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Sync drivers were much less likely to swerve out of their lanes than non-Sync drivers

There have been numerous studies that have shown that distracted drivers can be as dangerous on the road as drunk drivers. Some recent studies have shown that texting while driving may actually be just as dangerous as driving intoxicated.

In an effort to reduce the distractions that drivers are confronted with while driving some stated have instituted hands free laws that require drivers to use hands free kits to make calls while driving. Ford has a system called Sync in some of its vehicles that offers all sorts of hands free technologies to make driving safer while still allowing drivers to stay in contact and listen to music from digital devices.

Ford commissioned a new study that has shown significant differences in how distracted drivers are when using its Sync system compared to not using it. For the study, Ford had drivers select a phone number or choose a song on their MP3 players using Sync compared to doing the same thing manually.

Drivers who did the tasks manually had their eyes off the road for about 25 seconds while drivers using Sync had their eyes off the road for approximately two seconds. Participants in the study were asked to dial ten-digit phone numbers, call a specific person form the digital phone book, receive a call while driving, play a specific song, and review and respond to text messages.

The time eyes were off the road was measured by the researchers for drivers using both methods. Ford says that drivers performing these tasks manually swerved out of their lane 30 percent of the time while Sync users never swerved out of their lane. Ford has also announced a new 911 Assist feature for Sync that can dial 911 post-crash automatically.

Dr. Louis Tijerina from Ford said in a statement, "These real-world results indicate that SYNC's voice-interface offers substantial advantages compared to using a handheld device to do the same task."



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RE: In other news...
By nafhan on 2/6/2009 1:25:22 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly!
Where's the study that compares using Sync to just driving and not doing anything else...


RE: In other news...
By acase on 2/6/2009 1:29:27 PM , Rating: 1
What the hell would be the point in that? That is like asking for a study on whether it uses more gas to drive or walk to the mall.

People are going to do what is convenient for them, so when there are safer ways to achieve the task, why not?


RE: In other news...
By Steve1981 on 2/6/2009 1:41:57 PM , Rating: 3
Well for starters, driving is a privilege, not a right. You are granted that privilege with the understanding that you will be driving in a safe manner. To drive safely requires 100% of your attention for 100% of the time spent driving. Not 98%. Not 99%. Not 99.9%. 100%.


RE: In other news...
By acase on 2/6/09, Rating: 0
RE: In other news...
By Steve1981 on 2/6/09, Rating: 0
RE: In other news...
By acase on 2/6/2009 2:05:34 PM , Rating: 2
Are there miniature unicorns prancing around on rainbows on your desk too?


RE: In other news...
By Steve1981 on 2/6/2009 2:13:00 PM , Rating: 2
Nope.

Is it too much to ask that people pay attention to the road while they're driving instead of their cell phone, hands free or otherwise?

Is it really that outlandish to suggest that people actually be seriously punished for violating laws that are there to protect public safety?


RE: In other news...
By acase on 2/6/2009 2:46:09 PM , Rating: 1
No, you can ask and suggest all you want. As far as it happening, be a little more realistic. For christ sake there are still "6.5 million people" who can't by a 40 dollar piece of equipment to watch TV after being warned for YEARS!


RE: In other news...
By Steve1981 on 2/6/2009 2:52:36 PM , Rating: 2
All I'm doing is suggesting... I'm under no delusion that anyone in power gives a damn about what I have to say.


RE: In other news...
By Steve1981 on 2/6/2009 2:59:06 PM , Rating: 2
I would also note that I'm under no delusion that people will actually wake up and take responsibility for their lives any time soon either.


RE: In other news...
By acase on 2/6/2009 3:02:57 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed on both counts, which is why I was supporting this technology so at least those idiots can be a little bit less of idiots.


RE: In other news...
By kkwst2 on 2/7/2009 2:34:20 PM , Rating: 2
Well, what you're actually asking is that the government take responsibility for your life. The fact that you think the government has the right to take away other people's liberties and livelihood to try to (quite delusionally) reduce your risk to zero is draconian. Do you live in the US?

