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fiamme red
12-22-2014, 10:30 AM
As if city cyclists didn't already have enough to be afraid of... :help:

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/12/21/distracted-driving-and-the-risks-of-ride-hailing-services-like-uber/

It Can Wait. The buzz phrase, popularized by AT&T in a public service campaign, urges drivers to show restraint with their phones.

But a growing number of drivers who make their living behind the wheel can’t wait. These are the drivers for Uber and its competitors, including taxi services, who, to make money, must respond nearly instantly to their smartphones, without regard to road conditions or safety.

When a service call comes in from Uber — by way of a loud beeping on the phone — a driver typically has 15 seconds to tap the phone to accept the fare. That can mean looking at the phone, seeing how far away the customer is and then making a decision. Failure to respond in 15 seconds means the fare goes to a different driver. In some cities, including New York, failure to respond to several calls in a row can lead to Uber’s temporarily suspending a driver...

Dead Man
12-22-2014, 10:48 AM
I don't know what the crap Uber is, but it sounds like they can afford to come up with a hands-free method. Either smartphone app, or something else. If it's the law in New York, like it is in (I'm assuming?) most other places in this country now, seems like it would be easy to make 'em do it, or lose whatever licensing/franchise rights they have.

fiamme red
12-22-2014, 11:13 AM
I don't know what the crap Uber is, but it sounds like they can afford to come up with a hands-free method. Either smartphone app, or something else. If it's the law in New York, like it is in (I'm assuming?) most other places in this country now, seems like it would be easy to make 'em do it, or lose whatever licensing/franchise rights they have.Here's one comment on the article:

When will everybody recognize that this isn't about hands-free vs hands-on? The cognitive challenge of assessing a potential fare and working out the mental map of where you are now, where your current passenger is going, where the next pick up is, and how long it will take to get from Point A to B to C and by what route -- not to mention weighing where the next passenger might want to go, how long it will take to get there and whether you can still make it home afterwards in time to do whatever you promised your wife you would do -- is a huge cognitive challenge. Our brains just can't handle that and keep full focus on the road. Not possible. So the driver has to take some of his mental bandwith off the road -- hands-free or not. This is a disaster waiting to happen.

Dead Man
12-22-2014, 11:18 AM
Here's one comment on the article:

I'll never buy into the ABSOLUTELY NO DISTRACTIONS philosophy for driving. If you can have a solid conversation with someone sitting next to you in the car, or listen to a political debate on the radio, you can take the 15-or-less seconds it takes to have thoughts about whether or not to accept a fair.

The problem with electronic devices is that the both take your eyes of the road for extended periods of time AND completely divert thought away from the task of driving. You can do one or the other; you can't do both.

cat6
12-22-2014, 11:29 AM
The problem with electronic devices is that the both take your eyes of the road for extended periods of time AND completely divert thought away from the task of driving. You can do one or the other; you can't do both.

ORLY? One or the other huh? Hmmmm.

Saint Vitus
12-22-2014, 11:33 AM
I need to hold my tongue...

15 seconds:

Everyone, count along with me!
One thousand one, One thousand two, one thousand three, one thousand four...




BAM!!!!

Mark McM
12-22-2014, 12:21 PM
I'll never buy into the ABSOLUTELY NO DISTRACTIONS philosophy for driving. If you can have a solid conversation with someone sitting next to you in the car, or listen to a political debate on the radio, you can take the 15-or-less seconds it takes to have thoughts about whether or not to accept a fair.

Studies show that even hands free phones cause serious driver distraction. And studies also show (and the above post is an example) that most people don't realize how distracted they are when they are on (a hands-free) phone.

http://www.nsc.org/DistractedDrivingDocuments/Cognitive-Distraction-White-Paper.pdf

From the paper (bolding added by me):

Hands-free devices often are seen as a solution to the risks of driver distraction because they help eliminate two obvious risks visual, looking away from the road and manual, removing your hands off of the steering wheel. However, a third type of distraction can occur when using cell phones while driving cognitive, taking your mind off the road. Hands-free devices do not eliminate cognitive distraction.

The amount of exposure to each risk is key. Crashes are a function of the severity of each risk and how often the risk occurs. Most people can recognize when they are visually or mechanically distracted and seek to disengage from these activities as quickly as possible. However, people typically do not realize when they are cognitively distracted, such as taking part in a phone conversation; therefore, the risk lasts much, much longer. This likely explains why researchers have not been able to find a safety benefit to hands-free phone conversations.

FlashUNC
12-22-2014, 12:27 PM
Maybe its deeper in the paper where they draw the distinction, but how does a hands-free phone conversation differ from a conversation with someone sitting in the passenger seat for cognitive distraction?

Whenever I'm talking with someone through my bluetooth setup in my car, it feels no different than them sitting there.

Holding a phone and talking, I get as a distraction. But hands free? I'm struggling with that one.

Saint Vitus
12-22-2014, 01:01 PM
Maybe its deeper in the paper where they draw the distinction, but how does a hands-free phone conversation differ from a conversation with someone sitting in the passenger seat for cognitive distraction?

Whenever I'm talking with someone through my bluetooth setup in my car, it feels no different than them sitting there.

Holding a phone and talking, I get as a distraction. But hands free? I'm struggling with that one.

I suggest that one looks into what is know as "The sterile cockpit". Granted the term is aviation related, but it came about after a number of air disasters (in one of which, Stephen Colbert lost his father and 2 brothers...) and it relates wholly to the discussion at hand, which is distractions.

It boils down to this: During critical segments of the flight (notably take-off and landing) crew chatter is to be kept to a minimum and to be only related to the task at hand. IANAP and this is my understanding of the term, but I encourage any here who know the term from experience to address any misinterpretation I might have or to further clarify.

