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Old 10-31-2010, 10:18 AM   #16
JSWolf
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Old 10-31-2010, 10:26 AM   #17
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I honestly don't see what the people in the video find funny about it. It's not the least bit amusing. Would you laugh as you watch someone commit a crime?

Last edited by HarryT; 10-31-2010 at 10:28 AM.
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Old 10-31-2010, 10:34 AM   #18
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Wow wow wow... I keep my kindle with me in the event that I get stuck in traffic (Happens always where I live) but when I read I am in the expressway with my truck in park.
Sigh...
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Old 10-31-2010, 11:10 AM   #19
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Too many people think they can multitask while driving, IMO.
Exactly so. All kinds of "speshul snoeflaykes" (spelling intentional) out there just certain that normal rules or laws, even the laws of physics or biology, do not apply to wonderful center-of-the-universe them.
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Old 10-31-2010, 12:15 PM   #20
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IMO, reading (in any form) while driving is stupid bordering on (should be) criminal negligence. If you (generic you, not the OP) are driving, you need to be paying attention to that, since a lapse of attention on your part could easily injure or kill someone.

100 % Agree
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Old 10-31-2010, 12:58 PM   #21
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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.
I agree completely. I used to have a daily commute that averaged about 4 hours - often longer in the winter when it was dark (both morning and evening) and the weather was bad. I found that without some other mental stimulation it was very easy to "zone out" and lose track of where I was and what was going on around me. Audiobooks were a lifesaver (quite possibly literally). Music wasn't enough of a distraction, and talk radio got old quick and often ran the risk of raising my blood pressure. Audiobooks were (and still are) perfect. I can plug my mp3 player into the audio input jack in my car, hit play, and seldom if ever have to touch it again until I reach my destination. It's actually less distracting than carrying on a conversation with a passenger, since you don't have to respond, only listen - and you're not tempted to turn and look at the mp3 player when it talks to you. I don't have the long daily commute anymore, but it's still a minimum of a 30 minute drive any time I leave home, on winding country roads, so my audiobooks still come in very handy.
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Old 10-31-2010, 03:12 PM   #22
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Don't know about you guys, but for me audiobooks are "sleep magic". I can't sleep if there is a TV/radio/strange sounds/any light in my vicinity, but give me an audio book and I am out.
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Old 10-31-2010, 03:18 PM   #23
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I listen to audiobooks in the car all of the time because I live in traffic (L.A.). Talking on the phone (even hands free) is more dangerous than an audiobook.
The human brain can only concentrate on one thing at a time. You might think you can listen to a story and drive at the same time, but what you are actually doing is switching from one to the other. There will be stretches of road that you don't remember driving down, and there will be gaps in the story where your concentration switched to the road.
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Old 10-31-2010, 03:28 PM   #24
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The human brain can only concentrate on one thing at a time. You might think you can listen to a story and drive at the same time, but what you are actually doing is switching from one to the other. There will be stretches of road that you don't remember driving down, and there will be gaps in the story where your concentration switched to the road.
Well, I can tell you that in over 35 years of driving, I've only had one moving violation (that was 1984) and every accident I've had in the last 30 years has been someone hitting me.

As I said, I live in traffic. Audiobooks save me from road frustration (not full on road rage). I'm a much calmer driver when I'm listening to an audiobook.

Since listening to the radio or music, talking to other people in the car or listening to audiobooks while driving have not been banned, I think must be enough evidence to show it is not a large detriment to driving (unlike talking on the phone or texting).
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Old 10-31-2010, 04:59 PM   #25
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Quote:
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The human brain can only concentrate on one thing at a time. You might think you can listen to a story and drive at the same time, but what you are actually doing is switching from one to the other. There will be stretches of road that you don't remember driving down, and there will be gaps in the story where your concentration switched to the road.
It's a question, though, of what helps you to maintain your concentration; for me personally, there's absolutely no doubt that, especially on a long journey, driving with an audiobook maintains my concentration a lot better than driving without an audiobook.
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Old 10-31-2010, 05:09 PM   #26
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I just don't understand why he would read from a book and a kindle at the same time - it just doesn't make sense to me. And if you have a kindle then you'd just turn on the TTS and listen rather than read. Something about it doesn't seem right to me.
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Old 10-31-2010, 05:31 PM   #27
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The human brain can only concentrate on one thing at a time.
Even if we agree on that (which I don't; if it were, we couldn't walk and chew gum!), that doesn't necessarily apply to audiobooks. Most notably, it's not necessary to give one's full attention to an audiobook all the time. If something happens that needs your attention on the road, that attention will snap right to where it needs to be.

