UKC

/ M1 Lorry Crash

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mypyrex - on 08 Mar 2018

The two drivers involved in the M1 lorry crash last year have been convicted of causing death by careless driving and dangerous driving respectively. Wagstaff, the one convicted on the careless driving charges, had been on his phone(hands free) for an hour up to the time of the accident.

I am not convinced that the use of a hands-free phone is much safer than physically holding the phone. Any conversation by phone has the potential to be a serious distraction and driving in today's traffic conditions demands 100per cent concentration.

Surely NO phone call can be so important as to warrant a serious risk of being distracted whilst driving. Yes, I take my mobile when driving but it remains in silent mode until I arrive at my next stopping point. I believe that even the sound of a mobile ringing can be a serious distraction.

Drivers really need to consider, too, that there was life before mobiles and it is quite possible to exist without conversing on the phone whilst driving. There should be NO compromise on safety.

18
Tyler - on 08 Mar 2018
In reply to mypyrex:

There was life cars as well. Do you converse with passengers when driving?

4
Stichtplate on 08 Mar 2018
In reply to mypyrex:

If there were to be NO compromise on safety we'd all walk to work, presumably, whilst wearing a high vis jacket.

1
mypyrex - on 08 Mar 2018
In reply to Tyler:

I wouldn't consider conversing with a passenger to be in the same league. It is more likely that a passenger would be more aware of the traffice and driving conditions than somebody on the other end ofa phone. Thus, if they are reasonably intelligent, they would take dueaccount of that whilst conversing. Either that or the drive politely tells them to shut up.

8
Andy Hardy on 08 Mar 2018
In reply to Tyler:

Phone calls are more of an optional distraction than your passenger.

4
mypyrex - on 08 Mar 2018
In reply to Andy Hardy:

Agreed.

1
Irk the Purist - on 08 Mar 2018
In reply to mypyrex:

You've never driven a child anywhere have you?

4
Stichtplate on 08 Mar 2018
In reply to Irk the Purist:

....or my wife.

mypyrex - on 08 Mar 2018
In reply to Irk the Purist:

> You've never driven a child anywhere have you?


I hope you're not suggesting that as some form of mitigation.

3
Duncan Bourne - on 08 Mar 2018
In reply to mypyrex:

You have not been in a van with some of the people I work with. Asking the stream of inane questions to stop is like telling a dog not to bark. My personal dislike is someone baying "GO NOW!" right by my bloody ear when they are only looking on one direction aand there is traffic bearing down from the other.

Siward on 08 Mar 2018
In reply to mypyrex:

No technology can easily stop some drunk stopping their vehicle in the nearside lane, but I do wonder whether all trucks could be fitted with some forrm of radar anti-collision system as found on some cars. It might prevent them ploughing into the back of slower traffic.

 

 

Dan Arkle - on 08 Mar 2018
In reply to mypyrex:

> I hope you're not suggesting that as some form of mitigation.

Its a fair point isn't it - try to placate a screaming child will be far more of a distraction than a calm chat on the phone.

What about allowing people to listen to music or the radio when they drive? It obviously distracts attention, and can make you far less aware of what is happening around you.

Compromises on safety are made all the time, for example we allow cars to travel at 70mph when it would be far safer to limit them to 40mph.

I generally agree with you, people shouldn't use the phone while driving, but like anything else in life, its not black and white.  Its a grey sliding scale of risk/benefits/convenience. 

Irk the Purist - on 08 Mar 2018
In reply to mypyrex:

Mitigation? Just saying they don't fit your description of a passenger.

 

 

Neil Williams - on 08 Mar 2018
In reply to mypyrex:

I would tend to agree regarding distraction of a phone call.  FWIW, I also find talking to Siri more of a distraction than using the button on the radio to jump tracks, particularly as Siri is not very "patient".

