash that’s appeared the past several days, nor does she care that she might need brake work done soon, saying the car stops fine and she’s not gonna worry about it.
Yeah, her car is an appliance to her, nothing more. Also, she does this without talking on the phone; she doesn’t even HAVE a cell phone.

So yeah, I have NO problem driving anywhere her, my step dad and I may go. Plus, I’ve gotten used to sitting up high in my Cx-7 and she owns a Cobalt that requires me to fall into and climb out of, so there’s that issue as well.