Mobile Phones.

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Re: Mobile Phones.

Post by Gromit on Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:34 am

Can't argue with what Quilter just said (in both posts) but there's another communications issue that's possibly just as dangerous, and nothing to do with mobile phones.

When some drivers speak to their passenger, they seem compelled to turn their head and look at them, thus taking their eyes off the road for the duration of what they are saying. When I was taught to drive I received a right rollicking for doing it, and the instructor assured me that he could hear me perfectly well if I continued to watch the road!

I can't help wondering how many accidents this behaviour causes.

ANY distraction is potentially dangerous, but it's impossible to avoid them altogether. My personal feeling is that speed is the most significant danger. It seems fairly obvious that a second's distraction at 30mph is potentially far less likely to cause an accident than the same time period at 70mph, and if it does it's likely to be less severe.

A complex problem, and one without a simple solution I fear.

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Re: Mobile Phones.

Post by Quilter on Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:44 am

When some drivers speak to their passenger, they seem compelled to turn their head and look at them, thus taking their eyes off the road for the duration of what they are saying. 

Have you noticed how many "to camera" pieces from various TV presenters now come while they are driving ? It makes me cringe. How they can be expected to remember the script, speak coherently AND concentrate on driving down, often suburban,  roads at the same time is more than can be safely expected and should not happen.
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Re: Mobile Phones.

Post by Greyhound on Mon Nov 07, 2016 11:09 am

Quilter wrote:Frankly I think all the gadgets and gizmos that enable you to do this should be removed and no more should be developed for use in cars. 

It's not really going to happen though (like not talking to a passenger) so we simply need to have a common sense approach.

Where would you draw the line with this, tuning the radio, adjusting the temperature controls, using cruise control while you make a cup of tea (ok the last ones a joke).

The majority of people can drive quite safely while talking etc and I don't believe a nanny state is required, it's abusing the technology and being completely distracted by it that's the issue.
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Re: Mobile Phones.

Post by Gromit on Mon Nov 07, 2016 11:29 am

I wonder if age is the real issue - our age that is!

Most of us on here are geriatrics (or fast approaching that parlous state timer) and with age comes awareness.

As a singularly errant youth I now cringe at the memories of what I got up to on my motorbike. Among other utterly stupid antics was trying to draw the longest line on the road surface with the footrest, while cornering at speed. Statistically I should never have made it past the age of 20. confused0

There wasn't the volume of traffic in those days of course, so you got away with it far more readily than on today's crowded roads, but I and my mates simply didn't appreciate the dangers - to ourselves or others. I suppose we thought we were immortal, and it wasn't that we were yobs or thoughtless pillocks. In most other ways we were quite considerate of others and generally well brought up. You had to be in those days or you caught a belt across the ear!!

In those far off days I don't think I even noticed if someone hammered through the village at twice the legal limit. Now I have to be restrained by Mrs Gromit from hurling half bricks at their windscreens as they shoot past our house at 60mph or more - well within the 30 limit. (I jest of course - but only just!! censored! )

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Re: Mobile Phones.

Post by Quilter on Mon Nov 07, 2016 11:32 am

Noggin wrote:

Where would you draw the line with this, tuning the radio, adjusting the temperature controls, using cruise control while you make a cup of tea (ok the last ones a joke).

The majority of people can drive quite safely while talking etc and I don't believe a nanny state is required, it's abusing the technology and being completely distracted by it that's the issue.


Fair points;  however, most of us now live and drive in areas where the density of traffic is increasing, the general speed of that traffic ditto, the overall mass of lorries allowed to drive on those roads is greater than it has ever been. The roads themselves are not in first class condition and potholes can throw you off course before you see them.

 As you point out, most cars have heater and lights controls, audio controls, sat navs, dash cams, tyre monitors and so on and so forth, not all of which are controlled from the steering wheel.

