What's worse? SUVs or Cell Phones?

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Comutrbob, Feb 4, 2003.

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  1. Comutrbob

    Comutrbob Guest

    This little item was e-mailed to me by a friend. None of the papers I read have run it. It came from
    wardsauto.com (whatever that is) ... but it's a Reuters news service story.

    Bob C.

    Cellphones "blind" drivers, U.S. study shows

    Reuters, Jan 27 2003

    By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Correspondent

    WASHINGTON, Jan 27 (Reuters) - Drivers who use a cellular telephone, even with a "hands-free"
    device, suffer from a kind of tunnel vision that endangers themselves and others, U.S. researchers
    said on Monday.

    Legislation that seeks to make mobile telephone use by drivers safer by mandating the use of a
    hands-free device may be providing a false sense of security, they warned.

    New York is the only U.S. state that requires the use of the devices for mobile telephone
    conversations while driving, but 30 others have been considering similar laws, as has the Canadian
    province of Newfoundland.

    "Sometimes you have to actually do the silly study that shows the obvious," David Strayer, an
    associate professor of psychology at the University of Utah, who led the study, said in a telephone
    interview.

    Strayer, whose team has done a series of studies on cellphone use while driving, set up a driving
    simulator and put 20 volunteers in it. Sometimes they used a cellphone and sometimes they did not.
    Their reaction time, driving style and performance were monitored.

    Writing in the March issue of the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, Strayer's group said
    use of a cellphone clearly distracted the drivers.

    The finding adds to a series of similar studies - most notably a 1997 New England Journal of
    Medicine report that found talking on a phone while driving quadrupled the risk of accident.

    "People, when on a cellphone compared to when they weren't, overall their reactions were slower,"
    Strayer said. "They got into more rear-end collisions. They just kind of had a sluggish style that
    was unresponsive to unpredictable events like a car breaking down in front of them, a light changing
    and things like that."

    There was no difference, Strayer said, between using a hands-free or a hand-held cellphone.

    IMPAIRED EITHER WAY

    "You were impaired in both cases," he said. "That suggests to us that whatever legislation may be
    put into place saying you can do one but not the other ... might send the wrong message and give
    people a false sense of security."

    Perhaps even more disturbing, Strayer said, was the finding that the volunteers did not realize they
    were driving badly.

    "We asked people afterward how they felt they performed and they usually felt they performed without
    impairment and, in some cases, thought they drove better when on the cellphones," Strayer said.

    "It is like studies that show 90 percent of people think they are better-than-average drivers. Forty
    percent of them are wrong."

    Strayer wanted to know why talking on a cellphone had such a profound effect on drivers, so his team
    set up a second experiment.

    "We used an eye tracker -- a really precise device that allows us to see where someone is
    looking," he said.

    They found that while the drivers looked at objects, in this case billboards, if they had been
    talking on a cellphone at the time they could not remember having seen them.

    "There is a kind of a tunnel vision -- you aren't processing the peripheral information as well,"
    Strayer said. "Even though your eyes are looking right at something, when you are on the cellphone,
    you are not as likely to see it."

    This included road signs, other vehicles and traffic lights. "This is a variant of something called
    inattention blindness," Strayer said.

    Tests showed this kind of inattention did not affect drivers who were listening to music, to audio
    books or talking with a passenger in the car.
     
    Tags:


  2. Mark Jones

    Mark Jones Guest

    "ComutrBob" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Tests showed this kind of inattention did not affect drivers who were
    listening
    > to music, to audio books or talking with a passenger in the car.
    Cell phone inattention is different because you have to pay attention in order to have a meaningful
    response to the person you are talking to.

    It is interesting that they didn't find talking to someone in the vehicle distracting. I would bet
    that is plenty distracting if you are trying to control rowdy kids.
     
  3. Jon Isaacs

    Jon Isaacs Guest

    >It is interesting that they didn't find talking to someone in the vehicle
    distracting. I would bet that is plenty distracting if you are trying to control rowdy kids.

    That might be the case. However taking care of the children is a real time problem that needs
    addressing in real time and keeps the driver in the here and now.

    Cell phone useage is an unnecessary distraction and takes the driver's attention away from the
    here and now.

    Also, when the driver is talking to someone, that means there is a second setup of eyes and ears
    looking at the road ahead in case the drivers attention strays.

