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redball



Joined: 12 May 2006
Posts: 6871
Location: Northern New Jersey
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Re: statistics
It's more complicated than just that, Cakes. It could be that you're a terrible driver who simply doesn't drive as much. It may be that you only drive short distances, or in low traffic. Ultimately, it's only a good indicator of risk to the insurance company. It tells them that something you're doing, be it luck, driving habits, schedule, or likely a combination, has allowed you to avoid an accident. What they're hoping is that it is driving habits, which are really the key factor. If you practice safe driving habits then you are less likely to cause or be involved in an accident. Unfortunately, outside of averages [i.e. on a case-by-case basis] the inverse is not true. Being a good, safe driver will make you less likely to be involved in an accident, but you cannot control the world and every driver is at risk every time they enter a vehicle. Also, not even the best drivers are perfect. You cannot take into account the hundreds of factors involved in driving 100% of the time. Even the best drivers will have a lapse in attention or fail to notice something.

What I'm getting at here is that you need to divorce the idea that history is an indicator of skill. This is to address the claim that your history of texting while driving without accident indicates that you truly have the skill to do so in the future with the same results. It is not true.

Re: The defense for texting.

You are arguing against the effects of texting versus intoxication. I was pointing out that the defense is the same. Your statement that you've managed to text while driving without incident is no different than remind's statement that he's never been involved in a crash while intoxicate. Since we should have divorced history from skill, you should be able to see how both defenses are flawed and that they rely on the same inherent claim.

Re: Distractions

You're right. There are hundreds of distractions that can lead to accidents. Texting is one, and it involves significant attention diverted from the road. If we return to statistics we find that texting, in the short time it has been with us, is already involved in more accidents than looking at women. [I can try to find a source later, but I promise you that I have read that and the study did include looking at people as a cause for accidents.] You said it yourself, 30 seconds to text. During that 30 seconds your ability to pay attention to the hundreds of things happening around you is reduced to levels at or below that of a severely intoxicated driver.

I won't claim that texting while driving is as dangerous as drinking and driving. I can retract anything I've said to the contrary. However, the caveat is that texting while driving is as or more dangerous while you're in the act. In other words, a 30 second text while driving is as bad as a 30 second drive after drinking. The huge difference being that once you stop you return to your normal attention levels and can drive with whatever skill you usually posses, meanwhile a 30 second drunk drive won't take you far.
Post Thu Sep 10, 2009 10:10 am
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Sage Francis
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Joined: 30 Jun 2002
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I wonder how many accidents are caused by day dreaming.
Post Thu Sep 10, 2009 10:13 am
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Stumbleweed



Joined: 09 Mar 2005
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Tired people are worse than both... plenty of those driving around America right now, including overworked truckers. Good times.
Post Thu Sep 10, 2009 10:50 am
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cakes