Your argument is concerning. The fact is, that if you drive in a reasonable manner, it's absolutely possible to talk on a hands-free system and drive safely. Now, it may not be possible to do this at 85 mph while weaving in and out of traffic. But it's possible to do this in the slow lane driving 55 mph. The problem is a combination of aggressive drivers and multiple distractions, not just cell phones. Outlawing every little distraction is not going to help and is completely impractical.

Education and safe driving classes come closer to solving the problem than paying more fat, uneducated cops to harass tax paying citizens. I would much rather have a smaller, better trained police force than the jokes that we have in most communities now. And you want to increase their numbers? Get a grip.


RE: In other news...
By Steve1981 on 2/8/2009 8:23:28 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The fact that you think the government has the right to take away other people's liberties and livelihood to try to (quite delusionally) reduce your risk to zero is draconian.


The game is cost versus benefit.

Lets take the case of guns. Yeah accidents happen. Yeah people abuse them. But there is no better tool for self defense, and the bitter reality is that when you get down to it "all political power comes from the barrel of a gun". Clearly the cost of some accidents are worth being free men.

Now let us take a look at talking on the cell phone and driving. The benefit is??? You get to chat with your friends 24/7???? Yeah that's a major benefit to society. Whats the cost? Measurably more auto accidents and innocent death resulting from those auto accidents. Yeah clearly your right to yack is worth that. Maybe you should go yell "fire" in a movie theater too. After all, you have the freedom of speech.

quote:
The fact is, that if you drive in a reasonable manner, it's absolutely possible to talk on a hands-free system and drive safely.


That's debatable.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/artic...

quote:
Outlawing every little distraction is not going to help and is completely impractical.


Certainly I would agree. However, you can ban the ones that have a significant effect. If banning CD players dropped the number of accidents from 10 million a year in the US to 5 million, I'd support it in a heartbeat, even if it meant a little less comfort.

quote:
Education and safe driving classes come closer to solving the problem than paying more fat, uneducated cops to harass tax paying citizens. I would much rather have a smaller, better trained police force than the jokes that we have in most communities now.


In an ideal world, everyone would be well educated and we wouldn't need much of a police force. People would actually be considerate of the safety of others, and not partake in activities that could injure innocent parties. Let me know when that day arrives.

PS: While I'm not a cop, your commentary regarding them is a fine indicator of your level of maturity.


RE: In other news...
By afkrotch on 2/6/2009 2:14:04 PM , Rating: 2
What good is saying all that, while there's not enough cops on patrol and not enough money to get more cops on patrol.

It'd be easier to just force car manufacturers to install a gps speed limiter and cellphone jamming into the car. GPS tracks the road your on and the speed limit, then limits your car to not go above that speed, while the cellphone jamming of course, jams your cellphone from being used while the car is in motion.

Will it happen. No. Course none of that does crap to the ladies out there who put on their make-up while driving or road head.


RE: In other news...
By Steve1981 on 2/6/2009 2:21:02 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
What good is saying all that, while there's not enough cops on patrol and not enough money to get more cops on patrol.


If you change the punishment from a fine to revoking the license for a few months, you don't really need more cops.

The punishment is considerably worse than a $100 or even a $1000 fine, meaning there is considerably more risk involved, which generally translates into fewer people willing to take that risk.

Second, even if people are willing to take that risk, their numbers will dwindle as they get their licenses revoked. If they choose to drive without a license, they can go to jail.

quote:
Will it happen. No.


Of course not. But I can dream!


RE: In other news...
By Spuke on 2/6/2009 2:47:27 PM , Rating: 2
Since driving is indeed a privilege and not a right then it would not be illegal nor unconstitutional to install GPS speed limiting devices in vehicles. Nor would other devices that disable phones (except for 911) while the car is moving be considered such either. Other than expense, why isn't this done?


RE: In other news...
By afkrotch on 2/6/2009 3:32:57 PM , Rating: 2
Profit. Car A doesn't have that crap to screw you over. Car B does. Majority buys Car A.

Or who pays to put this crap into the cars. The ppl who buy the car? Taxpayers? Car manufacturers? Someone's gotta swallow the cost.


RE: In other news...
By HinderedHindsight on 2/6/2009 3:48:34 PM , Rating: 2
There is yet another issue: and that's the fact that states do rely on traffic infringements as a source of revenue.