    My guess is that cell phones present a unique distraction, quite different from having another
    person in the car.

    jon isaacs
     
  4. Harris

    Harris Guest

    ComutrBob <[email protected]> wrote:
    > This little item was e-mailed to me by a friend. None of the papers I read have run it. It came
    > from wardsauto.com (whatever that is) ... but it's a Reuters news service story.

    > Bob C.

    Interesting, but you could probably get the same results by comparing drivers riding alone to
    drivers conversing with a passenger. Bottom line
    is: there are lots of potential distractions when driving (radio, passengers, baby crying in a child
    seat, etc.). When I took a defensive driving course, the main point was that most people only
    have a small part of the conscious thought focused on their driving.

    Art Harris
     
  5. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    "Mark Jones" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...

    > It is interesting that they didn't find talking to someone in the vehicle distracting. I would bet
    > that is plenty distracting if you are trying to control rowdy kids.

    Other studies *have* found that. Not just kids are distracting, but any conversation. CA even has a
    law against teens driving other teens without adult (25+) supervision, because teens tend to really
    distract each other from the task of driving.

    Matt O.
     
  6. [email protected] (ComutrBob) wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...

    To answer the question in your post title, it's so obvious it probably doesn't need to be stated: a
    SUV driver using a cell phone. My last two close calls (due to driver inattention) were in that
    category. Lincoln Navagator, male driver, Mercer Island; Suburban, female driver, Lake Hills
    neighborhood of Bellevue.

    However, my last unpleasant motorist encounter, just on Monday, was neither. I was coming down a
    hill, taking the lane as is my wont, because a) my typical speed on this hill is 34 mph and the
    posted speed limit is 30 -- therefore, I am not impeding traffic by anyone's imagination and b)
    there is no shoulder to speak of, just 3 inches of asphalt beyond the fog line and then some squishy
    gravel and a ditch. At the top of the hill, where there is a four-way stop, I ascertained that there
    was no one behind me, so I could sail unpressured down the hill until I reached the next four-way at
    the bottom.

    Imagine my surprise when someone honks at me from behind. How fast was he driving to be suddenly
    behind me? He then passes me with inches to spare. I have noticed that compared to many other
    cyclists, I have a great tolerance for being passed -- passing distances that freak out others I am
    relatively comfortable with. However, this fellow completely violated the safety zone.

    I don't think he knew really how easy it would be for me to catch up to him -- I just had to pour it
    on a bit and was just about to knock a little warning on his trunk when he, to my surprise, did not
    stop at the four-way at the bottom, but instead, in complete violation of the right-of-way of all
    the other vehicles at the intersection, whipped around the corner without a turn signal, gunned his
    motor, and disappeared over the next hill.

    My greatest regret was that I did not get his licence number. By the time I thought of it, he was
    too far away. Next time.

    OK, not really relevant to the thread topic, but I just had to share.

    Warm Regards,

    Claire Petersky [email protected] no sig today
     
  7. H. M. Leary

    H. M. Leary Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] (Claire
    Petersky) wrote:

    > [email protected] (ComutrBob) wrote in message
    > news:<[email protected]>...
    >
    > To answer the question in your post title, it's so obvious it probably doesn't need to be stated:
    > a SUV driver using a cell phone. My last two close calls (due to driver inattention) were in that
    > category. Lincoln Navagator, male driver, Mercer Island; Suburban, female driver, Lake Hills
    > neighborhood of Bellevue.
    >
    > However, my last unpleasant motorist encounter, just on Monday, was neither. I was coming down a
    > hill, taking the lane as is my wont, because a) my typical speed on this hill is 34 mph and the
    > posted speed limit is 30 -- therefore, I am not impeding traffic by anyone's imagination and b)
    > there is no shoulder to speak of, just 3 inches of asphalt beyond the fog line and then some
    > squishy gravel and a ditch. At the top of the hill, where there is a four-way stop, I ascertained
    > that there was no one behind me, so I could sail unpressured down the hill until I reached the
    > next four-way at the bottom.
    >
    > Imagine my surprise when someone honks at me from behind. How fast was he driving to be suddenly
    > behind me? He then passes me with inches to spare. I have noticed that compared to many other
    > cyclists, I have a great tolerance for being passed -- passing distances that freak out others I
    > am relatively comfortable with. However, this fellow completely violated the safety zone.
    >
    > I don't think he knew really how easy it would be for me to catch up to him -- I just had to pour
    > it on a bit and was just about to knock a little warning on his trunk when he, to my surprise, did
    > not stop at the four-way at the bottom, but instead, in complete violation of the right-of-way of
    > all the other vehicles at the intersection, whipped around the corner without a turn signal,
    > gunned his motor, and disappeared over the next hill.
    >
    > My greatest regret was that I did not get his licence number. By the time I thought of it, he was
    > too far away. Next time.
    >
    > OK, not really relevant to the thread topic, but I just had to share.
    >
    > Warm Regards,
    >
    > Claire Petersky [email protected] no sig today

