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Old 10-31-2010, 10:15 AM   #13
Worldwalker
Curmudgeon
Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 3,085
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Device: PRS-505
I don't need a video. That's beyond dangerous and well in to @#$@ stupid.

I disagree with the people who say that anything except staring directly at the road is a bad idea, for the simple reason that a driver who does nothing but stare directly at the road will turn into a zombie who can't drive either. (And what's with billboards, whose whole PURPOSE is to distract drivers?) The people who say that there should be no inputs of any kind, from radios to passengers, are wrong. There needs to be some balance. But the driver's top priority has to be driving, can only be driving, and reading (on a Kindle or otherwise), putting on makeup, texting, checking paper maps, or God only knows what else, is not balance; it's stupid.

That said, I think some of the people who decide how other people should drive are mind-blowingly stupid. For example, the ones who define "aggressive driving" as traveling above the posted speed limits. Back when I drove hundreds of miles every night (commercially), I doubt if anyone drove the speed limit; most people's company schedules simply wouldn't let them. But you take, say, a truck convoy traveling 15 mph faster than what was posted (amusingly enough, now the speed limit!) and they were probably the least aggressive people you could meet out there ... relaxed, mellow, talking on the CB occasionally ... anything but "aggressive drivers". But you can't measure things like sudden lane changes with a radar gun, and nobody just hands you money for it, so traveling faster than the posted speed limits is "aggressive driving" and the guy who just cut you off, almost taking the front end off your car, and then slammed on his breaks in order to not hit that other car, is scot-free.

They look at accidents and say that because X% involve people texting, or just on their bloody phones, that -- and yes, I've seen this -- nobody should listen to their car radios. I've seen recommendations for a ban on car radios. Because if a major distraction is bad, apparently, there should be nothing whatsoever for the driver's thoughts to turn except for the road. I have to wonder if any of these people have ever driven more than five miles to the store ... heck, whether they've ever driven a car. I have some good material for comparison: driving at night (would they ban that too?) with and without audio. I can tell you from considerable personal experience, if you're driving at night down an empty highway (what they consider "safe", except the night thing of course, but I'm nocturnal anyway), it can be a fight to stay focused if there's nothing but you and the road. Add something on the radio (I have a personal preference for old time radio) and your brain stays alert and doesn't start to hum.

And then you get the people who can't put their cell phone down long enough to get out of the Wal-Mart parking lot. They're teenagers who can't drive to begin with; it takes practice they haven't had yet. Or they're soccer moms with three screaming kids; kids who are probably feeling neglected because Mom hasn't put down that phone since before they left the house. Nothing, to them, is a higher priority than their phone -- not shopping in Wal-Mart, not checking out, and not not backing over me when I'm in a bright red car leaning on my horn. Yes, I've had someone back into me under those circumstances, when I was trapped between two other cars fore and aft and couldn't go anywhere. Well ... I doubt if those people are going to be the ones with the Kindles for the simple reason that I doubt if they're likely to be able to read.

Something else I wish cars designers would do: make it possible to set the temperature without looking at the heater. They need their row of identical buttons because it "looks better"; we need odd shapes or bumps or something (or even the old sliders) because we can know where it is by feel, without having to look. I wonder how much distraction is caused by trying to get that thing to not incinerate your feet?

The human ear is an omnidirectional device. It can listen to things from all directions at once, and it can pay attention to any or all of those things, prioritizing as necessary. The human eye is a monodirectional device. It can only focus on one thing. And if that's freaking Kindle, it isn't the road. And let's not even get into the uses of the human hand. Sure, you need to take one off the wheel every so often (if you don't, the cramps will be more of a distraction, as I'm reminded every time I go to Philadelphia), but to stretch, move around, push a button, maybe even drink a swig of soda, not hold a freaking cell phone to your face. No Kindles. No texts. No stupid.

Oh, and Manichean is right: the word is "reading"; the word "kindling" indicates starting a fire or, if you're a rabbit, giving birth. Neither one is recommended in a moving car either.
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