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Yet another cell phone driver rant

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Yet another cell phone driver rant

Old 05-20-09, 06:49 AM
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Yet another cell phone driver rant

<start rant>
Approaching 4-way stop on a 2 lane road, I started to take the lane (and I saw the car gaining on me from the rear). Usually they either hold back or pass. New one this morning--pass me and then merge back into me!

Stopped to keep from getting hit, then slapped her fender (yes, it was that close).

Our conversation:
Me: I don't mind sharing the road, but you just merged into me! (yes, I was close to yelling)
Her (with cellphone still in her hand): I didn't see you! The roads are so narrow! (me: bright yellow shirt, bike with two 8 LED beehive taillights on, xenon strobe on , and a flash flag)
Me: Get off the phone and drive!

She was still whining about it as I rode off.

</end rant> Thanks, I needed to get that off my chest.

I do not believe anyone can give me a compelling reason why anyone should drive a car and talk on a cellphone at the same time.
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Old 05-20-09, 07:30 AM
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If she didn't see you, why did she move out to pass? Was she just randomly weaving around on the road? Frickin' liar.
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Old 05-20-09, 07:32 AM
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^ Great question to ask: "If you didn't see me, why did you move around me?"
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Old 05-20-09, 07:48 AM
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Talking on a hand held cell phone while driving is a primary offense here in DC, and you can get pulled over for it. Should be a national law if you ask me.
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Old 05-20-09, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Map tester View Post
Stopped to keep from getting hit, then slapped her fender (yes, it was that close).
Don't come to a stop. Just keep your speed and pound on the roof of the car as they start to merge over at you.
Maybe that's just me...
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Old 05-20-09, 10:19 AM
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To me it doesn't matter whether the phone is handheld or not. It is distracting. The number one cause of car crashes is NOT drunk driving but "driver inattention", according to the National Safety Council. If you are talking to a person IN your car, they are usually another set of eyes. My wife is one of those dear, sweet, ladies who points out EVERY single SUV, pedestrian, dog, cat, or circus clown car on the road to me. But it's hard to focus on the road when you are getting your bank balance, the results of lab tests, or making reservations at a busy resort spot. Imagine the attention level of one of Bernie Maddoff's clients who was trying to see if he still had a nest egg while driving his car.

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Old 05-20-09, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by uke View Post
^ Great question to ask: "If you didn't see me, why did you move around me?"
That occurred to me, just too late to 'share' with the motorist.
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Old 05-20-09, 11:57 AM
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I agree with bashing the 'phone while driving' folks... I do. I can even pull out the ole' soap box and wave the flag, demanding they be charged with reckless endangerment.

But after reading a bunch of 'dummy driver on phone threads' it has occurred to me that these people are probably bad drivers all the time. If it wasn't their phone, it'd be their radio, and if not their radio it'd be their fingernails, or their reflection in the rear view or the shiny thing on the side of the road.

Could it just be that today, more so then in past, if you're a sloppy and inattentive driver there are more things to add to your repertoire? Just thinking out loud here.
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Old 05-20-09, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Citizen78 View Post
But after reading a bunch of 'dummy driver on phone threads' it has occurred to me that these people are probably bad drivers all the time. If it wasn't their phone, it'd be their radio, and if not their radio it'd be their fingernails, or their reflection in the rear view or the shiny thing on the side of the road.
I suspect that you may be right to some degree, but people that don't realize how badly they are distracted by the phone are a special menace. I think people realize that they are causing danger when they take their eyes off the road, but they do it anyway. I have been known to fumble with my ipod when on the interstate, but I know that is bad and I am resolved not to do that in the future.
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Old 05-20-09, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Citizen78 View Post
But after reading a bunch of 'dummy driver on phone threads' it has occurred to me that these people are probably bad drivers all the time. If it wasn't their phone, it'd be their radio, and if not their radio it'd be their fingernails, or their reflection in the rear view or the shiny thing on the side of the road.

Could it just be that today, more so then in past, if you're a sloppy and inattentive driver there are more things to add to your repertoire? Just thinking out loud here.
I agree that they are probably bad drivers anyway. I try to remind myself that hundreds of motorists safely pass me everyday, but then I get that thought: 'it only takes one...'

Just got through reading Stephen King's Cell a few weeks ago. I don't think he has any love for cellphones either.
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Old 05-20-09, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
I suspect that you may be right to some degree, but people that don't realize how badly they are distracted by the phone are a special menace. I think people realize that they are causing danger when they take their eyes off the road, but they do it anyway. I have been known to fumble with my ipod when on the interstate, but I know that is bad and I am resolved not to do that in the future.
Its true... I thought on it more after my above musing and the phone is a greater threat. It holds what might have otherwise been a passing glance away from the road. Instead of an 'oh sheet' moment it becomes an actual accident.

I'm of the opinion we're not really equipped to operate cars in some of the environments we put ourselves in anyway. I've got a whole rant on it that tends to comes out after sufficient adult beverage.

Note: This is the royal 'we'. I'm sure some of us are excellent drivers. Its just that many of 'us' are not sufficiently lucid and capable of operating a few thousands pounds of metal mere feet from one another at cheetah speeds. Many of us have trouble just navigating a parking lot.

