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 General Discussion
 Government could block cell phone usage in cars
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Razzoo
Male Senior Member
317 Posts


Phenix City, Al
USA

Triumph

Sprint & HD XLH1200S

Posted - 11/30/2010 :  2:46 PM                       Like
We discussed this some time ago, but I am surprised that they are actually considering it (given the number of people it will tick off)

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4041879...ce-wireless/

Edited to correct a typo

Edited by - Razzoo on 11/30/2010 2:58 PM

DataDan
Advanced Member
585 Posts
[Mentor]


Central Coast, CA
USA

Yamaha

FJR1300

Posted - 11/30/2010 :  6:27 PM
Sooner or later, someone is going to confront the thugs at US DOT with the indisputable fact that highway crashes are a diminishing problem. In spite of all the hand wringing over driver distractions, we (all US motorists) are crashing at lower rates every year. In 2008, 3.5 passenger vehicles (cars and light trucks) were involved in crashes per million vehicle-miles traveled, down from 4.0 in 2003 and 4.5 in 1998.

In spite of the intuitive arguments about the risk posed by distractions such as cell phones, driving is safer now than ever before. This is a fact that US DOT tries desperately to conceal. They've done a good job at making us safer and are working themselves out of a job. The solution to the obvious job-security problem this creates is to keep us thinking we're perpetually a hairsbreadth from gruesome death, and that the solution is ever more regulation.


You can calculate the rates for yourself from NHTSA's 2008 Traffic Safety Facts Annual Report (4MB PDF). From Table 3 get the crash counts (all severities) for cars and light trucks. Obtain vehicle-miles traveled from Tables 7 and 8.
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Razzoo
Male Senior Member
317 Posts


Phenix City, Al
USA

Triumph

Sprint & HD XLH1200S

Posted - 11/30/2010 :  8:10 PM
If I am reading this correctly (the graph on page 43), safety per mile ridden is improving, however on average, a rider today is not as safe as a rider in the mid 90's.
It also looks like I beat the odds back in the late 70's. A teenager on a beat up Honda, no rider training and very little gear :)

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DataDan
Advanced Member
585 Posts
[Mentor]


Central Coast, CA
USA

Yamaha

FJR1300

Posted - 11/30/2010 :  9:02 PM
quote:
Originally posted by Razzoo

If I am reading this correctly (the graph on page 43), safety per mile ridden is improving, however on average, a rider today is not as safe as a rider in the mid 90's.

Quite right. Cars and trucks are crashing less. Pedestrian and bicyclist injuries are down (see page 18). While motorcyclists have seen an increase in crash and fatality rates. Maybe blame directed at the 4-wheel population for our woes is misplaced.
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rkfire
Advanced Member
1716 Posts


Stratford, CT
USA

Suzuki

Bandit

Peer Review: Blocked

Posted - 11/30/2010 :  10:01 PM   Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
I can't help but feel as though our cars are seriously more safe to crash in than was the case at any other era. Crumple zones, airbags, sealbelt usage, etc do a fantastic job. Drunk driving is way down from years ago, when it was almost a given to drink and drive. Even barriers these days are safer to crash into, at least by cars. No more the case where you'll wander off the lane into a concrete bridge abutment etc.

But...the last numerous vehicles I have encountered, while I am in a car or bike, that have run stop signs, cut me off at the exit they were about to miss, merge into my lane, cross over the double yellow towards me, etc, have all been people with a cell phone in their ear.

Accident rates, and fatality rates may very well be down, but a lot of these folks might as well be wearing blindfolds while driving.
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scottrnelson
Advanced Member
6949 Posts
[Mentor]


Meridian, ID
USA

Honda

XR650L, 790 Adv R

Posted - 12/02/2010 :  3:09 PM
quote:
Originally posted by rkfire

I can't help but feel as though our cars are seriously more safe to crash in than was the case at any other era.
Here's proof:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3uOYKP-SYeE
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rkfire
Advanced Member
1716 Posts


Stratford, CT
USA

Suzuki

Bandit

Peer Review: Blocked

Posted - 12/02/2010 :  5:16 PM   Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
I've seen that video scott and truthfully I would have never thought that would be the outcome. My guess was, a much bigger hunk of real steel would demolish a midsize modern piece of plastic and aluminum.

