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  1. #1
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    LEGAL: Mapping and driving fine upheld in California?

    Apparently, a California appellate court has ruled that using one's phone's mapping applications while driving is the same kind of violation as texting.

    As someone who works from his dashboard, and, uses his mobile phone as his main gps navigator, I find this alarming, though I do not know whether the driver in question was using a phone's voice-based turn-by-turn navigation, or just squinting at a tiny map on the screen, when ticketed.

    I think all this shows we've got to get serious on what we count as a violation when driving. I think it's impossible to enumerate every possibly distracting thing -- kids, dogs, food, texting, gps navigation, level seats -- and try to ban them all. Bans on holding a mobile fun to one's ears have produced some comical results. , in which holding one's phone in front of one's face on speaker, like a waiter holding cocktails, is acceptable, but holding it to one's ear is not.

    Furthermore, Hands-Free Phones are Just as Risky as Handsets, Research Says.

    Laws ought to focus on ticketing distracted drivers who disobey other rules of the road, and charging with crimes or removing the licenses of those who cause damage or harm.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Argentius View Post
    Apparently, a California appellate court has ruled that using one's phone's mapping applications while driving is the same kind of violation as texting.

    As someone who works from his dashboard, and, uses his mobile phone as his main gps navigator, I find this alarming, though I do not know whether the driver in question was using a phone's voice-based turn-by-turn navigation, or just squinting at a tiny map on the screen, when ticketed.

    I think all this shows we've got to get serious on what we count as a violation when driving. I think it's impossible to enumerate every possibly distracting thing -- kids, dogs, food, texting, gps navigation, level seats -- and try to ban them all. Bans on holding a mobile fun to one's ears have produced some comical results. , in which holding one's phone in front of one's face on speaker, like a waiter holding cocktails, is acceptable, but holding it to one's ear is not.

    Furthermore, Hands-Free Phones are Just as Risky as Handsets, Research Says.

    Laws ought to focus on ticketing distracted drivers who disobey other rules of the road, and charging with crimes or removing the licenses of those who cause damage or harm.
    If research shows that we're just as distracted or impaired when talking through a hands-free device as we are when we hold the phone to our ear then it's safe to extrapolate that we're also just as much or more impaired by conversing with another occupant within the same vehicle. To my mind as an industrial designer, all of this is a clear sign for the need to develop and mass-produce semi-autonomous and full-autonomous motor vehicles.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by TerminatorX91 View Post
    If research shows that we're just as distracted or impaired when talking through a hands-free device as we are when we hold the phone to our ear then it's safe to extrapolate that we're also just as much or more impaired by conversing with another occupant within the same vehicle. To my mind as an industrial designer, all of this is a clear sign for the need to develop and mass-produce semi-autonomous and full-autonomous motor vehicles.
    Or just a much better public transit system.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by pulser955 View Post
    Or just a much better public transit system.
    There's a need for that too. I don't believe better public transit system can or will replace cars and trucks any time soon. Cars and trucks will become much safer and economical in terms of energy consumption over the next 30 years. I also think the Zipcar model will increasingly grow in prevalence.

  5. #5
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    My gripe with texting, peering at a tiny GPS map is I've seen drivers literally drift all the way across the centerline into the oncoming traffic lane before glancing up and swerving back. If that's what the officer observed, he was correct in ticketing the driver.

    It's simple- pull over if you need to do some reading, typing, map-reading. It may be inconvenient, cost you an extra minute or two but if it prevents an innocent party from being injured/killed it's worthwhile.

  6. #6
    xxl
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    Quote Originally Posted by TerminatorX91 View Post
    If research shows that we're just as distracted or impaired when talking through a hands-free device as we are when we hold the phone to our ear then it's safe to extrapolate that we're also just as much or more impaired by conversing with another occupant within the same vehicle. To my mind as an industrial designer, all of this is a clear sign for the need to develop and mass-produce semi-autonomous and full-autonomous motor vehicles.
    That extrapolation mightn't be as clear-cut as that, as research suggests that the additional cognitive "load" of reconstructing telephonic conversations in one's mind is the mental straw that breaks the camel's back (or front bumper, in this case.) Mind, I haven't examined the research all that closely, but my understanding is that unlike live talk, phone conversations, with fewer paralinguistic information available to the receiver, require more mental capacities to process, thus leading to faster cognitive overload (grossly simplified), and next thing you know, someone's in a ditch.