    Glad to see that you are OK!

    remember telegraph, telaphone tell a women????

    to answer the threads question... a women in a Hummer on a cell phone running late to pick up
    her rugrats.

    HAND

    --
    ³Freedom Is a Light for Which Many Have Died in Darkness³

    - Tomb of the unknown - American Revolution
     
  8. Jake Khuon

    Jake Khuon Guest

    ### On Wed, 05 Feb 2003 04:51:52 GMT, "Mark Jones" <[email protected]> [MJ] casually decided to expound
    ### upon rec.bicycles.misc the following thoughts about Re: What's worse? SUVs or Cell Phones?:

    MJ> It is interesting that they didn't find talking to someone in the vehicle distracting. I would
    MJ> bet that is plenty distracting if you are trying to control rowdy kids.

    I originally posted this to BikeForums in a thread concerning bike lanes....

    This was probably an isolated incident but points out that problems can occur anywhere. I
    was out in Redmond (the self-proclaimed cycling city of the US) the other day... in a bike
    lane... and one of those BMW minivans they're trying to pass off as an SUV came alongside
    and swerved right into my lane... crossing the white line. I nearly got curbed but managed
    to brake in time to drop behind. The driver then proceeded to jerk the wheel back into the
    driving lane, overcorrected and swerved back into the bike lane. I caught up to the BMW at
    the stoplight and tapped on the passenger side window. The driver rolled it down looking
    annoyed. I asked her if she had seen me back there. She apologised and proceeded to tell me
    she was trying to get her kids in the backseat to stop fighting. I let out a sigh and asked
    her if their lives were in jeapordy because she certainly had put mine in it. Her response
    was, "well you shouldn't be out riding on the streets... it's too dangerous." I was
    infuriated and wanted to say something harsher but I didn't want to say it in front of her
    children so all I could muster was, "and it's because of people like you that it's
    dangerous." By now, the light had turned green and she drove off leaving me so sour that I
    cut my ride short and went home to fume.

    So although bike lanes may be good for all involved, there are a lot of people who don't
    regard them as real lanes or use them to pass... yet another example of driver ignorance.
    Cyclists should definately not consider bike lanes as an impenetrable zone. The other thing
    drivers tend to do is cross over the bike lane into a right-turn lane without first looking
    to see if there's traffic in the bike lane... and usually without signalling. I encounter
    this at least twice a week.

    --
    /*===================[ Jake Khuon <[email protected]> ]======================+
    | Packet Plumber, Network Engineers /| / [~ [~ |) | | --------------- | for Effective Bandwidth
    | Utilisation / |/ [_ [_ |) |_| N E T W O R K S |
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  9. Mark Jones

    Mark Jones Guest

    "Jake Khuon" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > This was probably an isolated incident but points out that problems can occur anywhere. I was out
    > in Redmond (the self-proclaimed cycling city of the US) the other day... in a bike lane... and one
    > of those BMW minivans they're trying to pass off as an SUV came alongside and swerved right into
    > my lane... crossing the white line. I nearly got curbed but managed to brake in time to drop
    > behind. The driver then proceeded to jerk the wheel back into the driving lane, overcorrected and
    > swerved back into the bike lane. I caught up to the BMW at the stoplight and tapped on the
    > passenger side window. The driver rolled it down looking annoyed. I asked her if she had seen me
    > back there. She apologised and proceeded to tell me she was trying to get her kids in the backseat
    > to stop fighting. I let out a sigh and asked her if their lives were in jeapordy because she
    > certainly had put mine in it. Her response was, "well you shouldn't be out riding on the
    > streets... it's too dangerous." I was infuriated and wanted to say something harsher but I didn't
    > want to say it in front of her children so all I could muster was, "and it's because of people
    > like you that it's dangerous." By now, the light had turned green and she drove off leaving me so
    > sour that I cut my ride short and went home to fume.
    She managed to put you, herself, her kids and everyone else in the area in danger. The only safe
    thing to do is to pull off and take care of the unruly kids instead of trying to take care of the
    situation as you drive down the road.