Text messaging works a bit better, particularly if the phone has a feature (they all should, perhaps by law) to automatically respond "I'm driving, I will respond to you when it is safe to do so" if the phone is moving over say 20mph unless you do something to confirm you are a passenger.  A quick glance to see a 140 character message takes no time (most phones can even read it out), and you can then decide if you need to stop somewhere safe to engage in a conversation or ignore it and continue, and text messaging has no expectation of an immediate reply.

If new laws are introduced there needs to be some sense in them, though.  It's technically illegal, for example, to use Apple Pay at a drive-thru restaurant unless you stop your engine first.  This is plainly silly.  TBH, I see no need for the law to specify the engine being stopped, handbrake on and not in traffic should be enough.

Post edited at 10:39
3
Tyler - on 08 Mar 2018
In reply to Siward:

> No technology can easily stop some drunk stopping their vehicle in the nearside lane, but I do wonder whether all trucks could be fitted with some forrm of radar anti-collision system as found on some cars. It might prevent them ploughing into the back of slower traffic.

They tend to work better for moving traffic, it would only engage when quite close to the vehicle in front and if that is stationary it wouldn't give that much warning

winhill - on 08 Mar 2018
In reply to Neil Williams:

> It's technically illegal, for example, to use Apple Pay at a drive-thru restaurant unless you stop your engine first. 

Are you sure that's true? I would have thought any drive thru was on private land and not subject to the road traffic laws.

It sounds like the sort of urban myth an Apple fanboi would come up 'I'm so far ahead in technology the Law can't keep up!'

 

1
wintertree - on 08 Mar 2018
In reply to Stichtplate:

> If there were to be NO compromise on safety we'd all walk to work, presumably, whilst wearing a high vis jacket.

We’d all wear helmets for drinking as well - there are more drinking related head injuries than cycling related head injuries...

Neil Williams - on 08 Mar 2018
In reply to winhill:

> Are you sure that's true? I would have thought any drive thru was on private land and not subject to the road traffic laws.

> It sounds like the sort of urban myth an Apple fanboi would come up 'I'm so far ahead in technology the Law can't keep up!'

AIUI it is actually true, from a discussion on FB on the same issue it seems that in the context of this specific law (it does vary somewhat[1]) a public place is a place to which the public have access, so including car parks etc.

It would be a pig-headed policeman who reported this, but there's no sense in having laws applying to contexts that deliver no actual benefit and merely cause potential inconvenience.

[1] It varies in a lot of contexts.  For example, in the context of whether photography can be banned or not a Scout camp site (like say a shopping centre) is a private place, but in the context of knife law it is a public place.

Post edited at 10:52
Stichtplate on 08 Mar 2018
In reply to wintertree:

> We’d all wear helmets for drinking as well - there are more drinking related head injuries than cycling related head injuries...

ooo.... I'd like a drinking helmet, as I get balder and balder, any sort of mandatory social situation headgear, seems an increasingly good idea.

Edit: not really, perversely, I seem to regard any evidence of my increasing decrepitude as a badge of honour.

Post edited at 11:03
fred99 - on 08 Mar 2018
In reply to mypyrex:

> I wouldn't consider conversing with a passenger to be in the same league.

I have (unfortunately) been the passenger of a number of drivers who always looked at their passengers (even those in the rear seats !) whilst driving. No comments from me would stop them. I no longer travel with these people under any circumstances.

I also (as a cyclist & motorcyclist) have the opportunity to see more vehicle interiors than most while going to/from work, and I assure you that the number of car drivers who seem to be looking anywhere EXCEPT at the road in front of them is astonishing.

The fact that the overwhelming majority of road "accidents" involve no persons either drunk, on drugs, phoning/texting or speeding, but instead simply "didn't see" the other vehicle underlines the fact that far too many people seem to be too easily distracted. maybe the penalty for such distractions should be the same as for drink etc - after all the end result can far too easily be the same.