Joined: 15 Dec 2006
Posts: 2586
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i apologize now, because long posts annoy me.
redball wrote:
Re: statistics
It's more complicated than just that, Cakes.
it’s true, it’s not as simple, but people go all over the place when it comes to stats, so I kept it light. it's hard enough talking about these things with a group of statisticians, it's incredibly complicated.
redball wrote:
It could be that you're a terrible driver who simply doesn't drive as much. It may be that you only drive short distances, or in low traffic. Ultimately, it's only a good indicator of risk to the insurance company. It tells them that something you're doing, be it luck, driving habits, schedule, or likely a combination, has allowed you to avoid an accident. What they're hoping is that it is driving habits, which are really the key factor. If you practice safe driving habits then you are less likely to cause or be involved in an accident.
exactly. I suppose my point is that they need to use something, and this thought process (not just accidents, but all traffic violations), is one of the best ways to do so.
redball wrote:
Unfortunately, outside of averages [i.e. on a case-by-case basis] the inverse is not true. Being a good, safe driver will make you less likely to be involved in an accident, but you cannot control the world and every driver is at risk every time they enter a vehicle. Also, not even the best drivers are perfect. You cannot take into account the hundreds of factors involved in driving 100% of the time. Even the best drivers will have a lapse in attention or fail to notice something.
of course not, but such is life when discussing any risk factors or any prediction whatsoever, be it safety or health or anything inbetween. The original statement or inverse may not be true 100% of the time, very few things are, but I hope it is majority of the time. Enough to take it into account anyway. Besides, definition of “good” in this case is subjective.
redball wrote:
What I'm getting at here is that you need to divorce the idea that history is an indicator of skill. This is to address the claim that your history of texting while driving without accident indicates that you truly have the skill to do so in the future with the same results. It is not true.
it may not be true, but it could be. history may not be an indicator of skill, but in the case that you need to attempt to predict the future, it’s a large chunk of your data source.
redball wrote:
Re: The defense for texting.
You are arguing against the effects of texting versus intoxication. I was pointing out that the defense is the same. Your statement that you've managed to text while driving without incident is no different than remind's statement that he's never been involved in a crash while intoxicate. Since we should have divorced history from skill, you should be able to see how both defenses are flawed and that they rely on the same inherent claim.
I do see the claim, and you're right, I suppose I was only speaking on safety as a whole. And in some way, the fact that you’ve never killed anyone while driving before has to say something. Remind’s argument has to do with luck n such the entire time he’s in the car. Someone may be able to text while taking less than 30 seconds to look away for all we know. What if he or she only looks away for 10 or 15 at most? Chances are, he'd be less as likely to get into accidents than someone who does so for 45 seconds. He may have avoided accidents in the past because of this fact, in addition to not tailgating people, etc. I'm just not a fan of putting it into law, because it’s much too close to any other choice while driving.
redball wrote:
Re: Distractions
You're right. There are hundreds of distractions that can lead to accidents. Texting is one, and it involves significant attention diverted from the road. If we return to statistics we find that texting, in the short time it has been with us, is already involved in more accidents than looking at women. [I can try to find a source later, but I promise you that I have read that and the study did include looking at people as a cause for accidents.] You said it yourself, 30 seconds to text. During that 30 seconds your ability to pay attention to the hundreds of things happening around you is reduced to levels at or below that of a severely intoxicated driver.
I won't claim that texting while driving is as dangerous as drinking and driving. I can retract anything I've said to the contrary. However, the caveat is that texting while driving is as or more dangerous while you're in the act. In other words, a 30 second text while driving is as bad as a 30 second drive after drinking. The huge difference being that once you stop you return to your normal attention levels and can drive with whatever skill you usually posses, meanwhile a 30 second drunk drive won't take you far.
the same is true if i sneeze three times and pick up a tissue. i suppose my point is that driving is dangerous, period, and the laws get touchy because when you give someone a licence, they take on responsibility for where and when they are looking at something. and you're right, no matter what, if i'm not looking, i'm not looking, but as we all seem to agree, texting is hardly alone in that sense. and when it comes to drinking the point is reaction time (isn't much better to drive while you're really tired - as Stumbleweed said). I look, i’m faster at reacting. Period. And some people happen to have faster reaction time than others, neurons are cool like that. you could be a "good" driver because of this, not because you follow the law, but it has to be generalized in some way.

Statistics is nothing more than a predictor, and if something is less likely to happen it's never guaranteed not to, but you know that.
Post Thu Sep 10, 2009 11:08 am
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remind



Joined: 22 Jun 2008
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Location: NJ
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cakes wrote:
Remind’s argument has to do with luck n such the entire time he’s in the car.


Not entirely. I'm a good driver. Though, at times, aggressive... it's only because I know how to drive well.
Post Thu Sep 10, 2009 11:22 am
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redball



Joined: 12 May 2006
Posts: 6871
Location: Northern New Jersey
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Sage Francis wrote:
I wonder how many accidents are caused by day dreaming.


According to the NHSTA in December of 08, 1.9% of accidents involve daydreaming as a critical precrash event.

http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811052.PDF
page 271

edit: For the sake of your sanity, open this report with extreme caution. It's over 500 pages of confusing tables. I was only able to find that stat by sheer luck.