    It constantly amazes me just how stupid people can be when they are driving. They do not seem to
    maintain any situational awareness or even take basic precautions to see that they can get home
    safely. One thing that I see all the time is idiots racing past a line of vehicles and forcing
    their way in line so they can exit ahead of the other people. They will force their way in right
    at the exit.

    These idiots are placing a lot of people in danger and deserve to have their vehicle impounded for a
    week or two.
     
  10. Isaac Brumer

    Isaac Brumer Guest

    Harris <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > ComutrBob <[email protected]> wrote:
    > > This little item was e-mailed to me by a friend. None of the papers I read have run it. It came
    > > from wardsauto.com (whatever that is) ... but it's a Reuters news service story.
    >
    > > Bob C.
    >
    > Interesting, but you could probably get the same results by comparing drivers riding alone to
    > drivers conversing with a passenger. Bottom line
    > is: there are lots of potential distractions when driving (radio, passengers, baby crying in a
    > child seat, etc.). When I took a defensive driving course, the main point was that most people
    > only have a small part of the conscious thought focused on their driving.
    >
    > Art Harris

    Hypotheses (just hypotheses) about the cellphone research.

    - Hyp 1. yes, lots of things we do when we drive (cars or bikes) are distracting (shifting gears,
    setting a radio, engagaging cruise, chatting, eating,) but they're so entrenched that we can't
    legislate against them.

    - H 2. the above, plus "we've learned to adapt our driving to the above activities to the point that
    we can do a good enough job driving" and driving is relatively safe even with the "distractions."

    - H 2.5 Total driver concentration over long periods carries with it the danger of fatigue, so a
    "little" distraction is a good thing.

    - H 3. portable phones are designed for compactness, not good ergonomics or easy speaking/listening,
    so using a cellphone (even with what passes for a hands-free) creates extra stress and
    distraction.

    - H 4. today's cellphones with their tiny keypads are not easy or safe to dial.

    - H 5. other activities (eg, hitting seek on a radio, or picking up a coffee-cup/water bottle or
    shifting gears) take seconds and a driver can choose a good time to do it. Once you have a phone
    conversation going, you're stuck with it. and it takes more than a few seconds.

    - H 6. The PR about the study did not indicate exactly what equipment was being used or is the
    people were seasoned phone users or newbies (i'm sure this is covered in the study itself.)

    Isaac
     
  11. Pete

    Pete Guest

    "Isaac Brumer" <[email protected]> wrote

    > Hypotheses 1-6

    H 7 In a phone conversation, your attention is 'outside' the vehicle. Be it work, kids at home,
    whatever....your focus is not in the car. As opposed to a passenger, who will understand if you fail
    to reply for a second or two to handle a tricky situation.

    Test For anyone who thinks they CAN drive and talk at the same time. Crank up a task intensive video
    game. A FPS or driving sim. See what score you get. Now try to do the same game while trying to talk
    on the phone.

    Pete
     
  12. Mark Jones wrote:

    > "ComutrBob" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >
    > > Tests showed this kind of inattention did not affect drivers who were listening to music, to
    > > audio books or talking with a passenger in the car.
    >
    > Cell phone inattention is different because you have to pay attention in order to have a
    > meaningful response to the person you are talking to.
    >
    > It is interesting that they didn't find talking to someone in the vehicle distracting. I would bet
    > that is plenty distracting if you are trying to control rowdy kids.

    NPR has a snippet about this. They said people talking to each other in the car are generally both
    responding to stimuli on the road.

    The conversation gets suspended when something unexpected or bad happens on the road. The person on
    the other end of a cell phone keeps talking, so the que to be alert isn't there.

    Or so went the explanation. Seemed reasonable.

