Simultaneously i-pad watching and i-phone texting while driving


#1

I am hoping that someone can provide advice on what to do when encountering a driver who is WATCHING a movie while driving. Last weekend, my partner and I were driving from Washington, DC to Philadelphia, PA. We were on I-495, just outside of Washington. It was approximately 6:00 am, and traffic was very light. In the lane next to us, the driver had propped his I-Pad on the steering column and was watching a movie! This driver was also texting on his phone and had a GPS device mounted on his dashboard! We were pacing this driver from Washington to Baltimore, so we could alternately see him turn his gaze from his movie, to his i-phone, to his GPS, and back again. At one point, he had his arms resting on the top of the steering wheel, while he used both hands to text a message. At another point, he had his i-phone in one hand, while he fiddled with the GPS with his other hand. I was flabbergasted and infuriated! Like many folks who post in this discussion group, I must say that “I thought I had seen it all.” Does anyone – Car Talk staff included – have any suggestions on what to do in a situation like this? I was tempted to have my partner call the police (I was driving), but thought the police would just shrug it off. Advice appreciated. Thanks.


#2

Call the police if you wish, but my advice is to get as far away from a driver like as you can. Pass them and keep them behind you, or take a break so they are a ways in front of you. A driver like this is a danger to everyone around them, so try and not be around them.


#3

I guess it depends on where you live. I called the police about obviously drunk driver…and basically I was told if they had a cruiser in the area they’d take a look. So I gave up.


#4

Take a picture of the driver and car (including license plate) and send it into the Twitter-sphere. Maybe the idiot’s boss/girlfriend will see it and they’ll have a `discussion’.


#5

how can you take a picture while you’re driving without looking like a hypocrite, or crashing yourself?


#6

My personal opinion is that at the current time there are too many blood sucking attorneys and far too many lawsuits being filed over everything in the world.

However, my attitude is starting to change a bit regarding the area of motor vehicles and visual distractions. Cell phone conversation, texting, GPS units, and a host of other screen options are becoming such a problem I think a rash of major lawsuits may help (or not) whittle this problem down some.

I think Benz is showing commercials lately about their Mbrace feature or something like that with a guy behind the wheel checking the stock market and so on; and Benz is not alone.
The last thing needed is someone checking sports scores while in heavy traffic and endangering everyone around them.

A few months ago on a lightly traveled divided 4 lane I was passing a gentleman in a late model pickup who had a dash mounted GPS unit that he was playing with. As I passed him on the inside lane he was distracted enough that he wandered over the stripe and almost clipped me. He cringed and I could see him mouth “I’m sorry” but that may not mean much if someone is DOA.

The electronic gee-whiz aids sales but not safety on the open road and in all honesty, I hope that at some point lawsuits do start piling up.


#7
However, my attitude is starting to change a bit regarding the area of motor vehicles and visual distractions. Cell phone conversation, texting, GPS units, and a host of other screen options are becoming such a problem I think a rash of major lawsuits may help (or not) whittle this problem down some.

It’s become epidemic here in NH and MA.

Every day I have to honk my horn at someone in front of me at a red-light because they are TEXTING and didn’t notice the light turn green.

Every day I see at least 10 people texting or on their cell and their concentration has slipped so much they are weaving and slowing down and NOT paying attention to what they should be doing.

I know at least 2 people who were involved in accidents due to texting. One was a friends son…he was texting and hit a parked car. Another was my next door neighbor who was hit while waiting at a traffic light.

When I’m driving…my cell phone is OFF.


#8

I almost got hit head on just a few days ago after leaving my house. This was on a lightly traveled 2 lane county highway and I usually try to keep an eye on oncoming traffic because of things like this.

A lady in a Trailblazer started crossing the centerline on me and I had to swerve towards the shoulder to avoid hitting her. She quickly corrected and I noted as she went by that she had both hands on top of the steering wheel and was STILL texting someone.
Apparently the conversation she was having with someone removed all thought of dying in a head on collision.