Dax H - on 08 Mar 2018
In reply to mypyrex:

Simple, a mandatory phone jammer to be included as mot requirements. 

Engine running phone doesn't work, tough luck for passengers. A 24/7 communication device is not a human right but until the playing field has been leveled so no one can use a phone we will all carry on using them. 

Until things change across the board businesses need communication because customers expect instant communication and response and any business not offering that will loose trade to those that do. 

2
deepsoup - on 08 Mar 2018
In reply to winhill:

> Are you sure that's true? I would have thought any drive thru was on private land and not subject to the road traffic laws.

What is a bit of an urban myth is that the law doesn't apply on private land, such as a pub car park or a drive-through restaurant.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/the-highway-code/annex-4-the-road-user-and-the-law

"It is important to note that references to ‘road’ therefore generally include footpaths, bridleways and cycle tracks, and many roadways and driveways on private land (including many car parks)."

Post edited at 12:30
Tall Clare - on 08 Mar 2018
In reply to Dax H:

Some Apple phones have a function that switches on 'do not disturb' if the user is driving, sending a message to this effect to any callers - no idea how this works.

Blue Straggler - on 08 Mar 2018
In reply to Tall Clare:

> Some Apple phones have a function that switches on 'do not disturb' if the user is driving, sending a message to this effect to any callers - no idea how this works.

iPhone 7 does it, it just senses your speed so it kicks in whenever you are doing more than a certain speed, whether on train, bus, car as a driver, car as a passenger. You can easily press the "I'm not driving" icon and get on with things....

mypyrex - on 08 Mar 2018
In reply to Tall Clare:

> Some Apple phones have a function that switches on 'do not disturb' if the user is driving, sending a message to this effect to any callers - no idea how this works.


Like this(Android) presumably

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=westport.andrewirwin.com.drivesafe&hl=en_GB

 

Ben Sharp - on 08 Mar 2018
In reply to mypyrex:

Road safety always seems to be quite an emotive issue, I think people would do well to remember that we have some of the safest roads in the world and any legislation should be judged on how it can be policed before anything else. The government are far too quick to increase sentencing to appear tough on crime while decimating the police forces budget - the result is not less crime and safer roads, the result is a small minority of otherwise law abiding citizens having their lives ruined as examples while the real idiots are free to carry on as they were with an increasingly lower risk of getting caught.

The reduction in the amount of alcohol you can drink before driving in scotland is a good example. You don't have to look far to find research that demonstrates the most effective deterrant is people thinking there's a high chance of getting caught, not the severity of the penalty or the legislation. The difference between half a pint and a pint now means your licence, your job and the social stigma of being a murderous drink driver. Meanwhile people are free to go out and drink 10 pints with almost zero chance of getting caught (outside of xmas and new year when the drink driving laws are openly publicised by the police as being enforced over that period). I've not been breathalised since my driving test (over 10 years) and I know I could get trashed before getting behind the wheel and the chances of getting caught are incredibly unlikely. I choose not to, but then I also choose not to go out for a meal because the legislation is so restrictive that it varies by individual and there is no way of knowing whether a glass of wine with a meal out could potentially ruin your livelihood. My late grandmother in her 90's would be more legal to drive than me after 3/4 of a pint of beer - whose reaction times would be superior? It's a nice headline grabber for the politicians but if it was about reaction times they'd just have a reaction time test on a tablet. It's just easier to use the media to demonise "drink drivers" as one social group of people instead of focussing on the vast majority of alcohol related driving incidents which happen to fall above the older level anyway.