    SMH
     
  13. Robin Hubert

    Robin Hubert Guest

    "Claire Petersky" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > [email protected] (ComutrBob) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    >
    > To answer the question in your post title, it's so obvious it probably doesn't need to be stated:
    > a SUV driver using a cell phone. My last two close calls (due to driver inattention) were in that
    > category. Lincoln Navagator, male driver, Mercer Island; Suburban, female driver, Lake Hills
    > neighborhood of Bellevue.
    >
    > However, my last unpleasant motorist encounter, just on Monday, was neither. I was coming down a
    > hill, taking the lane as is my wont, because a) my typical speed on this hill is 34 mph and the
    > posted speed limit is 30 -- therefore, I am not impeding traffic by anyone's imagination and b)
    > there is no shoulder to speak of, just 3 inches of asphalt beyond the fog line and then some
    > squishy gravel and a ditch. At the top of the hill, where there is a four-way stop, I ascertained
    > that there was no one behind me, so I could sail unpressured down the hill until I reached the
    > next four-way at the bottom.
    >
    > Imagine my surprise when someone honks at me from behind. How fast was he driving to be suddenly
    > behind me? He then passes me with inches to spare. I have noticed that compared to many other
    > cyclists, I have a great tolerance for being passed -- passing distances that freak out others I
    > am relatively comfortable with. However, this fellow completely violated the safety zone.
    >
    > I don't think he knew really how easy it would be for me to catch up to him -- I just had to pour
    > it on a bit and was just about to knock a little warning on his trunk when he, to my surprise, did
    > not stop at the four-way at the bottom, but instead, in complete violation of the right-of-way of
    > all the other vehicles at the intersection, whipped around the corner without a turn signal,
    > gunned his motor, and disappeared over the next hill.
    >
    > My greatest regret was that I did not get his licence number. By the time I thought of it, he was
    > too far away. Next time.

    For what? You ought to know by now that's useless. A rock or something similar chucked in his
    direction would be more effective.

    Robin Hubert
     
  14. Jake Khuon

    Jake Khuon Guest

    ### On Wed, 05 Feb 2003 14:41:15 GMT, Stephen Harding <[email protected]> [SH] casually decided
    ### to expound upon rec.bicycles.misc the following thoughts about Re: What's worse? SUVs or Cell
    ### Phones?:

    SH> The conversation gets suspended when something unexpected or bad happens on the road. The person
    SH> on the other end of a cell phone keeps talking, so the que to be alert isn't there.

    That's a derivative of the concentration issue. What's the old pilot saying? "Aviate, Navigate and
    Communicate... in that order." Pilots talk on the radio all the time during critical phases of the
    flight. They have no problems handling talking and operating the aircraft. There are several
    reasons here:

    [1] The subject matter is consistant with the operation of the aircraft so the two activities are
    more tightly coupled.

    [2] The parties involved in the conversation are more properly trained to handle multitasking
    and especially this particular case of multitasking. For instance, a controller knows the
    environment the pilot is in. If it's a particularly task-intensive one he/she may not
    expect an immediate response and may even issue a "you need not acknowledge further
    transmission" advisory.

    [3] Operation of the communications equipment is much easier and the equipment itself has been set
    up with better ergonomics (freq-flip, multiple radios, programmable situation presets)

    In general I do not think that mobile phone usage while driving is an inherent danger. It's a risk
    but so is everything. I once read an article that said that flying is often touted as being safe but
    it's a misnomer. The argument of the article is that nothing is safe (well almost nothing... read
    on). Safe implies that nothing can happen. The only truly safe thing is death. In that state,
    nothing else can happen. The situation is stable or moot. What people really mean when they say
    "safe" is "lower risk". Lower than what? Well... It's all about risk management. People need to
    understand that driving is operating a vehicle and that operating a vehicle these days means
    managing a variety of things and balancing them against risk. Should you make a left turn at the
    light? That depends. What are the risks involved? Is there oncoming traffic? How fast are they
    going? How much time will it take for you to cross the lanes, etc... Should you be talking on the
    phone while driving? Are you in heavy traffic with people flipping lanes left and right? Are you in
    the middle of a maneuver? You have to make that call (no pun intended). The accidents affected by
    mobile phone usage during driving can really be attributed to poor risk management. But it's harder
    to provide more thorough training and to test everyone for proper risk-management skills than it is
    to simply ban mobile phone usage. Lowest dangling fruit and all that...