Rather than adding to the plethora of those gadgets we can buy perhaps we should be looking at ways that such gadgets can be controlled solely by the driver's voice.  I can do it on my computer and don't need to put a finger near any keys or keyboards. A set of learned commands and it will type, delete, print, and for all I know carry on conversations with others without me even being there.

It doesn't help those who eat, drink, smoke, do their hair or get dressed in the driving seat- we've seen it all- but it's a step forward surely ?

eg Voice command: Car temperature ? 
Response:  21 deg C
Voice command: Make warmer
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Re: Mobile Phones.

Post by -mojo- on Mon Nov 07, 2016 12:28 pm

They have been working on voice controls on cars for some time now, but unfortunately it's a very difficult environment, with a lot of background noise.

My last satnav had voice commands for both the satnav side and the built-in phone handsfree, and most of the time it worked well. But it had an issue, in that it seemed very sensitive to the sound of the reversing sensors, and so I would almost always get the situation in reverse gear with the sensors "talking" to the satnav and it answering. Initially it's amusing, but it can get very distracting in itself when things like that happen.

But there are alternatives - such as "gesture" control, which is supposed to work well because it's possible to make a gesture with a free hand without losing too much concentration on other things - though I confess I have never owned or used a vehicle with the feature.
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Re: Mobile Phones.

Post by Pete Taylor on Tue Nov 08, 2016 8:35 pm

I had to take Mrs T into a hospital appointment in Manchester this morning and our journey coincided with what is normally the back-end of the rush hour(s). Today it was really dreadful, for some reason, and we crawled along the dual-carriageway at 5mph behind a Golf Gti which kept drifting out of the outside lane across to half-way into the inside lane. Mrs T ascertained that the young lady in control(!) of the car was removing her hair-rollers and then brushing out her tresses whilst texting at the same time.

Note to Quilter- this was also on the A34 but not on your bit!

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Re: Mobile Phones.

Post by Quilter on Tue Nov 08, 2016 9:02 pm

Pete Taylor wrote:I had to take Mrs T into a hospital appointment in Manchester this morning and our journey coincided with what is normally the back-end of the rush hour(s). Today it was really dreadful, for some reason, and we crawled along the dual-carriageway at 5mph behind a Golf Gti which kept drifting out of the outside lane across to half-way into the inside lane. Mrs T ascertained that the young lady in control(!) of the car was removing her hair-rollers and then brushing out her tresses whilst texting at the same time.

Note to Quilter- this was also on the A34 but not on your bit!
Our bit of the A34 was closed from noon to 10.30 pm yesterday following a serious accident with 2 lorries. Don't know the cause but the result was chaotic.  
 There is a major stoppage pretty well every day.
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Re: Mobile Phones.

Post by Angel6855 on Wed Nov 09, 2016 10:15 am

Nobody has mentioned smoking cigarettes whilst driving. How on earth can it be safe to light a cigarette whilst in control of the vehicle?
And then disposing of the said fag- I suppose the safest way is just throw it on the highway. Don't even go there!

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Re: Mobile Phones.

Post by Greyhound on Wed Nov 09, 2016 10:25 am

-mojo- wrote:They have been working on voice controls on cars for some time now, but unfortunately it's a very difficult environment, with a lot of background noise.

I control my phone and stereo with voice commands in the car and it all works flawlessly.

In a van however you're right that background noise would most likely be a problem.
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Re: Mobile Phones.

Post by logburner on Wed Nov 09, 2016 11:12 pm

Angel6855 wrote:Nobody has mentioned smoking cigarettes whilst driving. How on earth can it be safe to light a cigarette whilst in control of the vehicle?
And then disposing of the said fag- I suppose the safest way is just throw it on the highway. Don't even go there!


Back in my smoking days, the most dangerous thing was when the hot end dropped off in my lap.....that caused some weird driving, especially if it was hot, and the window was open, and I was wearing shorts. Whistle1
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Re: Mobile Phones.