Anyway that was an unrelated rant, back to phones. Is there any evidence based research that shows a well set up bluetooth headset or integrated hands free system is any more distracting than having a drink of water, changing your heater settings, travelling with a child, getting in the car when you're tired, after a stressful day at work, a day on the hill etc? Certainly no one could argue that talking to a person next to you with visible facial expressions, hand gestures etc. is safer than talking on a phone - you have introduced a visual distraction which obviously takes more discipline to over come where as a phone conversation is more akin to having a vocalised rant at a news programme on the radio - which is clearly also distracting. As you say the logical extension of your argument is that the driver tells any passengers to shut up and it becomes illegal to talk in a moving car, along with making any potential distraction illegal. Who is going to police this? Do you want taxes increased to fund it? Consequently we will need to increase funding for the rest of the judicial system, prisons are already seriously struggling how will they cope with the increase?

What we need is clarity, legislation based on evidence and a clear demonstration of the laws being policed. At the moment we are fulfilling none of those criteria and my guess is the next move by the government will be to lazily introduce more punitive sentencing for so much as touching your phone while driving. We will never achieve 100% safe roads while people are behind the wheel, pretending that harsh legislation is part of the path to achieving zero accidents is a complete falacy and I personally have no more problem with someone changing the track on their phone or glancing at a text than someone changing the channel on their radio or telling their kids to shut up.

2
Chris Harris - on 08 Mar 2018
In reply to fred99:

> The fact that the overwhelming majority of road "accidents" involve no persons either drunk, on drugs, phoning/texting or speeding, but instead simply "didn't see" the other vehicle underlines the fact that far too many people seem to be too easily distracted. maybe the penalty for such distractions should be the same as for drink etc - after all the end result can far too easily be the same.

Quite. At least the pissed drivers have mitigating circumstances. 

 

 

fred99 - on 08 Mar 2018
In reply to Chris Harris:

The pissed drivers sober up.

Those that are easily distracted are always in that state.

Jon Greengrass on 08 Mar 2018
In reply to mypyrex:

He drove into the back of a stationary vehicle with enough speed to kill the majority of the occupants, that was not careless that was dangerous. Did the jury find him not guilty because they could empathise with being distracted  while speaking on the phone.

teh_mark on 08 Mar 2018
In reply to Jon Greengrass:

I'd suggest the jury may have found him not guilty because:

the way he/she drives falls far below what would be expected of a competent and careful driver, and it would be obvious to a competent and careful driver that driving in that way would be dangerous

couldn't possibly be argued to be true. I don't know if you've ever had the joy of approaching the back of a stationary vehicle at motorway speeds at night before, but it happens surprisingly quickly. It can be quite hard to identify the vehicle is stationary until it suddenly starts filling your windscreen rapidly. Careless, absolutely. Dangerous, I'd say that's a push. It caught the minibus driver out enough that he ended up stopped behind the first lorry rather than changing lanes in good time.

Obviously the tit in the other lorry who decided to stop in lane 1 to have a sleep is guilty of dangerous driving, and is the ultimate cause for the events which followed.

winhill - on 08 Mar 2018
In reply to Neil Williams:

> AIUI it is actually true, from a discussion on FB

Crikey, Facebook, you say?

 

 

Phil Anderson on 08 Mar 2018
In reply to fred99:

> I also (as a cyclist & motorcyclist) have the opportunity to see more vehicle interiors than most while going to/from work, and I assure you that the number of car drivers who seem to be looking anywhere EXCEPT at the road in front of them is astonishing.

Is it just me that's wondering how you manage to notice this, seeing as you presumably have your eyes firmly fixed on the road in front of you?

2
balmybaldwin - on 08 Mar 2018
In reply to teh_mark:

Would you be saying the same if he wast drunk and it was a medical incident?

Also worth noting the minibus had it's hazards on so obvious it was stopped

1
Ian W - on 08 Mar 2018
In reply to Phil Anderson:

> Is it just me that's wondering how you manage to notice this, seeing as you presumably have your eyes firmly fixed on the road in front of you?

As a motorcyclist, you get taught (or learn bloody quickly) that you need to be aware of EVERYTHING around you, not just the road ahead. The only way you can be anywhere close to sure that a driver has seen you is by observing that his / her eyes have at least pointed in your direction. Its also very useful at junctions to see the attitude of the front wheels relative to the vehicle to have an idea as to the intended direction of travel. 