    --
    /*===================[ Jake Khuon <[email protected]> ]======================+
    | Packet Plumber, Network Engineers /| / [~ [~ |) | | --------------- | for Effective Bandwidth
    | Utilisation / |/ [_ [_ |) |_| N E T W O R K S |
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  15. Jake Khuon

    Jake Khuon Guest

    ### On Thu, 06 Feb 2003 00:08:49 GMT, "Mark Jones" <[email protected]> [MJ] casually decided to expound
    ### upon rec.bicycles.misc the following thoughts about Re: What's worse? SUVs or Cell Phones?:

    MJ> see that they can get home safely. One thing that I see all the time is idiots racing past a
    MJ> line of vehicles and forcing their way in line so they can exit ahead of the other people. They
    MJ> will force their way in right at the exit.

    They do that on a merge in heavy traffic too. They also do things like cut onto the shoulder to get
    past traffic so they can arrive at a right turn lane before it has started. This is most annoying if
    you happen to be a cyclist riding the shoulder at the time.

    MJ> These idiots are placing a lot of people in danger and deserve to have their vehicle impounded
    MJ> for a week or two.

    The problem is that people buy into the "cars save me time" and so they're in a rush when driving.
    Once again they're unconcerned about the task at hand and more concentrated on whatever it is they
    don't want to be late for.

    --
    /*===================[ Jake Khuon <[email protected]> ]======================+
    | Packet Plumber, Network Engineers /| / [~ [~ |) | | --------------- | for Effective Bandwidth
    | Utilisation / |/ [_ [_ |) |_| N E T W O R K S |
    +=========================================================================*/
     
  16. Jon Isaacs

    Jon Isaacs Guest

    >In general I do not think that mobile phone usage while driving is an inherent danger.

    Possibly you could have discussed this with the young woman backing out of a parking space while
    talking on her cell phone. Fortunately I was alert enough to realize she had no clue about what was
    going on around her.

    >The accidents affected by mobile phone usage during driving can really be attributed to poor risk
    >management.

    The same could be said for accidents "affected" by motorists who have been drinking.

    >But it's harder to provide more thorough training and to test everyone for proper risk-management
    >skills than it is to simply ban mobile phone usage. Lowest dangling fruit and all that...

    Unfortunately people are pretty good at estimating the risk to themselves but rather poor at
    estimating the risks to others. The lady in the large SUV who was talking on the phone while backing
    up after having stopped about 15 feet into the intersection was of no risk to herself but was
    certainly as risk to others.

    My personal belief is that when I am driving or riding, my attention needs to be focused on driving
    and not something else somewhere.

    One might note that in aircraft, the crew's communications are strictly business, they are talking
    about the navigation or operation of the aircraft. They are not talking to their best buddy about a
    fishing trip they once took.

    Such communications keep the focus on the here and now, what is going on in the cockpit at
    the moment.

    Quite different that cell phone usage.

    jon isaacs
     
  17. Pete wrote:

    > Test For anyone who thinks they CAN drive and talk at the same time. Crank up a task intensive
    > video game. A FPS or driving sim. See what score you get. Now try to do the same game while trying
    > to talk on the phone.

    This was the experimental method in the study just released that showed cell phone usage more
    dangerous to driving than radio, or passenger conversation.

    They used a driving simulator and scored drivers with and without these distractions, in handling
    unexpected driving situations.

    Scores were most degraded with cell phone usage.

    SMH
     
  18. schikerbiker

    schikerbiker Guest

    "Claire Petersky" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    > I don't think he knew really how easy it would be for me to catch up to him -- I just had to pour
    > it on a bit and was just about to knock a little warning on his trunk when he,

    How would you like it if someone knocked a little warning on your bicycle? If you get this pissed
    off, take up another form of exercise. BTW: SUV's don't have trunks. Maybe next time a bike runs a
    red light, some motorist should catch up to the bike and give them a physical warning.
     
  19. Zoot Katz

    Zoot Katz Guest

    Thu, 06 Feb 2003 17:27:18 GMT, <[email protected]>,
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >"Claire Petersky" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >news:[email protected]...
    >>
    >> I don't think he knew really how easy it would be for me to catch up to him -- I just had to pour
    >> it on a bit and was just about to knock a little warning on his trunk when he,
    >
    >How would you like it if someone knocked a little warning on your bicycle? If you get this pissed
    >off, take up another form of exercise. BTW: SUV's don't have trunks. Maybe next time a bike runs a
    >red light, some motorist should catch up to the bike and give them a physical warning.
    >
    Wrong newsgroup.