Post by Bad Penny on Thu Nov 10, 2016 6:51 pm

The response to my original question is heavily against the use of mobile phones, even hands free.

In view of deaths attributed to using these devices while driving, would you now go so far as to have them banned and switched off by law, when driving a vehicle, unless used by a passenger?  A bit contentious perhaps, after all we managed for many many years without them. 

The argument that we live in a technological age and companies wanting to contact employees is a problem but prearranged times for contact can always be arranged. There is always a way.

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Re: Mobile Phones.

Post by meanchris on Thu Nov 10, 2016 7:38 pm

I'm not sure about whether a total ban is the answer, many people drive with other distractions that aren't ever mentioned, such as arguing kids or wives and radio programmes or music.

I think that a good bluetooth interface is vital in my car and van, and I have one in both. As vehicles have more modern comms solutions built into the vehicle, instead of being afterthoughts, the situation should improve IMHO.

I try to use 'OK Google' if I need to navigate while in motion, although I'm not sure that it's actually illegal to use a touchscreen interface (as you're not "holding" the device) and I also have a touchscreen radio and sat-nav interface built into my 2007 Saab 'vert. I prefer not to have to look at screens when changing settings, as I think that this is what's dangerous because it takes your eyes away from the road and even worse than holding a phone to answer it in most circumstances.
Note that use of a mobile radio mic is not illegal (AFAIK), so perhaps the reaction to mobile phone accidents has been slightly badly thought out, as are many things when poorly informed H&S "experts" get their claws into us.

Having said that, the kind of behaviour that was seen in the recent horrific lorry carnage, holding a phone while reading and scrolling the screen over a lengthy period is just totally unacceptable.

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Re: Mobile Phones.

Post by Wargenwolf on Thu Nov 10, 2016 7:39 pm

Bad Penny wrote:The response to my original question is heavily against the use of mobile phones, even hands free.

In view of deaths attributed to using these devices while driving, would you now go so far as to have them banned and switched off by law, when driving a vehicle, unless used by a passenger?  A bit contentious perhaps, after all we managed for many many years without them. 

The argument that we live in a technological age and companies wanting to contact employees is a problem but prearranged times for contact can always be arranged. There is always a way.

Leighton.

Contentious yes, but no, I would not go that far and nor will ever happen. Personally I am not against hands free telephony and it can be used safely while driving,  just not by all !

At the same time, I don't know what the answer to the dilemma is.

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Re: Mobile Phones.

Post by -mojo- on Thu Nov 10, 2016 11:24 pm

Bad Penny wrote:The response to my original question is heavily against the use of mobile phones, even hands free.

In view of deaths attributed to using these devices while driving, would you now go so far as to have them banned and switched off by law, when driving a vehicle, unless used by a passenger?  A bit contentious perhaps, after all we managed for many many years without them. 

The argument that we live in a technological age and companies wanting to contact employees is a problem but prearranged times for contact can always be arranged. There is always a way.

Leighton.

Sorry to be so blunt about this, but IMO we don't need any more laws that will be neither obeyed nor enforced. A great example of such a thing is the 20 MPH speed limit in the centre of the town where I live. Nobody observes it, and on the very very few occasions when it has been enforced it is like shooting fish in a barrel.

If you tried to bring in such a ban, so many people would either forget or "forget" to turn off their phones that it would make a mockery of the system. I suspect that I am a fairly typical mobile phone user - when I buy a phone, I put the SIM card in, turn it on and it then stays switched on until it's time to buy a new one. The chances of me remembering to turn it off when getting in the van are, frankly, very low - even if there were a law telling me I must.

Personally I don't think enacting more laws on things like this is the answer. I think you will get a much more effective result from continued publicity (e.g. high profile court cases involving the current laws) and gradually it will become less and less socially acceptable to use a phone in the hand. Of course, we will always have people who choose to ignore that - but the existing laws can cope with them, if enforced.
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Re: Mobile Phones.