If you that motorists only point of reference is the road directly ahead, please dont drive in the North East.  ;)

teh_mark on 08 Mar 2018
In reply to balmybaldwin:

That's an entirely different set of circumstances; it's somewhat more difficult to prevent yourself having a heart attack at the wheel than it is to not drive a vehicle around intoxicated and park in a position no sane person would consider acceptable when there's a hard shoulder next door. One is unfortunate, the other is very evidently dangerous. Whichever it is, it doesn't have a bearing on how you judge the other lorry driver's driving.

If we assume the minibus driver was a careful and competent driver and yet they've managed to be caught out by the stationary lorry to the extent that they've had to stop rather than change lanes to avoid the lorry in good time, it's surely not hard to see that it doesn't take a huge lapse to end up in the situation of the following lorry driver?

As an aside, I wonder if we'll see a significant increase in these types of collision as the hard shoulder continues to disappear from many of our motorways?

Duncan Bourne - on 08 Mar 2018
In reply to fred99:

> far too many people seem to be too easily distracted. maybe the penalty for such distractions should be the same as for drink etc - after all the end result can far too easily be the same.<

It is an unfortunate part of the human condition that we are easily distracted (or fortunate as distraction of the good kind might make us more aware of a potential disaster looming). Phones distract us, conversations with passengers distract us as does music and radio. But taking them away doesn't cure it. It just pushes it internally. Often the real danger is length of journey time and tiredness. We are quite capable of giving our full attention to a task (ie driving) for short periods but after 2hrs of monotonous driving down a motorway it is all too easy for the mind to drift onto what's for supper or that climbing trip you are planning, or what you should have said to your boss the other day. When a crash occurs people look for the obvious cause. Be it a phone, drinking or tuning the radio. There is no obvious cause that can be seen when someone is mentally lying on a beach in Spain when they are actually driving down a rain swept M1

 

jelaby - on 08 Mar 2018
In reply to Ben Sharp:

> Certainly no one could argue that talking to a person next to you with visible facial expressions, hand gestures etc. is safer than talking on a phone - you have introduced a visual distraction which obviously takes more discipline to over come 

I think I will argue it. On the few occasions that I've done it, I've found it very difficult to drive whilst on a hands free phone while maintaining concentration on the road, while talking to passengers is much easier. I think that talking on a phone is hard because of a number of reasons: the lower sound quality means you have to concentrate more on listening; the lack of visual cues means you have to concentrate on listening (your brain can pick up and process gestures from your passengers with a glance and from peripheral vision without requiring concentration); the person on the other end of the phone can't see you or the road, and that means that they can't stop talking when you get to a difficult bit.

Just watch people walking while talking on a mobile phone: often, they don't look around, and you can tell they barely even see what is in front of them; but they don't even know they're doing it. Compare to two (or more) people in a group talking: when they have to do something tricky, like cross the road, they're much more likely to stop talking for a moment, look around, and generally be aware of dangers. (Obviously I'm not talking in absolute terms here).

> where as a phone conversation is more akin to having a vocalised rant at a news programme on the radio - which is clearly also distracting

I'm not sure about this either. Compare the ease with which you can ignore a radio programme against the difficulty of ignoring someone holding a mobile phone conversation. Half of a phone conversation is full of pauses and gaps and questions that I think your brain is hardwired into thinking you need to respond to, while a radio programme is the whole conversation, and you can ignore it if you need to. A radio programme is more like a two-sided conversion, which is easy to ignore.

Neil Williams - on 08 Mar 2018
In reply to teh_mark:

> As an aside, I wonder if we'll see a significant increase in these types of collision as the hard shoulder continues to disappear from many of our motorways?