    Drivers like that are scumbags whose contents should be emptied back into the gutters from which
    they sprung.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/2725329.stm
    --
    zk
     
  20. Jake Khuon

    Jake Khuon Guest

    ### On Thu, 06 Feb 2003 12:54:14 GMT, [email protected] (Jon Isaacs) [JI] casually decided to
    ### expound upon rec.bicycles.misc the following thoughts about Re: What's worse? SUVs or Cell
    ### Phones?:

    JI> >In general I do not think that mobile phone usage while driving is an inherent danger.
    JI>
    JI> Possibly you could have discussed this with the young woman backing out of a parking space while
    JI> talking on her cell phone. Fortunately I was alert enough to realize she had no clue about what
    JI> was going on around her.

    The woman chose to participate in an activity which distracted her from proper operation of the
    vehicle. Whether that activity was talking on the mobile or trying to get her kids to shut up or
    putting on makeup, the effect would most likely have been the same. The root cause here is that she
    exercised poor driving skills because she tried to multitask beyond her abilities.

    JI> >The accidents affected by mobile phone usage during driving can really be attributed to poor
    JI> >risk management.
    JI>
    JI> The same could be said for accidents "affected" by motorists who have been drinking.

    Yes. And your point? If you're trying to make the point that driving after having a drink is illegal
    then you'll need to rethink your argument. You can drive after ingesting alcohol up to a point. And
    no I'm not saying that point is the posted blood-alcohol limit. You can just as easily be charged
    with a DUI for being under the posted limit but driving erratically. That point is a subjective
    measure which only the driver can truly assess. He/she needs to make that go/no-go decision. The
    consequences should fall squarely on his/her shoulders for making the wrong decision. As it pertains
    to mobile phones, reading the morning paper, applying makeup, shaving, eating food, drinking a
    beverage, etc while driving, I believe that they are all equally dangerous and if they were deemed a
    factour in the outcome of an accident situation, the driver should be charged with a "DWI" (driving
    while impaired). They were afterall impaired.

    JI> >But it's harder to provide more thorough training and to test everyone for proper
    JI> >risk-management skills than it is to simply ban mobile phone usage. Lowest dangling fruit and
    JI> >all that...
    JI>
    JI> Unfortunately people are pretty good at estimating the risk to themselves but rather poor at
    JI> estimating the risks to others. The lady in the large SUV who was talking on the phone while
    JI> backing up after having stopped about 15 feet into the intersection was of no risk to herself
    JI> but was certainly as risk to others.

    True but it is unlikely that she consciously sought out to put others at risk. This goes back to
    proper rigorous training.

    JI> My personal belief is that when I am driving or riding, my attention needs to be focused on
    JI> driving and not something else somewhere.

    I believe we need to raise the bar on the standards... not just keep chopping people legs off at the
    knees. By doing this, you can screen out more of the bad drivers who will never be able to improve
    (less drivers is a good thing IMHO) while at the same time allowing only the highly skilled drivers
    to continue.

    Life gets more complicated by the day. We should be properly trained for
    it. Sure you could ban the mobile phone use while driving. You may even eliminate it. But what
    about when emergencies that require you tasks and weigh the risks occur? Will you be capable of
    dealing with it if all you've ever learned to do in the car is to perform in a sterilised
    environment? Getting accustomed to the non-ideal situation is a part of daily survival.

    JI> One might note that in aircraft, the crew's communications are strictly business, they are
    JI> talking about the navigation or operation of the aircraft. They are not talking to their best
    JI> buddy about a fishing trip they once took.

    Sterile cockpit rules apply during preflight and in critical phases of flight. Aircraft
    communications also are restricted to flight related subject matter too. This reiterates reason #1
    of my previous post.

    JI> Such communications keep the focus on the here and now, what is going on in the cockpit at the
    JI> moment.

    Yep.

    JI> Quite different that cell phone usage.

    And yep. I hope you weren't fishing for an argument.

    I'm not saying that mobile phones can present no danger to driver impairment. I'm saying quite the
    opposite. The problem I see is that we are a society who is too quick and spends too much effort on
    fixing the most obvious but we don't spend enough time getting to the root-cause and fixing
    iu. We're always looking for the cheapest and quickest short-term solution while neglecting the
    deeper problem and long-term impacts.

    --
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