Just like we have regulations for headlights, window tinting, gas mileage and seatbelts, we could have speed governors mandated in all cars.

The problem with that idea is that the state would see it's revenue massively decreased as it is the higher speed tickets that really bring in the revenue. Even if you could get the public behind it, the states probably would not institute it.


RE: In other news...
By afkrotch on 2/6/2009 3:22:24 PM , Rating: 2
I'm living in Germany. Doing 30 kph over the speed limit is an instant suspension of your license for 3 months. Hasn't stopped me yet. Highest speeding I've done has been 160 kph in an 80 kph zone. They also do a point system. Doesn't seem to get others to slow down either.

Japan. Don't know about license suspensions, but they have high fines for speeding. We're talking the $1000+ range. It also didn't stop me from speeding. Not sure about point system, never cared. Never got caught speeding. Hell, street racing and touge battles happen every weekend.

Stateside. Got 1 speeding ticket in Idaho, 1 in Wymoning, 2 in Colorado, and 1 reckless driving in Colorado. Drifting around turns is highly unadvised in Colorado apparently. ;P


RE: In other news...
By Steve1981 on 2/6/2009 3:32:33 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'm living in Germany. Doing 30 kph over the speed limit is an instant suspension of your license for 3 months. Hasn't stopped me yet.


Then clearly they're enforcing the law quite well.

quote:
Highest speeding I've done has been 160 kph in an 80 kph zone.


That's something to be proud of.


RE: In other news...
By afkrotch on 2/6/2009 3:44:30 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, they enforce the law. It's the problem of not having enough policemen to cover every mile of the road to watch for speeders. No country has that, so there will always be speeders, ppl driving while using a cellphone, drinking and driving, etc.

Cops are very adamant about DUIs, but the number hasn't exactly decreased.

That's $1000 fine, 1 year suspension, and possible jail time. A hell of a lot stricter than what you have planned, yet we still constantly get DUIs. I bet while I was typing this up, at least 100 DUIs have happened in the US.

If that's not bad enough, there are even harsher punishments for 2nd and 3rd offenses. Which does occur also.

If you're a speeder, odds are high, you'll keep doing it.


RE: In other news...
By Steve1981 on 2/6/2009 3:50:59 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Cops are very adamant about DUIs, but the number hasn't exactly decreased.

That's $1000 fine, 1 year suspension, and possible jail time. A hell of a lot stricter than what you have planned, yet we still constantly get DUIs. I bet while I was typing this up, at least 100 DUIs have happened in the US.

If that's not bad enough, there are even harsher punishments for 2nd and 3rd offenses. Which does occur also.


Unfortunately some people are just plain stupid and don't care about consequences: those are the types that need to be confined in prison for the rest of their lives.

In any case, while some are not deterred by the punishment for a DUI, I bet a lot fewer people commit DUIs than speed.


RE: In other news...
By afkrotch on 2/6/2009 3:59:04 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think it's the punishments that stop ppl from committing a DUI. I think it's more along the lines of self preservation. Smart ppl know if they have a hard time walking, driving a car will probably kill them. Dumb ppl just do it.


RE: In other news...
By Eris23007 on 2/9/2009 4:19:58 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Unfortunately some people are just plain stupid and don't care about consequences: those are the types that need to be confined in prison for the rest of their lives


Unfortunately, some people are just plain stupid and believe that the government can effectively legislate and enforce all behaviors of free people: those are the (fascist) types that need to be prevented from ever voting in another election.


RE: In other news...
By Steve1981 on 2/9/2009 4:36:24 PM , Rating: 2
Nah. I just expect a government built on the principle that all people have a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness to lock away the psychopaths that don't care who they hurt, whether they're yacking on the phone instead of paying attention to traffic or driving at double the posted speed limit...

If you can't understand that your rights end when they interfere with the rights of others to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, I can't help you.

If you don't have the brains to figure out that yacking on your cell phone, be it hands free or otherwise, breaks your focus on driving enough to significantly increase your likelihood of getting into an accident and potentially injuring or killing others, I can't help you.