That is an interesting point.  I've heard it quoted that they have actually reduced on "shoulderless" motorways, because the only people who stop in a running lane are those who have absolutely no other option (i.e. have suffered catastrophic mechanical failure ruling out even coasting to safety); those stopping to check something they think is maybe wrong (say), or have a flat tyre, non-complete loss of power or similar, instead stop in the frequent emergency laybys which are more effectively barriered off from the traffic flow or leave the motorway entirely to do so.

Post edited at 16:05
fred99 - on 09 Mar 2018
In reply to Phil Anderson:

> Is it just me that's wondering how you manage to notice this, seeing as you presumably have your eyes firmly fixed on the road in front of you?

I look to see where people are looking themselves. I look around all the time, front back and sideways, including with my rear view mirrors. I also judge whether vehicles are strangely slowing down (particularly near a junction). All these observations are carried out quickly (a fraction of a second for each, not a 5-10 second gaze as some car drivers are wont to indulge in) and then I move on to the next observation. I ascertain whether or not drivers are looking at the road or whether their actions indicate a possible turning manoeuvre because, as someone on 2 wheels IT KEEPS ME ALIVE.

When driving my car with a passenger I NEVER look at the passenger when talking - the opposite to good manners to be sure, but the correct action when driving.

Presumably you are one of those tits who deem their passenger(s) more worthy of attention that persons outside of your vehicle that you might well KILL. Also do you manoeuvre, brake and then maybe indicate (in that order) rather than what you should do, which is LOOK, indicate, brake and manoeuvre.

1
fred99 - on 09 Mar 2018
In reply to Duncan Bourne:

Well said regarding journey times. Too many people effectively fall asleep mentally on such journeys, particularly on motorways which are bland and boring.

I make a point of arranging stopping points on such journeys, or occasionally even using A-roads due to the fact that they involve turns and differently evolving scenery to ensure that I maintain concentration.

fred99 - on 09 Mar 2018
In reply to Neil Williams:

I just wish these emergency lay-byes were truly frequent, around here they seem to be well over a mile apart. I heard that the AA & RAC have both complained that there simply aren't enough of them.

Neil Williams - on 09 Mar 2018
In reply to fred99:

> I make a point of arranging stopping points on such journeys, or occasionally even using A-roads due to the fact that they involve turns and differently evolving scenery to ensure that I maintain concentration.

Must admit that I very often leave the M1 southbound at Daventry and go down the A5 to MK purely because it is less mind-numbingly boring.

Apparently the long sweeping curves UK motorways take (rather than the dead straight ones in mainland Europe) were a deliberate design decision to reduce the chance of drivers falling asleep by requiring near constant steering input.

Bellie on 09 Mar 2018
In reply to fred99:

I'm with you Fred, One of my bugbears is being behind a vehicle, whose driver insists on looking the passenger square in the eyes each time they speak. In full flow their head can be back and forth like mad. Zero concentration on the road.

I wont use my phone in the car, and wont use hands free because I personally find it still distracts me.

 

Neil Williams - on 09 Mar 2018
In reply to Bellie:

I keep seeing TV programmes filmed with someone driving doing exactly that to the camera in the passenger seat.

The mind boggles as to why this (the TV show) is not adequate evidence for a prosecution for driving without due care and attention.

Post edited at 13:19
teh_mark on 09 Mar 2018
In reply to Neil Williams:

> Apparently the long sweeping curves UK motorways take (rather than the dead straight ones in mainland Europe) were a deliberate design decision to reduce the chance of drivers falling asleep by requiring near constant steering input.

That's interesting. I've always felt that driving in the UK is less boring than France and the rest of mainland Europe for that reason, and because our motorways tend to have some 'texture', dips, curves, road surfaces that aren't billiard table smooth. It's a lot easier to stay engaged than when you're driving down a straight, flat, smooth bit of road.

The UAE is the worst for that. Very well-surfaced, very flat and very monotonous sections of motorway. They numb the mind.