    It does seem, intuitively, that phone vs. live chats shouldn't be different, but apparently they are, just enough to distract drivers.

    I'd be all over a self-driving car, though, because then I could drink and drive.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by xxl View Post
    That extrapolation mightn't be as clear-cut as that, as research suggests that the additional cognitive "load" of reconstructing telephonic conversations in one's mind is the mental straw that breaks the camel's back (or front bumper, in this case.) Mind, I haven't examined the research all that closely, but my understanding is that unlike live talk, phone conversations, with fewer paralinguistic information available to the receiver, require more mental capacities to process, thus leading to faster cognitive overload (grossly simplified), and next thing you know, someone's in a ditch.

    It does seem, intuitively, that phone vs. live chats shouldn't be different, but apparently they are, just enough to distract drivers.

    I'd be all over a self-driving car, though, because then I could drink and drive.
    Seems to be a generational thing. In the oil field I worked in for 35 years (and for some 20 years before me) the field trucks were equipped with hand held radios for communication. Phones came out and were soon seen as a safety issue, pull over to the side of the road to talk. (from the back of the room) "Hey, we used radios for years and they've never been a problem." "Oh yeah, them too."

    Of course, we could never text on our radios.

  8. #8
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    LEGAL: Mapping and driving fine upheld in California?

    If you get hit by a self-driving car while riding your bike do you sue the "driver", the car, the software programmer, or the manufacturer?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by cgrr View Post
    If you get hit by a self-driving car while riding your bike do you sue the "driver", the car, the software programmer, or the manufacturer?
    That depends, were you wearing a helmet?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by cgrr View Post
    If you get hit by a self-driving car while riding your bike do you sue the "driver", the car, the software programmer, or the manufacturer?
    All of them, plus any agency or institution which certified the devise for safety.

    BTW -- are self-driving cars programed to stop upon impact with you or do they keep moving forward whether you are under the vehicle or impaled into the windshield?
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  11. #11
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    I would really love to see an autonomous vehicle, though where I sit at the moment it sounds as realistic as the Jetsons' suitcase car -- though I know the Google prototypes appeared to work well.

    But, I do not think it is "safe to extrapolate" that a conversation with a passenger is similarly distracting. I recall reading that it was not. I will see if I can find the study later.

    Quote Originally Posted by TerminatorX91 View Post
    If research shows that we're just as distracted or impaired when talking through a hands-free device as we are when we hold the phone to our ear then it's safe to extrapolate that we're also just as much or more impaired by conversing with another occupant within the same vehicle. To my mind as an industrial designer, all of this is a clear sign for the need to develop and mass-produce semi-autonomous and full-autonomous motor vehicles.

  12. #12
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    BTW -- are self-driving cars programed to stop upon impact with you or do they keep moving forward whether you are under the vehicle or impaled into the windshield?
    I believe they'll be programmed to back over you repeatedly- less witnesses to support the lawsuit.

  13. #13
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    I don't see how looking at the map on a phone would be any different than drivers who used to look at actual paper maps while driving.

  14. #14
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    Yes, they should also pull over to look at their paper maps.

  15. #15
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    I use my phone frequently for the turn by turn gps directions, but never for the map. I would agree with the theory that looking at a map regardless if it's paper or a tiny phone display is driving distracted.

    Last weekend I was riding my bicycle along a country highway, I heard the car behind me hit the grooves along the white line of the road and I swerved over into the gravel. The car went where I would have been, and I could see the right arm of the driver holding up a smart phone doing something. The person probably never even saw me.

    Bottom line, I don't want to be killed by a distracted driver, I'd rather go out on my own terms.
    "I felt bad because I couldn't wheelie; until I met a man with no bicycle"

  16. #16
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    QUESTION --- Isn't there some possibility of a technological solution to the new era PED devices and these modern vehicle running on a computerized ignition system?

    Seats in my car recognize if someone is in them (safety belt warnings) so PED sync'd to non-driver seats without the iginiton cut off is one the driver seat
    if some/many/few of the PED devises are determined to be a distraction to the driver
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by nOOky View Post
    I use my phone frequently for the turn by turn gps directions, but never for the map. I would agree with the theory that looking at a map regardless if it's paper or a tiny phone display is driving distracted.

    Last weekend I was riding my bicycle along a country highway, I heard the car behind me hit the grooves along the white line of the road and I swerved over into the gravel. The car went where I would have been, and I could see the right arm of the driver holding up a smart phone doing something. The person probably never even saw me.

