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News British teen imprisoned after texting caused death

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Tim S, 23 Jul 2007.

  1. mmorgue

    mmorgue New Member

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    I suppose it's going to head to the point of banning *anything* that could distract the driver from the road.

    And while I do see the safety and common sense of such an approach, it certainly isn't practical. For example, going to an extreme of "banning" mobiles in cars period -- at what point or 'distraction' do they stop? No smoking (which I hear is fastly approaching)? No music/radio? No chatting to your passenger? Can taxi drivers have radios and answer pick up requests?

    If we're meant to be so focused on what's happening ahead, why do the DSA testing bodies want learners to check their mirrors every 5-10 seconds, taking ther eyes off the road ahead? Surely that is distracting.

    It will get to the point where driving won't be a fun experience and will become a hassle, if not more so (i suppose here in the UK it isn't for the most part!)


    As for the punishment of the girl. I wouldn't say 4 years is harsh considering her stupidity caused a death which, more than likely, could have been avoided. Had she simply lost control, weather issue, car issue, etc -- it might be easier for the family to accept it as it was truly an accident. But she had the option of being smart and leaving her phone alone or pulling over to a layby or service area to use the mobile. Instead she chose to txt/chat/etc. Shame, but if some young 19 year old caused the death of someone in my family thru a situation like that I'd be more than upset at '4 years'.
     
  2. Nexxo

    Nexxo Queue Jumper

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    You're getting silly now. Operating a fiddly mobile is a very different ballgame from just listening to the radio or chatting to your passengers... oh, just read the darn thread, will you?
     
  3. mmorgue

    mmorgue New Member

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    Mate, I wasn't "arguing" for those stupid things, I was pointing out that when one thing gets banned it opens doors for precedence and different safety groups will argue that x, y and z are also unsafe.

    NOt that I agree but you can see how the arguments can hold -- looking down at a mobile phone to txt is distracting, not just cos you remove your eyes from the road but your eyes have to refocus. Looking down at a radio to change stations or play with ipods, mp3 lists, etc -- I could see *how* people would argue it's also distraction. I'm not saying I agree with it but that others will find something else to ban...

    Anyhow - doesn't bother me. I usually ride a motorcycle and simply accelerate well beyond any idiotic drivers and keep them behind me. if I can't see it, it don't exist!
     
  4. Faulk_Wulf

    Faulk_Wulf Internet Addict

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    Aren't non-hands-free cells banned on US roads? Or is that just some states?

    For cellphones: Yes, sometimes you need to get an important call on the move. "Important" however isn't necessarily 'Hun, do you want Chinese or Pizza tonight?' or 'h3y d00ds, p4rty!!!11!!1!!oneone!" ... Certain businessmen I'm sure have calls come in that hold various aspects of the company in balance, where hours, minutes, and seconds matter.

    In fact I could spend alot of time arguing either way about what warrants "important" and what doesn't and stuff, but there's no point. Its subjective and unenforceable. Besides, how many people drive with both hands on the wheel anyway? I sure don't. If a car swerves at you, you drop the cell, grab the wheel, and pray/swear, and hope for the best.

    The story really isn't about that. People are always on their cell, but I can't imagine it being worse then singing to music or talking to a passenger, especially since nothing is MAKING you take your eyes of the road. ...

    The story is about TEXTING. Skipping my rant about texting being pointless (anything you can text, you could call and say 30x faster.), I don't think there can be a single sound argument for texting while driving. It diverts your eyes from the road, even if your hold the phone up at window level you're still focused on the screen. You're thinking about the message you're typing, what keys to hit, and looking to make sure you dotted your i's and crossed your t's. If there's something you deem THAT important to say, CALL. At least its less hazardous. Otherwise, make sure you start texting on a curve. ;)

    (Okay, yes, some people have memorized the key layout of their phone and can text without looking. Prove that 50%+ people who use cell phones can do this, and that it doesn't distract them from another task at hand and I'll apologize, sincerely.)

    Radios: As far as radios go, the same objection used to be made for them as they are now for cellphones. Many teens died because they were staring at the radio gauge instead of the road and had the exact kind of accidents we have now with cellphones. I take my eyes off the road to fiddle with the thing (or more recently: To check the track name of the song playing on my iPod). Why not just embed the controls into the steering wheel. Cruise is there, I'm sure some cars have the heat and air controls there too. Scan up, Scan down, and presets 1-5. Wouldn't take up much room, and even if you couldn't do it by feel alone your eyes would be diverted for less time then looking all the way over by the stick.

    Maybe all this came out to harsh. I don't know. Maybe I'll be told to QFT or maybe people will agree, or maybe I have the last active post for this thread. I don't know. I wish I had all all the answers, but like everyone else on here this is just my 2c thrown into the vault of millions.
     
  5. Nexxo

    Nexxo Queue Jumper

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    Steering wheel (or steering column) radio controls are already pretty standard in many cars. Not heat and airco though. The latest cars have the relevant displays integrated in or near the instrument panel as well.

    Personally, HUD Cheesecake. :rock:
     
  6. bloodcar

    bloodcar Active Member

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    Cadillac had an awesome HUD that even gave you partial nightvision! They need to bring that back.
     
  7. Amon

    Amon inch-perfect

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    In-dash displays in general are an absolutely stupid implementation. With no compensation for intentionally distracting the driver to constantly view the screen, you'll notice a bit of an oxymoronic situation as their intention was to improve the driving experience. Audio and cruise controls integrated into the steering wheel are iffy, partly because I'd prefer to swap out the entire wheel for a quick-release racing wheel anyway, but mostly because they are consistently placed in areas that completely interfere with the driver's grip (if the grip were aggressive).

    In any case, I'm expecting a significant increase in auto collisions in the near future, solely caused by vehicle design: every car is now becoming progressively heavier--significantly heavier--which lends itself to more unavoidable collisions. Have you ever noticed the big push for crash safety, while ignoring a comprehensive vehicle design that could avoid one? It won't matter how many electronic aids are active during a vehicle slide in the snow, your heavier car cannot avoid the physical laws of mass in motion; inertia. Back to the poor vehicle design, slapping on all of these electronic this and automated that into a car is, in theory, improving the driving experience, whereas in practice they are simply more denominators to divide driver attention. They are also a sign of a coming generation of remarkably poor drivers.

    My [​IMG]

    P.S.: as for the cellular phone in the car, I turn it off and throw it into the cupholder. It's only on for days I share the car. And if I use it when driving, I keep my conversations as uninvolving and brief as possible--it really f*cks up my karma when the phone takes from my driving enjoyment.
     
    Last edited: 25 Jul 2007
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