Andrew Kin - on 09 Mar 2018
In reply to mypyrex:

If I ever crash my current car I will be asking for Mercedes to be dragged into court for designing such a stupid interior/dashboard/switch panel.

My car is over 40k worth of Germanys finest engineering.  It has sensors which hit the brakes when I forget to.  It has warnings for keeping in lanes and blind spots.  It has cruise this and handsfree that.

What it doesn't have is any switches that don't blend into the glossy black shite that is the dashboard.  I have had the car for 12mths and I cannot manage to press any button without having to take my eyes off the road for an uncomfortable amount of time.  Yes its has a big knob and it even has a computer style mouse but if I want to do something basic like changing the temp or turning on the a/c or even changing from radio to sat nav I have to ask the passenger or risk a crash.

 

Car manufacturers should be forced to make driver concentration a primary design goal

deepsoup - on 09 Mar 2018
In reply to Andrew Kin:

> Car manufacturers should be forced to make driver concentration a primary design goal

This reminds me - has anyone else seen the latest Fiat 500 (I think?) advert doing the rounds on the telly at the mo? 

It features a driver frustrated that he can't work out where to put his phone while he's driving, he keeps trying to prop it up on the dash and it falls over, then (hilariously) a passenger ends up sitting on it.  The point is that this particular car comes with a whizzy interface and a screen built in to the dash that echoes your phone screen and gives you access to all the apps and wotnot.  Quite shocking really.

birdie num num - on 09 Mar 2018
In reply to mypyrex:

If you think talking on a hands free is bad, you should try eating pistachio nuts while you're driving, it's a proper juggle fest, especially round town

Andrew Kin - on 09 Mar 2018
In reply to deepsoup:

Just today I had to drive over kirkstone pass.  I was trying to concentrate and ignored a call from a customer.  I then ignored a call from my reception trying to put same customer through and then a call from my manager trying to find out why I was ignoring a call from the same customer.  By this point I told him to check our vehicle trackers and leave me alone.

When I got to the end of my journey I called the customer.  His reason for calling was so irrelevant I nearly exploded.

We need some legislation in place where companies are held accountable for instances where they have harassed employees into dangerous situations

Duncan Bourne - on 09 Mar 2018
In reply to fred99:

Yup Motorways can be coma inducing. Actually in those situations a passenger helps (if they are the attentive sort). By pointing out any deviations or such or even shouting to keep one alert till you can safely pull over. I think motorways should have more rest areas. In France there are often small pull ins where you can just rest, no services but a way to get off the motorway if tiredness strikes. A roads keep you more awake with their twists and turns, but I would wouldn't want to do a long journey on A roads.

DubyaJamesDubya - on 09 Mar 2018
In reply to Andy Hardy:

> Phone calls are more of an optional distraction than your passenger.


Except research shows the opposite

1
wbo - on 09 Mar 2018
In reply to Andrew Kin:it would be useful for phones to come with a simple on/off autoreply that the person you are trying to call is driving

 

Postmanpat on 09 Mar 2018
In reply to wbo:

> it would be useful for phones to come with a simple on/off autoreply that the person you are trying to call is driving


They do

 

Eric9Points - on 09 Mar 2018
In reply to birdie num num:

> If you think talking on a hands free is bad, you should try eating pistachio nuts while you're driving, it's a proper juggle fest, especially round town


I've always found pistachios to be more more trouble than they're worth but the post pub kebab is often quite challenging.

Andy Hardy on 09 Mar 2018
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

Receiving a phone call *is* optional.

Brass Nipples on 09 Mar 2018
In reply to Ben Sharp:

Is there any research, the answer is yes and yes.

Dave the Rave on 09 Mar 2018
In reply to mypyrex:

I didn’t used to use my phone when driving but since the works cars went Bluetooth I have. Feckin dangerous if you ask me. I’m not good with technology and every time Paranoid kicks in over the speakers at high volume I shit myself and swerve like feck!