I can't count how many times I have had to ask my kids to keep it down while I'm driving, nor can I count how many times my father has asked my siblings and I the same while growing up. And this goes for inputs to the pilot ("Can we listen to the radio?" etc).

So... all that said, I look at city driving as the 'Take-off and landing' portion of my driving and freeway driving (unless in heavy traffic) as the 'cruising' part.

Mark McM
12-22-2014, 01:18 PM
Maybe its deeper in the paper where they draw the distinction, but how does a hands-free phone conversation differ from a conversation with someone sitting in the passenger seat for cognitive distraction?

http://www.distraction.gov/download/research-pdf/Passenger-Cellphone-Conversations.pdf

From the abstract:

Previous work on use of cell phones while driving compared cell phone conversations while driving with driving only conditions. This study investigated how conversing on a cell phone differs from conversing with a passenger. Participants conversed about close-call situations they experienced. We compared how well drivers followed task instructions when driving only, when driving and conversing on a cell phone, and when driving and conversing with a passenger. The results show that the number of driving errors was highest in the cell-phone condition. Analyzing the conversations we found that in passenger conversations more references were made to traffic and more turn taking followed those references than in cell phone conversations. The results show that passenger conversations differ from cell phone conversations because the surrounding traffic becomes a topic of the conversation, helping driver and passenger to share situation awareness, and mitigating the potential effects of conversation on driving.

Ken Robb
12-22-2014, 01:40 PM
In San Diego the typical driver lacks judgement and car-handling skill. This is at least partly because it never snows and seldom rains so most drivers have no experience compensating for skids and adjusting speed and following distances for changing conditions.

I don't want to accept rides from strangers even if the rides are free and the drivers not distracted. While our regular taxi drivers don't compare favorably with the drivers of "Black" cabs in London most have them quite a bit of current experience driving in traffic.

FlashUNC
12-22-2014, 02:17 PM
http://www.distraction.gov/download/research-pdf/Passenger-Cellphone-Conversations.pdf

From the abstract:

Interesting.

Peter P.
12-22-2014, 04:56 PM
I'll never buy into the ABSOLUTELY NO DISTRACTIONS philosophy for driving. If you can have a solid conversation with someone sitting next to you in the car, or listen to a political debate on the radio, you can take the 15-or-less seconds it takes to have thoughts about whether or not to accept a fair.

Read the book, Traffic: Why We Drive The Way We Do (And What It Says About Us) (http://www.amazon.com/Traffic-Drive-What-Says-About/dp/0307277194). It explains that there IS a difference between the conversation with the person next to you in the car/political debate on the radio/phone call. The difference is in the centers of the brain used for each and how they may or may not detract from driving awareness at the same time.

EDS
12-22-2014, 05:03 PM
As if city cyclists didn't already have enough to be afraid of... :help:

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/12/21/distracted-driving-and-the-risks-of-ride-hailing-services-like-uber/

At least here in NY we have had to deal with taxis and town cars for decades.

Ralph
12-22-2014, 05:30 PM
My wife has a Ford Edge Limited model with "hands free" everything.....phone, climate control, NAV, and entertainment. I find it very distracting because the voice recognition only works well if you speak very precisely, and that's takes concentration off the road. And choosing entertainment options between HD FM radio, AM, and Serius as well as Pandora, etc, is more attention consuming than UBER APS. I think it's dangerous. At least she waits until she is stopped to read the phone text messages off the center screen of the car....and doesn't listen to them while driving....or answer them which one can do by speaking.

I mostly use the redundant manual controls for these functions, less distraction. So....if you're going to use the manual controls, why pay for the latest greatest? I won't next vehicle. Back to just some basics. And Ford offers this "hands free"system on all it's cars. Dangerous I say.

RE the UBER Aps.....I imagine they can deal with it OK while driving, but it's still distracting. But am sure they learn it quick. It's not the most distracting thing being put in cars. Holding a phone in your hand while driving has not been necessary for several years. My mother in law's 2008 Mercury has hands free calling and a screen.

unterhausen
12-22-2014, 09:33 PM
not sure why "pro drivers" think they can do the things that the rest of us can't. Evidence shows differently. I had a run in with a taxi driver a while back on my commute. He ran a stop sign when I was in an intersection, turns to go my direction and drives me to the curb and stops. After the panic stop, I smacked the side his van really hard, which wasn't exactly the best thing for taxi-cyclist relations, but so what? He was on the phone with his fare. I really don't think he would have driven like that if he wasn't

oldpotatoe
12-23-2014, 06:10 AM
In San Diego the typical driver lacks judgement and car-handling skill. This is at least partly because it never snows and seldom rains so most drivers have no experience compensating for skids and adjusting speed and following distances for changing conditions.

I don't want to accept rides from strangers even if the rides are free and the drivers not distracted. While our regular taxi drivers don't compare favorably with the drivers of "Black" cabs in London most have them quite a bit of current experience driving in traffic.

AND a commercial license, not that is a panacea for decent driving.

This is one step above thumbing a ride. Pay your money, take your chances.

http://www.wcvb.com/news/uber-driver-charged-with-raping-kidnapping-woman/30286288

malcolm
12-23-2014, 08:54 AM
I think it's the obvious, we all drive so much that we completely take it for granted. It's probably one of the more dangerous things the average person does on a daily basis and you'll see people texting, eating, putting on make up etc.. People get in a car and their minds go off instead of high alert it's almost like we need a distraction from the monotony of piloting our 3000 lb projectile.

AustinHorse
12-23-2014, 08:57 AM
Ironically the perfect hands free system has already been developed- a push to talk radio and competent dispatcher.

Given the number of acquaintances I have who've been on the wrong end of a bike/livery cab incident, the article is mistaken in it being a disaster waiting to happen; I'm sure it already has.