Last year and not too far from where I live, an older lady ran her almost new Toyota off into someone’s yard and smashed the front end up along with doing some serious damage to a tree. I had driven by just minutes after this happened and the local paper stated that she “was distracted by a cell phone”.
The school just a few blocks away was about 30 minutes from letting out and luckily her inattention did not occur at that time and place or it would have been far worse.


#9

I was heading south on I-75 early one morning some years ago to my Aunt Gertrude’s funeral. Somewhere south of a fairly large city on the way I noticed a Ford Explorer (the rollover kind) drifting in and out of its lane as I was approaching it at a higher rate of speed. I managed to get around her, but as I went by I noticed she had a laptop propped up on the center armrest, with a spreadsheet pulled up, and either entering or calculating data. I completed the trip in a little over three hours and just made it to the funeral (my aunt’s, not that driver’s) in time.

Then there’s the story of a woman and her new motor home. She was hungry going down the highway, so she put the thing in cruise control and walked back to the kitchen area to fix a snack. I don’t remember how many times the thing rolled over after leaving the highway, but her interpretation of cruise control as autopilot cost her considerable time in the hospital and nearly her life.


#10

I make sure I’m ahead of a clown like that - not behind.


#11

The annoying bit about texters is that they don’t keep a consistent speed. I don’t like to speed, so I generally slow down and get a quarter mile or better between them and myself. That way, if something does happen, I’m not going to be involved. It amazes me how little people care how dangerous that is. I think the punishments for texting and driving should be much stiffer than they are, like $500 or higher fine for first offense, 6 month suspension of license for second offense, and 2 year suspension for third offense. Even that is less than what I think really should happen. It’s been shown by multiple tests to be as bad as or worse than drunk driving, and people don’t take it seriously enough.


#12

"Then there’s the story of a woman and her new motor home. She was hungry going down the highway, so she put the thing in cruise control and walked back to the kitchen area to fix a snack. I don’t remember how many times the thing rolled over after leaving the highway, but her interpretation of cruise control as autopilot cost her considerable time in the hospital and nearly her life. "

Hmmm…one more gullible person who apparently believes the urban legends that are propagated via spam e-mails nowadays. No, it never happened–except in someone’s fevered imagination.

Take a look at:


#13

@Remco I make sure I’m ahead of a clown like that - not behind

Annoying as it is behind that person holding up traffic, I’d prefer to be behind them versus ahead of them where I will not see them coming if they plow into me…


#14

The problem with being behind them is having to appear in court as a witness to the accident.


#15

@vdcdriver I watched a documentary which appears every year called: “The Darwin Awards”. These are people who lose their lives or are otherwise taken out of the gene pool through conpletely insane acts. The woman who went to the back of her motorhome to make a sandwich apparently had flown in a private jet and the pilot had demonstrated the autpilot. The person who rented her the motor home explained the cruise conrol as an “auto pilot”.


#16

Doc–I suggest that you contact the folks at the snopes website in order to provide them with your evidence that they are wrong.


#17

I’m still struggling with the idea you would watch movies on an Ipad in a car.


#18

Last year I actually saw two guys smoking crack (looked like a crack pipe and they had a lighter under it) while driving down the highway. I dropped back, got the plate number, and called 911. I then pulled ahead and drove away as they were driving more slowly than the rest of the cars on the highway and eventually lost sight of them. Rocketman


#19
The woman who went to the back of her motorhome to make a sandwich apparently had flown in a private jet and the pilot had demonstrated the autpilot. The person who rented her the motor home explained the cruise conrol as an "auto pilot".

I heard that story some 30 years ago. It wasn’t true then…and not true now.


#20

^
I tried pointing this out to the person who made that claim, but, since he saw it on the “Darwin Awards” TV program, he was positive that it had to be accurate.

…because everything portrayed on TV is true…
;-))