Bellie on 09 Mar 2018
In reply to Neil Williams:

I seem to recall someone complaining on 'Points of View' or some other similar programme about the fad for reporters and presenters talking to camera on the dash whilst driving.  Not sure why they think it makes good telly, but these producer folk do seem keen on it.  

And that ad for the car with the radio with all your favourite apps on it... Unbelievable.   

Ex Poster 666 on 09 Mar 2018
In reply to birdie num num:

> If you think talking on a hands free is bad, you should try eating pistachio nuts while you're driving, it's a proper juggle fest, especially round town


Hahaha, my mate gone for exactly that in a bus lane.  He reckons you could see the nuts in his hand from the picture they took.

DubyaJamesDubya - on 10 Mar 2018
In reply to Andy Hardy:

> Receiving a phone call *is* optional.


Not receiving a call or making a call is *not* using your phone.

Neil Williams - on 10 Mar 2018
In reply to Bellie:

> I seem to recall someone complaining on 'Points of View' or some other similar programme about the fad for reporters and presenters talking to camera on the dash whilst driving.  Not sure why they think it makes good telly, but these producer folk do seem keen on it.  

I wonder if it's because showing them engaging in an everyday activity (driving) makes them seem more down to earth and closer to the audience, perhaps?

It's still damn silly, one day one of them is going to kill someone doing it.

 

Post edited at 09:17
Neil Williams - on 10 Mar 2018
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

> Not receiving a call or making a call is *not* using your phone.

There are other ways to use a smartphone, e.g. as a sat-nav, which can have a safety benefit when you look at things like the ability to report stationary vehicles or other dangers that then display for other drivers as the likes of Waze allow.

DubyaJamesDubya - on 10 Mar 2018
In reply to Neil Williams:

Yeah but the thread is about conducting voice calls while driving isn't it?

Post edited at 09:38
wintertree - on 10 Mar 2018
In reply to Duncan Bourne:

> Yup Motorways can be coma inducing. Actually in those situations a passenger helps (if they are the attentive sort).

I try and keep my brain in the game by planning lane changes so that no wheels pass over a cats eye.  That and looking for Twingos.

Post edited at 09:53
Neil Williams - on 10 Mar 2018
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

> Yeah but the thread is about conducting voice calls while driving isn't it?

I don't think other uses of phones, some of which may be equally distracting, are off topic per-se.

FWIW, there are even factors like the fact that a car radio with physical buttons can easily be used blind when you're used to the button layout, whereas a touchscreen never can.  The increasing numbers of cars with touchscreens for controlling functions like heating does seem to pose a hidden safety risk.

1
Andy Hardy on 10 Mar 2018
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

My original post on this thread was in response to someone making the comparison between talking to a passenger and talking on the phone. My point is exactly this, making or taking a phone call is an additional distraction which the driver chooses

 

 

1
Timmd on 11 Mar 2018
In reply to mypyrex:

> I wouldn't consider conversing with a passenger to be in the same league. It is more likely that a passenger would be more aware of the traffice and driving conditions than somebody on the other end ofa phone. Thus..............they would take due account of that whilst conversing. 

Which is what has been said on TV about the safety difference between speaking on a handsfree and talking to a passenger.

 

Post edited at 03:45
Phil Anderson on 12 Mar 2018
In reply to fred99:

Calm down dear! I made a small (admittedly not very funny) joke pointing out what I thought was an amusing incongruity in your statements; hence the smiley. There's no need to ramble on about how badly you imagine I drive.

Of course you're perfectly right about the need to be alert to your complete surroundings at all times when driving. It's abundantly obvious.

Andrew Kin - on 12 Mar 2018
In reply to Neil Williams:

That was kinda my point earlier.  Although I don't condone using a phone at all when driving I must admit I could write a complete email on the old qwerty blackberry mobiles without ever taking my eyes off the road for a split second.  Changing the temp in my current car is much, much more dangrous


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