Well, it was demolished, but the passenger compartment tells the tale.
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Night Train
Male Advanced Member
1668 Posts
[Mentor]


Sydney, Nova Scotia
Canada

Kawasaki

2006 VN900

Posted - 12/03/2010 :  12:38 AM   Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
Thanks Scott, you've managed to show me how wrong I've been in my thinking. I expected a totally opposite outcome. Education sometimes comes with a morsel of humble pie
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10.30
Junior Member
80 Posts


Basel, BS
Switzerland

Suzuki

GSX-R 600

Posted - 12/03/2010 :  5:35 AM
I'm confused. On many pages of this site, you can find testimonies, complaints, and warnings about drivers distracted by their mobile phones. Now, it seems that there is a solution proposed to this problem, but the responses here suggest that you think this is some kind of conspiracy or that drivers are safe enough as it is. That doesn't seem right at all.

It has long been on the scientific record that driving while using a mobile phone can be as dangerous as driving drunk.
http://www.ingentaconnect.com/conte...002/art00014

As far as public opinion is concerned, here is a link to a news lede reporting a survey in which nine out of ten of Americans supported a ban on the use of mobile phones while driving.http://www.autoblog.com/2010/09/24/...-be-illegal/

And finally, many countries all over the world already have bans on hand-held devices in place. It's funny to think that Ethiopia and Turkmenistan are more safety-minded in this respect than the US.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile...es_with_bans
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rayg50
Male Moderator
2083 Posts
[Mentor]


NYC, NY
USA

Honda

Shadow Spirit 750DC

Posted - 12/03/2010 :  6:12 AM
quote:


I'm confused.



I view it as 2 unrelated items.

IMO there are fewer accidents and I suspect more traffic controls as a contributor. In NY if an intersection is viewed as accident prone it may go from a 2 way stop to an "all way" stop where all corners have a stop sign. If it is an all way and still has a disproportionate number of accidents they replace the stop signs with traffic lights. The direction of some streets are changed from time to time to funnel traffic away rather than into an intersection. Traffic lights are staggered so you cannot build up speed before having to stop again. So there can be any number of contributions to the drop.

Separate from the attempted cures are the causes. IMO, there are more distractions that some drivers choose to take on. My opinion is, as has been noted on this site in the accident reports, that those distractions cause accidents. Whether it is texting, eating, grooming, or just plain painting your nails there are accidents that just do not need to have happened.

Yes there may be fewer accidents but imagine how much lower it could have been.

My .02
Ray
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gymnast
Moderator
4260 Posts
[Mentor]


Meridian, Idaho
USA

Harley-Davidson

Sportster Sport

Posted - 12/03/2010 :  9:00 AM
There are a huge difference, conceptually, between the number of injuries and fatalities per mile driven and the number of crashes per mile driven. With one exception, today's vehicles as compared to those of even 10 years ago, let alone 50, have been engineered to to provide increasingly improved crash packaging for their OCCUPANTS. The exception is the vehicle with no significant crash packaging protection, the MOTORCYCLE, which, in terms of mitigation to exposure to crash energy forces requires the protective packaging of the rider/passenger in order to best reduce and control crash energy consequences.

Any distraction to the guidance and control input and output phases of vehicle operation will increase the probability of crash occurrence. It would be a serious irrationality to believe otherwise considering the body of knowledge relating to the psychomotor skills and human performance of guidance and tracking tasks.

Distracting driving and cell phone use in particular are a significant risk factor in terms of operator performance and vehicle crashes.



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RickRussellTX
Male Standard Member
165 Posts


Hawthorne, CA
USA

Honda

CN250

Posted - 12/03/2010 :  1:29 PM Follow poster on Twitter
quote:
Originally posted by 10.30

I'm confused. On many pages of this site, you can find testimonies, complaints, and warnings about drivers distracted by their mobile phones.



Read the fine print:

quote:

When a cell phone or a vehicle exceeds a certain speed, determined by the car and transmitted via Bluetooth or by the speed of the cell phone itself as measured by cell phone towers, the phone is automatically disabled.



The technology they discuss either disables any phone in motion, or won't work at all. You're not required to accept Bluetooth connections from your car.