Post by daisy mae on Fri Nov 11, 2016 8:44 am

We nearly got cleared up the other day, someone on their phone. they were completely oblivious to traffic around them, if my husband hadn`t taken avoiding action goodness what would have happened.

I think hand held ones should be banded then again I am not a mobile phone user, mine  hasn`t been used since August apart from when Rose sent me a message as she hasn`t my home phone no. I only use it when away, then only for contacting people I am meeting up with,  and (breakdown ) not used at home, even for texting. How on earth did folks manage before MP. ? I had £20 put on the spring PAYG "3" and I still have £17 + left.
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Re: Mobile Phones.

Post by Greyhound on Fri Nov 11, 2016 8:57 am

-mojo- wrote:Sorry to be so blunt about this, but IMO we don't need any more laws that will be neither obeyed nor enforced

Completely agree.

It's all well and good going on about increasing laws and bans etc, but there's no one left to police them anyway. We've lost traffic police to speed camera's and now the police are simply 'response' vehicles for when an incident occurs.

As I've said before, education is the key. Using a hands free phone isn't a problem, the driver can slow down, be aware that they are on a call and drive with extra care. On a motorway pull over to the nearside lane to take the call at an easier pace. The main issue with drivers these days is impatience, and the use of phones etc all aggravates the effects of it.

My daily commute on the M11 (and previously the M25) is just stream of cars a few feet off each others bumpers. When someone does something stupid there's no buffer and so cars shunt each other.

IMO its simply drivers attitudes that need readjusting in this country, but doing that isn't really going to happen unfortunately.
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Re: Mobile Phones.

Post by meanchris on Fri Nov 11, 2016 6:25 pm

If we're going to completely ban handsfree phones, then we're going to have to ban radios, CDs and even passengers and the switches and buttons that control the heater, because they're all distractions.

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Re: Mobile Phones.

Post by Bad Penny on Sat Nov 12, 2016 9:36 pm

Ok so we don't ban the use of cell phones while driving, so with people left to police themselves, we will continue to see headlines as we recently saw re the young family wiped out by a lorry driver.

I despair when I see stories like that and just hope it never happens to any of my family and your families. 

I do hope however, that someone can come up with a solution if a total ban is ruled out.

I also understand there are other distractions in a vehicle, as mentioned by some of you, but the serious accidents seem to be caused by cell phone use.
Which leaves me still favouring a total ban while driving.

Although this would require a new law, not popular with most of you, but like drink driving, is a serious issue.

Maybe my reasoning is because my son in law is a cop and has to attend the aftermath of some of these accidents.

Leighton.

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Re: Mobile Phones.

Post by -mojo- on Sun Nov 13, 2016 2:05 am

Bad Penny wrote:
Although this would require a new law, not popular with most of you

I think you've missed the point. It's not that it's unpopular, it's the fact that it cannot realistically be enforced.

If you enact that law, I can guarantee that it will be broken by millions of people every day in the UK - and that would make it a bad law. At best the police have the staff to make examples of a small number, but the mobile phone is so central to most people's lives that you'll never make it work.

As has been said above, we need people to be aware of the consequences (both to the them/their licence and other people), and to police themselves.

We need (IMO) to get away from the crazy situation where we are passing laws like that. Here's another example: it's now illegal for me to change the electrical wiring in my house other than to a very limited extent. Who polices that ridiculous law? Nobody. IMO a better, workable solution is to make it clear to people that they need to assess their own capabilities before doing something, and accept that if anything goes wrong as a result of what they have done then they will be held responsible for their actions (under existing laws).
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Re: Mobile Phones.

Post by Wargenwolf on Sun Nov 13, 2016 6:10 am

I regularly attend national Family Liaison conferences and these are often attended by BRAKE, which is a road safety charity.