More thinking out loud... forums are great for that.
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Old 05-20-09, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Quel View Post
Talking on a hand held cell phone while driving is a primary offense here in DC, and you can get pulled over for it. Should be a national law if you ask me.
You make it sound like it's illegal or something.
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Old 05-20-09, 01:42 PM
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Can we all agree that being a commuter or riding a bicycle in traffic makes you much more aware of how dangerous we all are when we do stuff we take for granted behind the wheel? Speeding, tailgating, talking on cell phones, not using signals, eating, and on and on....

My wife tells me that since I became an everyday commuter I've become a much better driver--one of the best she's ever been in a car with, she says. I no longer speed, I don't talk on the cell, I always use my turn signals, I don't tailgate, I don't eat while driving.

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Old 05-20-09, 02:19 PM
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Old 05-20-09, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Itsjustb View Post
My wife tells me that since I became an everyday commuter I've become a much better driver--one of the best she's ever been in a car with, she says. I no longer speed, I don't talk on the cell, I always use my turn signals, I don't tailgate, I don't eat while driving.

My wife tells me the same thing! I always considered myself an aware driver before, but after a few near-death experiences commuting I try to be extra aware, especially of cyclists!
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Old 05-21-09, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Citizen78 View Post
But after reading a bunch of 'dummy driver on phone threads' it has occurred to me that these people are probably bad drivers all the time. If it wasn't their phone, it'd be their radio, and if not their radio it'd be their fingernails, or their reflection in the rear view or the shiny thing on the side of the road.
Agree. Just a few minutes ago I read a recent news item that a motorcyclist waiting at a stop light was killed by a young woman in an SUV who was "painting her nails" and didn't see either the motorcyclist or the red light.
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Old 05-21-09, 09:56 AM
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What the ****, we figured out the technology to transmit signals from a cell phone to another cell phone around the planet already, but we still have to hold on to the device BY HAND? while operating another machinery for mobility?

How will other life forms look at us when they visit earth? What an absurd civilization!
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Old 05-21-09, 10:00 AM
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Driving and painting her nails?
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Old 05-21-09, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by JimJimex View Post
What the ****, we figured out the technology to transmit signals from a cell phone to another cell phone around the planet already, but we still have to hold on to the device BY HAND? while operating another machinery for mobility?

How will other life forms look at us when they visit earth? What an absurd civilization!
FWIW, current studies show that hands-free doesn't really help any. Using the phone with hands-free is pretty much as distracting as using it while holding the phone. Both are about equivalent to driving drunk as far as reduced reaction time goes.
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Old 05-21-09, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Map tester View Post
(me: bright yellow shirt, bike with two 8 LED beehive taillights on, xenon strobe on , and a flash flag)
Apparently, all that stuff was just too bright and blinded her temporarily.
 
Old 05-21-09, 06:07 PM
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I think on tomorrows commute (20 miles RT), I'm going to count how many drivers I see talking on their cell phones. I'm expecting this number to be suprisingly high.
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Old 05-21-09, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Citizen78 View Post
But after reading a bunch of 'dummy driver on phone threads' it has occurred to me that these people are probably bad drivers all the time.
This same exact situation happened to me a few weeks ago; since the lane was wide enough to share (2 feet away, which is fine at low speeds) I just came to a stop next to the car. The driver was, incidentally, not on a cell phone.

What I have noticed is that a higher proportion of cell phone users seem to be more patient, as though the cell phone distracts the driver from the fact that they're being slowed down by 30mph or more. Very few people follow me across the crest of a hill (I'm sometimes going as slow as 5mph on these) or around a blind corner, and the vast majority of them seem to be on cell phones.

Originally Posted by Itsjustb View Post
I always use my turn signals
I caught myself using a turn signal while turning into my garage once, in my driveway (I've since been trying to cut back)

Originally Posted by jl0703 View Post
I think on tomorrows commute (20 miles RT), I'm going to count how many drivers I see talking on their cell phones. I'm expecting this number to be suprisingly high.
I've counted before while walking home (I used to do that a lot). Typically it's 1/4 or 1/5 (the proportion).
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Old 05-21-09, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by degnaw View Post
I caught myself using a turn signal while turning into my garage once, in my driveway (I've since been trying to cut back)
I have that habit as well. I find myself using my turn signal for every turn I make and finding that I can't break the habit. At least everyone knows where I'm going.
 
Old 05-21-09, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Map tester View Post
...
I do not believe anyone can give me a compelling reason why anyone should drive a car and talk on a cellphone at the same time.
When following a hit and run driver while on the cell letting 911 know the drivers location.

I still oppose any other non-emergency/get the bad guy cell phone use while driving or cycling.
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Old 05-21-09, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Map tester View Post
I do not believe anyone can give me a compelling reason why anyone should drive a car and talk on a cellphone at the same time.
If your boss calls you for something important, "I was driving" is generally not a valid (socially accepted) excuse for ignoring him. As much as i'd like that to change, it probably isn't going to happen anytime soon.
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