Humans can, in fact, pay attention to multiple things at once. True, only one thing can be reserved for full attention, but anyone who tries directing the kind of attention reserved for, say, a finicky bit of model work to driving is going to crash into something. The human mind can't keep up that kind of attention for long. Without variety, people zone out. Some of them fall asleep. Most of them couldn't tell you what their commute/trip/whatever was like, because they don't remember any of it. Some people go on "autopilot" and follow their customary route somewhere, even if that isn't where they're going, because their brain is just humming along in neutral.

I've been a commercial driver, and I've driven hundreds, even thousands, of miles at a time for private purposes (including diagonally across the US). As a courier, driving the exact same route, hundreds of miles every night, I became extremely aware of my alertness and how to maintain it. I wish I'd had audiobooks; they would have helped.

No, the ideal is not a driver sealed in a little compartment isolated from all influences except the road around him, as some people seem to expect. That's a recipe for disaster. Without stimulation -- and again, we're not talking downtown in a big city here, we're talking an open motorway -- that driver turns into a zombie who has difficultly noticing, let alone reacting to, unexpected events. The eyes need to be pointed road-ward, because eyes are a single-use sense; they can only effectively look at one thing at a time (if you're reading, peripheral vision is not enough). But the ears can hear multiple things at once, and that can include passengers, radios, and audiobooks. I can tell you from personal experience, far too much personal experience, that with none of the above, your brain begins to drone, and it doesn't take as long as you think. The more familiar the route, the more easily it happens. And that is so not what you want.
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Old 10-31-2010, 06:00 PM   #28
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Don't know about you guys, but for me audiobooks are "sleep magic". I can't sleep if there is a TV/radio/strange sounds/any light in my vicinity, but give me an audio book and I am out.
This is true for me too, if I'm just sitting doing nothing but listening to the book. Just the opposite is true though if I'm doing something else - driving, walking, housework or yardwork, etc. Having the audiobook to listen to in those situations actually helps me stay more alert and I don't get bored with activities that would normally have that effect on me. It's almost like my brain isn't being kept busy enough with just one easy task, and wanders off looking for something else to do, but if I give it two things to keep track of, then it's happy!
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Old 10-31-2010, 06:17 PM   #29
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This is true for me too, if I'm just sitting doing nothing but listening to the book. Just the opposite is true though if I'm doing something else - driving, walking, housework or yardwork, etc. Having the audiobook to listen to in those situations actually helps me stay more alert and I don't get bored with activities that would normally have that effect on me. It's almost like my brain isn't being kept busy enough with just one easy task, and wanders off looking for something else to do, but if I give it two things to keep track of, then it's happy!
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Old 10-31-2010, 07:38 PM   #30
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Even if we agree on that (which I don't; if it were, we couldn't walk and chew gum!),
Walking and chewing are both things that don't need much thought process, so you could easily do them both while doing something else. Listening to audio drama or reading/listening to a book, and looking for/anticipating driving hazards both require a high level of attention.

If you are a long distance driver you will probably equate driving with walking, something you can do automatically without thinking. And as long as no hazards present themselves you will be able to switch attention to your audiobook while your hands and feet do the required movements without any conscious thought. But that will slow your reflexes if/when a hazard does occur, and if you are lucky enough to be able to deal with that hazard you will not be able to concentrate on your book while you do so.

Have you ever been at an accident, where someone will say "He came out of nowhere, there was nothing I could do"? What that means is their mind was occupied with something else, so their victim's presence just didn't register until it was too late. But it is easier for people to believe in teleportation than to acknowledge their own limitations.
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