    Bottom line, I don't want to be killed by a distracted driver, I'd rather go out on my own terms.
    I don't know how anyone could get through Phoenix without a Garmin type GPS. I couldn't do it with one. The lady in the box got so frustrated she tried to kill me by having me turn into the path of a train.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by xxl View Post
    That extrapolation mightn't be as clear-cut as that, as research suggests that the additional cognitive "load" of reconstructing telephonic conversations in one's mind is the mental straw that breaks the camel's back (or front bumper, in this case.) Mind, I haven't examined the research all that closely, but my understanding is that unlike live talk, phone conversations, with fewer paralinguistic information available to the receiver, require more mental capacities to process, thus leading to faster cognitive overload (grossly simplified), and next thing you know, someone's in a ditch.

    It does seem, intuitively, that phone vs. live chats shouldn't be different, but apparently they are, just enough to distract drivers.

    I'd be all over a self-driving car, though, because then I could drink and drive.
    I've found back-seat drivers and passenger side conversationalists can actually become too distracting while driving in tight L.A. freeway traffic. I'm also skeptical how effective versus distracting paralinguistic information coming from someone sitting behind you in the midst of road noise and car radio/stereo sounds could be.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snakebit View Post
    Seems to be a generational thing. In the oil field I worked in for 35 years (and for some 20 years before me) the field trucks were equipped with hand held radios for communication. Phones came out and were soon seen as a safety issue, pull over to the side of the road to talk. (from the back of the room) "Hey, we used radios for years and they've never been a problem." "Oh yeah, them too."

    Of course, we could never text on our radios.

    The amount of road congestion that we have to safely make our way through is a variable.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Argentius View Post
    I would really love to see an autonomous vehicle, though where I sit at the moment it sounds as realistic as the Jetsons' suitcase car -- though I know the Google prototypes appeared to work well.

    But, I do not think it is "safe to extrapolate" that a conversation with a passenger is similarly distracting. I recall reading that it was not. I will see if I can find the study later.
    There are at least a few major car companies that are working on this. This tech is first being introduced as driver-assistive features and will become more powerful and do more over time. I expect to research and learn much more about this over the next three years.

    I suspect how distracting talking drivers and passengers can be is dependent on several variables such as where passengers are seated in spatial relationship to the driver and the nature of the interaction.

    Impairment is a major problem. Sleep apnea can double a driver's risk of getting into a traffic accident.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by SauronHimself View Post
    I don't see how looking at the map on a phone would be any different than drivers who used to look at actual paper maps while driving.
    Looking at actual paper maps while driving is very distracting. How much more distracting the map on a smart-phone is would depend on whether you're only looking or if you're also using finger touch gestures to manipulate (pan, zoom in, zoom out) the information.

  22. #22
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    I guess I don't understand the problem. If you're driving and trying to read your phone, whether it's texting or looking at a map, you are a distracted driver. Pull over if you need to figure out where you're going.
    It's all fun and games until someone ends up in a cone.

    Don't make me go all honey badger on your ass

  23. #23
    xxl
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    Quote Originally Posted by TerminatorX91 View Post
    I've found back-seat drivers and passenger side conversationalists can actually become too distracting while driving in tight L.A. freeway traffic. I'm also skeptical how effective versus distracting paralinguistic information coming from someone sitting behind you in the midst of road noise and car radio/stereo sounds could be.
    I understand your skepticism (and wonder, from your poast, why you had to drive my mother-in-law around LA), so here's one study that shows the effects of cell phone chat vs. real-life chat (the link to the actual study, at the University of Utah, is embedded in the NYT story.

    Chatty Driving: Phones vs. Passengers - NYTimes.com

    Drivers Distracted More by Cell Phones Than by Passengers | University of Utah News

    Here's a meta-analysis, done at U of Illinois: http://mysite.verizon.net/horrey/pap...HF2006meta.pdf

    FWIW.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by snapdragen View Post
    I guess I don't understand the problem. If you're driving and trying to read your phone, whether it's texting or looking at a map, you are a distracted driver. Pull over if you need to figure out where you're going.
    That would make sense and would be the ideal. Counting on everyone to make good choices has very limited potential for making everyone safer.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by xxl View Post

    I'd be all over a self-driving car, though, because then I could drink and drive.
    If you drink enough it drives itself.

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