Last edited by redball on Thu Sep 10, 2009 11:39 am; edited 1 time in total
Post Thu Sep 10, 2009 11:23 am
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cakes



Joined: 15 Dec 2006
Posts: 2586
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remind wrote:
cakes wrote:
Remind’s argument has to do with luck n such the entire time he’s in the car.
Not entirely. I'm a good driver. Though, at times, aggressive... it's only because I know how to drive well.
sorry, i was attempting to just reiterate your point regarding the argument. agreed.

i'm opening the link now, and it very well may answer my questions, but how do people measure these things? accessing accident reports? i've never been in one (cause i'm such an amazing driver!), but i suppose it's part of the write-up? i wouldn't admit to daydreaming i don't think.

edit: oh my that's massive. now that i've followed to the site, i know i'll be distracted for a while!


Last edited by cakes on Thu Sep 10, 2009 11:46 am; edited 2 times in total
Post Thu Sep 10, 2009 11:34 am
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redball



Joined: 12 May 2006
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Location: Northern New Jersey
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My goal with the somewhat inflammatory statements that started this argument, Cakes, was to help people identify a dangerous habit and avoid it. The difference between many of the other distractions that you've listed and texting is that texting is entirely avoidable. It's simple: don't do it. It is not so simple to teach yourself not to look at the world around you and it's likely impossible to prevent yourself from ever sneezing. Texting, like drunk driving, is an avoidable thing that has a relatively low cost to learn.

Tired driving is really bad. With truckers I tend to blame the employers for setting unrealistic timetables.
Post Thu Sep 10, 2009 11:37 am
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zagadka
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Joined: 30 Nov 2004
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speaking of truckers, has anyone else noticed a complete disregard to the "trucks stay in the right lane" rule we all learned in driver's ed? it drives me nuts.

or how about trucks of all kinds, not just semis, hauling balls down the road? i live in a pretty heavily congested suburban area that is undergoing major road construction on every major road + highway, so traffic and "wolf packs" of cars are completely unavoidable.

yesterday in a 40mph zone where most people go 50-55 mph comes a cement truck going at least 70mph, tail gating people, making swerving lane changes, almost hit a car that was broken down in the center turn lane. I was going to call and report but it was so fast that I couldn't even write down the plate number.

we all hate trucks because they are slow turtles but i'd rather wait a few extra minutes while they shift through their 100,000 gears than be smashed to goo...
Post Thu Sep 10, 2009 11:46 am
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cakes



Joined: 15 Dec 2006
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redball wrote:
My goal with the somewhat inflammatory statements that started this argument, Cakes, was to help people identify a dangerous habit and avoid it. The difference between many of the other distractions that you've listed and texting is that texting is entirely avoidable. It's simple: don't do it. It is not so simple to teach yourself not to look at the world around you and it's likely impossible to prevent yourself from ever sneezing. Texting, like drunk driving, is an avoidable thing that has a relatively low cost to learn.

Tired driving is really bad. With truckers I tend to blame the employers for setting unrealistic timetables.
it's true. i've been hanging out with a dude who uses those kinds of examples and it always pisses me off. apparently it's rubbed off. though, most of the other examples are avoidable and i suppose if someone can't at least recognize that it's much better not to, then I'd be concerned for a number of other reasons.
Post Thu Sep 10, 2009 11:49 am
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cakes



Joined: 15 Dec 2006
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zagadka wrote:
speaking of truckers, has anyone else noticed a complete disregard to the "trucks stay in the right lane" rule we all learned in driver's ed? it drives me nuts.
they can go into the center of a three laned highway, can't they? i've never seen one in the far left, but either way, they still make me super nervous. plus, they're just so loud!
Post Thu Sep 10, 2009 11:51 am
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outpatient