In other words, it's a ridiculous non-starter. I suspect Ray LaHood saw a short briefing on the technology from one of his underlings, and since he doesn't understand it, he's spouting nonsense.
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bkikkert
Male Advanced Member
847 Posts
[Mentor]


Cornwall, Ontario
Canada

Harley-Davidson

Ultra Classic '08

Posted - 12/03/2010 :  7:15 PM
If you remember the survey I did recently among motorcyclists, the biggest peeve was cell phone use. What is becoming even more dangerous is the increasing use of texting. We have a ban on hand held devices here in Ontario and yet I still see drivers texting. What scares me is parking lots where drivers are so focused on their phones that they fail to see pedestrians or other vehicles backing out of parking spaces. In my opinion anything that would disable phones while the vehicle is in motion would be welcome.
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staticattic
Male Senior Member
410 Posts


Tampa, FL
USA

Honda

Shadow Spirit 750

Posted - 12/10/2010 :  4:27 PM
What about CB radios? Would they be considered "hand held devices" as well? When I was a kid, I remember riding with my great uncle who was a CB and HAM radio fanatic. When we got in the car with him, we knew not to talk because he was talking on his radio. Sometimes he would swerve all over the road, just because he was engrossed in a conversation or he was finger diddling with buttons. I realize CB's and HAM radios are not "cool" anymore like they were in the 70's, but they are out there nonetheless. Has there been any talk of banning CB use as well? I am sure the trucker community would be quite upset about that. Not to mention the cops driving around punching buttons on their dashboard mounted laptops. To me, that's just as dangerous.
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bkikkert
Male Advanced Member
847 Posts
[Mentor]


Cornwall, Ontario
Canada

Harley-Davidson

Ultra Classic '08

Posted - 12/10/2010 :  4:40 PM
As far as I know, the Ontario law exempted truckers with CBs. However, the law here applies to any hand held devices including CB radios, GPSs or any other electronic device held in the hand while driving.
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Razzoo
Male Senior Member
317 Posts


Phenix City, Al
USA

Triumph

Sprint & HD XLH1200S

Posted - 12/10/2010 :  11:59 PM
I have been a ham for 12 or so years, and a CB operator prior to that.
Both can be distracting.



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lessthanthree
Male New Member
21 Posts


Brandon, Suffolk
United Kingdom

(Unknown - Other)

Posted - 12/14/2010 :  10:35 AM
quote:
Originally posted by DataDan

Sooner or later, someone is going to confront the thugs at US DOT with the indisputable fact that highway crashes are a diminishing problem. In spite of all the hand wringing over driver distractions, we (all US motorists) are crashing at lower rates every year. In 2008, 3.5 passenger vehicles (cars and light trucks) were involved in crashes per million vehicle-miles traveled, down from 4.0 in 2003 and 4.5 in 1998.

In spite of the intuitive arguments about the risk posed by distractions such as cell phones, driving is safer now than ever before. This is a fact that US DOT tries desperately to conceal. They've done a good job at making us safer and are working themselves out of a job. The solution to the obvious job-security problem this creates is to keep us thinking we're perpetually a hairsbreadth from gruesome death, and that the solution is ever more regulation.


You can calculate the rates for yourself from NHTSA's 2008 Traffic Safety Facts Annual Report (4MB PDF). From Table 3 get the crash counts (all severities) for cars and light trucks. Obtain vehicle-miles traveled from Tables 7 and 8.



This may be morbid, but perhaps rates are seeming to be better because the fatalities in the 90's removed drivers who developed bad habits from the road.

As bad as that sounds I doubt that this statistic is going to continue to go down. I would be more curious to see the age groups and locations for vehicle related fatalities in the last 20 years and how those numbers have changed.
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staticattic
Male Senior Member
410 Posts


Tampa, FL
USA

Honda

Shadow Spirit 750

Posted - 12/17/2010 :  12:48 PM
I downloaded a free Turn by Turn navigation iPhone app called Waze, http://www.waze.com/homepage/. What attracted me about it was the turn by turn feature, plus it allowed users to update traffic conditions, construction zones, wrecks, etc. The idea being the more people that send in updates, the more accurate the GPS function can be. What I did not like about it, it has features that allow other travellers to "ping" you, has a chat function, and has a nifty little function called "Road Munching." All of these proved quite distracting. Every so often, a pop up would display stating, "Congratulations, you have driven xx miles!" It would then tell me how many "points" I had earned and placed power ups on the map for me to "run over." The road munching feature places dots on the roads, just like Pac-Man, that disappear as I run over them. Add that in with the knuckleheads that would "ping" me just to say "hi" or "Welcome to Waze," and you can see how this app gets distracting very quickly. Even worse, the turn by turn voices can be anything from normal GPS type voices to silly boy band voices. I deleted it after about 10 minutes. Some of the "features" can be disabled, but I was not impressed at all. Oprah would be very disappointed. Since we were talking about distracting hand held devices, I thought this would be a good one to share.
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