This link to their site provides some interesting information regarding driver distractions and in particular, mobile phone use (hand held & hands free).

http://www.brake.org.uk/events/15-facts-a-resources/facts/1131-distractionfacts

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Re: Mobile Phones.

Post by Bad Penny on Sun Nov 13, 2016 10:43 am

Mojo, I'm not missing the point, a vehicle in the wrong hands is a leathal weapon and laws are introduced for a reason, like it or not. 

How many times have you been bumped whilst walking in the street by people using cell phone, oblivious of all around them. Now place them in a vehicle and see the results.

A law is a set of rules we have to obey, these are what set standards we all live by. If such a law re phone use when driving was introduced and the penalty was say, loss of licence, I would think the millions you mentioned would think twice before use. Yes, some will break that law, it happens, but just maybe, the majority won't.

Wargenwolf, your post re BRAKE made very interesting reading, thank you.

Leighton.
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Re: Mobile Phones.

Post by meanchris on Sun Nov 13, 2016 11:22 am

"Some people dispute the risks of hands-free phone use, claiming that talking on a phone is no different to talking to a passenger. However, research has found that while drivers on phones have much longer reaction times and poor speed control, drivers with chatty passengers perform nearly as safely as drivers with silent passengers [15]. This is partly because conversations with passengers come to a natural pause when approaching hazards, as the passenger can see when the driver needs to concentrate".

I, seriously, consider this statement above to be utter and ill considered rubbish, (not least because of the sloppy grammar, it's 'different from, not different to).

I think that it displays that most insidious of human thought processes, confirmation bias, as it reinforces the previously held convictions of the group of people who are promoting it.

Passengers do NOT, in the main, understand the immediate hazards faced by the driver, because they aren't driving and, in fact, may not be able to drive themselves and thus be incapable of assessing road conditions.

If you continue reading the page on to "What else distracts drivers" you'll see that, effectively (and as I posited previously), absolutely everything distracts a driver.
The question then becomes whether such distractions are enough to significantly increase the likelihood of an accident and whether this is an acceptable added risk in terms of  the general risk levels present when travelling in a vehicle.
How does the (possible) added risk of talking (whether that be on a mobile phone or to a passenger, because I don't believe that there's a significant difference) compare with the added risk posed by, say, older drivers who are past their best in terms of skills and reaction times?

I also believe that driver attitude plays a major part here. Many drivers appear to take driving itself as a trivial task, almost believing that the vehicle will get there by itself with little intervention on their part. My experience has taught me to instinctively recognise and make allowances for the apparent skill and concentration level of other drivers. This means that I'm actively concentrating myself, which after all is what's important.

I fear that far too much attention is paid to pandering to modern risk aversion culture, and far too little to the real causes of accidents such as poor road layout, design and surfaces. Has anyone else noticed the proliferation of extremely bright reflective signs that block night vision when approaching hazards. Has anyone been hit by a driver who can't see them crossing the road in the dark because he can't see anything beyond the huge illuminated green sign?

I'm not convinced by the self satisfied arguments and hasty conclusions of agenda driven groups, any more than I'm convinced by the "speed limit reduced to 50 for your safety" signs that have replaced the NSL all over Derbyshire.

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Re: Mobile Phones.

Post by Paulmold on Sun Nov 13, 2016 12:11 pm

Maybe we should teach people to drive whilst phoning (texting) as in this video...

http://www.dailyliked.net/texting-driving-test/

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Re: Mobile Phones.

Post by meanchris on Sun Nov 13, 2016 12:19 pm

Texting is a different thing entirely from talking to someone via handsfree and I agree, don't do it.

What we should do is teach people that they should carefully choose the moments when looking away from the road to attend to a potential distraction. Use their common sense IOW.
How do the distraction statistics apply to constantly looking in your rear view mirror for instance, which is what you're taught to do when you learn to drive, looking at the road behind you is just as distracting and dangerous as looking down at the CD player, in my opinion.

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