Joined: 07 Jul 2005
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over here I have no problem with trucks. it's randoms in unmarked white vans who always drive like jackasses and I don't know why. not giving a shit about priority at roundabouts, tailgating & bullying people into speeding, driving through red lights at 40 and almost hitting me when I'm one foot off the pavement, etc etc. what the fuck.

this isn't some annoying string of coincidences that's built over the past month either, these van bastards have been plaguing me my whole life. I have a bunch of theories but none of them are really plausible.
Post Thu Sep 10, 2009 12:14 pm
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zagadka
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cakes wrote:
zagadka wrote:
speaking of truckers, has anyone else noticed a complete disregard to the "trucks stay in the right lane" rule we all learned in driver's ed? it drives me nuts.
they can go into the center of a three laned highway, can't they? i've never seen one in the far left, but either way, they still make me super nervous. plus, they're just so loud!


yeah, you're right. 3 lane highways they can have center + far right, but the left lane is not for them.

when you buy a MINI, regardless if its used or new, you can get a welcome package that has some fun, random stuff in it. they used to have flash cards with all kinds of sayings like "hang up and drive" or " trucks use right lane". I always wished I had that. But i got a stencil that says "parking for minis only"...

i hate driving by trucks, but if worse came to worse i know i could escape underneath them a la The Italian Job. not really, but i can dream... just not while driving.
Post Thu Sep 10, 2009 12:59 pm
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Captiv8



Joined: 25 Aug 2006
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Truckers are no joke. I'm a really good defensive driver though, anticipating the oblivion of all of all drivers. I assume everyone is going to do something stupid that will cause me to crash. So far it's worked. I always pray for cops when someone goes zipping by me at 90 on the highway. It rarely works.

I saw a billboard on my way home today that said "Buzzed driving is the same as drunk driving."
Post Fri Sep 11, 2009 7:36 pm
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redball



Joined: 12 May 2006
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Location: Northern New Jersey
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Truckers are the more trained, and often the most skilled drivers on the road. I think they get a bad reputation because you cannot drive a truck as you would drive a light passenger vehicle, and when they are doing something wrong it's that much more obvious to the world. Unless the truck says US Express on the side you shouldn't assume that they're bad drivers, you should be wary that they may be sleep deprived, on an impossible schedule, or all of the above.

The best way to handle truckers:

Don't tailgate them. If you're up their ass then they may lose track of where you are, then if you're trying get into another blind spot later they may assume you're still back there.

Don't cut them off. Yeah, they've got a lot of rubber and air brakes, but they still take far longer to make an emergency stop than you.

Try not to drive beside them. If there's light traffic you have no reason to do this. Pass them or don't. Even in heavier traffic you shouldn't linger beside them if you can avoid it. You don't want to be there if they lose track of you or a gust of wind comes along.

Be careful on windy days and curvy roads. You should follow my last bit of advice especially during these times. It's not always easy keeping things on course, at speed, on a curvy road. During wind sheer a trucker may not be able to keep the truck in their lane.

Yield to faster traffic. This is especially true for trucks. I think you have to talk to a trucker to understand the sheer desperation they feel when they're behind some impossible schedule. A speeding ticket could end their career, so they don't take those lightly either. If a truck is speeding and driving crazy the best thing to do is get out of their way and be alert in case they cause something up the road. You won't do anyone any favors by playing part-time traffic cop and enforcing your idea of a speed limit on them. The added benefit here is that you've got someone ahead of you to catch the attention of idle police. This applies to everyone, but I try to be especially considerate of truckers.

Use your turn signal. When I worked at the truck stop I heard a lot of truckers complain about how passenger vehicles switch lanes without their turn signals. It's harder for them to see you and keep track of your actions, turn signals really do help them.


If you ever want to have a very different road trip experience try to slow down and travel with the truckers, instead of doing whatever you can to pass them. You'll feel like one of the team the first time a trucker turns their lights off then back on to let you know that you're far enough ahead of them and can get over. Make sure to turn your lights off and on twice to say thanks.
Post Fri Sep 11, 2009 8:18 pm
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