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Telephones again...

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Telephones again...

Old 11-03-09, 06:58 PM
  #51  
Wogster
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Originally Posted by Ed Holland View Post
So then, does it not help to remove potential distractions where possible?
Short answer: Yes.

Long answer:

People have forgotten the complexity of the task of driving, it requires the use of hands, feet, eyes and ears, with the hands and feet each doing something different. It also requires that you keep your eyes focused in at least 5 different places at once (forward view, 3 mirrors, dash display). Driving a non-guided motorized vehicle is the most complex task that the normal person undertakes. It requires a lot of brain work to keep everything coordinated. It's also one of the most boring tasks that a person will ever do, as much of the brain work is to a large degree sub-conscious. However the brain is a lot like a computer, if I open a bunch of stuff on my computer, it begins to slow down. The brain is effectively a very powerful, but small computer, and as you do more and more things, that computer needs to prioritize the processes at work, the system tasks (like breathing, heart pumping, etc.) have the highest priority, the conscious tasks come next, and the remaining subconscious tasks have the lowest priority. Operating a motorized vehicle falls into the last category.

Because a motor vehicle moves as fast as it does, this means there is a time element in reacting to things. At 50km/h (~30MPH) a motor vehicle covers a distance of nearly 14m (46'), it takes the brain about 1 second to decide that it must do something to avoid a collision and make the appropriate muscles do the right thing. From the time you move your foot from gas to brake, the car takes up another second to react. Throw in a driver distraction like a cell phone, and you need to add 2 more seconds to reshuffle the priorities from phone to driving. Here is the problem, if they were concentrating on driving, the reaction distance is 28m or 92 feet, with the distraction this is doubled to 56m or 184' if the bicycle was between 28 and 56m away when they "saw" it, then they hit it. The driver is actually correct in that it was too close when they saw it, because they were on the %$#@*&! phone.
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Old 11-03-09, 08:42 PM
  #52  
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Originally Posted by OBXCycling.com View Post
What kind of moron can't talk on the phone and drive at the same time?

The same ones who drive around white knuckled all the time, I bet.



All these nanny-state laws are making me sick.


I drive a lot and talk a lot and it's not a distraction any more than changing the radio or drinking a drink.
Glad you're such a darn good driver. Of course, most drunks think they can drive just fine with a BAL in the mid-teens. They're wrong, and so are you.
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Old 11-03-09, 10:42 PM
  #53  
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I am currently reading the best selling book TRAFFIC - Why We Drive The Way We Do by Tom Vanderbilt. Vintage Press.

There is a whole chapter devoted to distracted drivers and lots of study results on cell phone use in cars. Everything from how driver's eyes move differently when yakking to impaired reaction times based on age and driving experience. Not to mention impairment of peripheral vision with a phone on one's head.

The book is quite good...and very frightening.
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Old 11-03-09, 10:49 PM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by Beckdgc View Post
yes, would you ask a room full of people smoking in a non smoking section if it was bugging you?
no, I'd just turn the lights off
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Old 11-08-09, 12:09 PM
  #55  
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Indeed, talking on a cell phone can distract people as they drive automobiles and/or ride bicycles.

As I was walking along on the sidewalk of a busy street, I noticed a bicyclist riding toward me from a good distance away, as we drew closer to one another, I saw that the female cyclist was riding erratically up the center of the wide sidewalk while yacking away to someone on the cell phone that she held in one hand. Moving over to provide plenty of room for the cyclist to pass, I continued walking close to the curb. But the lady cyclist was so distracted with her conversation that she didn't seem to notice the space I'd left for her to pass. She rode straight at me but somehow managed to avoid hitting me by suddenly veering out of the way. As I stood there, she continued riding on her way in her erratic style, yacking and pedaling along.

I'm also a bicyclist and a cell phone user but I pull over and stop my bicycle before making a call.

Last edited by powerhouse; 11-10-09 at 08:25 AM.
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Old 11-08-09, 03:31 PM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by OBXCycling.com View Post
What kind of moron can't talk on the phone and drive at the same time?

The same ones who drive around white knuckled all the time, I bet.



All these nanny-state laws are making me sick.


I drive a lot and talk a lot and it's not a distraction any more than changing the radio or drinking a drink.
You are, of course, special. The various studies that show phone use while driving to be similar to driving drunk would, ipso facto, not apply to your specialness.
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Old 11-08-09, 06:20 PM
  #57  
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How many times have you tapped on a window in East Palo Alto? Since you were worried about his distracted driving, did you also remind him not to drive with children in the car?
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Old 11-08-09, 06:42 PM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by Dchiefransom View Post
How many times have you tapped on a window in East Palo Alto? Since you were worried about his distracted driving, did you also remind him not to drive with children in the car?
Don't get over that way much on the bike - no decent hills to speak of . As for the comment about children, I'll remember that for next time
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Old 11-09-09, 07:39 AM
  #59  
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Amazing discussion.

Our culture (TV and general atmosphere) fails to acknowledge the complexity of driving, the responsibilities of driving, and the consequences of bad driving. We also fail to acknowledge and promote the role of distracted and aggressive driving, although we do focus on alcohol. Not that we do much about alcohol - we let drunks continue to drive under most circumstances.

As bicyclists, we both see the distracted drivers and experience the impact of that distraction first hand. Probably more than most other highway users. In town, bicyclists likely occupy the best position for detecting and observing distracted and aggressive driving. Out in the faster world, I suspect motorcyclists occupy that position.

I suspect a comprehensive remedy would require ashift in how we portray driving, changes in driver education, PSA campaigns, and a focus on removing distracted drivers from the highways. I can't really see this happening. But out in my neck of the woods, 3 motorcycle patrol officers specifically targeting distracted and aggressive drivers would likely sharpen up driving a great deal over the course of a year. And probably become a real moneymaker. They'd train the locals (and the local distracted morons are pretty obvious - I see the same ones all the time) and peel cash away from our tourist population.

Oddly, around here I also face the problem of overly focused drivers. We have a notorious road, the "Dragon" just over a few hills and a nice lakeside run from here. Motorcyclists and sports car enthusiasts use the "Dragon" for fun. They speed (I have no real problem with that), but also get focused on honing their racing lines, rather than looking ahead for oncoming traffic. Enforcement intermittently focuses on reckless driving along that and other sports tourist routes. Because most of the poor behavior comes from visitors and enforcement can only be spotty, I can't see much of a solution.

Similar to bicycling in traffic, I end up with some sport biker behind me waiting to get around me, while some yahoo in black on a heavy cruiser is coming at me 6" over the double yellow, leaning into my lane, and showing lots of white in his eyes. Doesn't matter what vehicle I'm using - truck, motorcycle, or bicycle - I end up in that situation too often on our mountain roads. At least the thing is out of cell tower range. The endless curves and many deaths probably wouldn't keep the morons from getting a conversation fix.

Myself, I just don't want to talk to people all that much!
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Old 11-10-09, 01:41 AM
  #60  
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I won't tap on windows, but I'll yell out HANG UP AND DRIVE. It becomes my business when they're doing it on a public roadway, especially one I'm on. Out in public, it is EVERYONES business. And to those that think its ok to be on a phone while driving, please, come back and say that when you get hit and/or seriously injured because of a phone call. How many cyclists have DIED as a result of people distracted on phones? Quite a few. Still think its only your business?
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