RE: In other news...
By Steve1981 on 2/9/2009 5:03:25 PM , Rating: 2
And as far as the safety goes..

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-he-cells30-2008...

quote:
There are limits to how much we can multi-task, and that combination of cellphone and driving exceeds the limits," says David Strayer, a University of Utah psychologist who has found that by many measures, drivers yakking on cellphones are more dangerous behind the wheel than those who are drunk, whether the conversation is carried on by handset or headset.


quote:
For instance, in a 2005 Australian study published in the British Medical Journal, researchers interviewed, during a 27-month period, 456 hospitalized cellphone users who had each been involved in a crash. The scientists combed the drivers' call records to see how cellphone use affected their driving. Whether they talked hands-free or with a phone clasped to their ear, the result was the same: During calls, and for 10 minutes after their completion, a driver's likelihood of crashing shot up fourfold.


quote:
Marcel Just, a neuroscientist at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, conducted brain imaging of 29 young adults to gauge the cognitive demands of simultaneously driving and listening. Lying in a functional magnetic resonance imaging machine, the subjects steered a simulated car down a winding road. On a second run, they steered the car while listening to general-knowledge statements and identifying them as true or false.

The study, published in April in the journal Brain Research, found that subjects who were allowed to navigate undisturbed showed robust activity in the brain's parietal lobe, a region long associated with spatial sense, distance calculations and judgments that require a person to calculate his whereabouts in a broader physical environment. When the task of listening to the sentences was added, blood flowed to different parts of the brain generally involved in the processing of language. As those language areas came alive, activity in the parietal lobe declined by almost 40%.

While engaged in the listening task, drivers simultaneously listening to sentences veered off the road and onto the shoulder almost 50% more often than those allowed to focus uniquely on driving. And all they had to do was steer the car forward: no cars veered into their lane, no children darted into the road, no construction site loomed up unexpectedly.


But go ahead and keep being an a-hole who doesn't care about the consequences of his action. Just don't expect "facists" like me to sit idly by and watch.


RE: In other news...
By nilepez on 2/8/2009 10:13:17 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
quote:
Highest speeding I've done has been 160 kph in an 80 kph zone.
That's something to be proud of.


IME, nobody in Europe follows the traffic laws on the highways. As I recall, I was going at least 50% over the speed limit in Italy, and I was getting passed up like I was standing still by virtually everyone.


RE: In other news...
By DigitalFreak on 2/6/2009 4:25:40 PM , Rating: 2
I'm thinking that you should be killed before you kill someone else.


RE: In other news...
By acase on 2/6/2009 2:47:22 PM , Rating: 2
Finally someone with realistic sense. Don't go knocking road head now though.


RE: In other news...
By afkrotch on 2/6/2009 2:09:37 PM , Rating: 2
WTF does that have to do with Asians at all, aside from Asians, Caucasians, Europeans, Africans, etc all drive cars and probably perform other tasks while driving.


RE: In other news...
By acase on 2/6/2009 2:49:56 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry, I went to a college where there are many Asian people that come to this country for school and somehow get driver's licenses. I delivered pizza on campus for 2 years, and trust me, it was dangerous. (nothing racist about it, just statistical fact around there)


RE: In other news...
By Spuke on 2/6/2009 2:50:10 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
WTF does that have to do with Asians at all
Because "everyone" knows that Asians can't drive.


RE: In other news...
By rubyxc7 on 2/6/2009 3:43:13 PM , Rating: 3
You're forgetting women!! They can't drive either.


RE: In other news...
By afkrotch on 2/6/2009 3:55:49 PM , Rating: 2
Old ppl. It's not so much that they are bad drivers, just too slow. Oh...and I need to do an old chick once in my life too. Shazam!!!!!


RE: In other news...
By WTFiSJuiCE on 2/6/2009 6:41:49 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Old ppl. It's not so much that they are bad drivers, just too slow.


They're just looking for Country Kitchen Buffet


RE: In other news...
By callmeroy on 2/6/2009 2:15:45 PM , Rating: 3
And I call extreme BS on you and any other poster saying the same that you ALWAYS maintain 100% while driving. No one I know of is ALWAYS 100% focus each and every time they are driving. Because if you want to get extremely anal, and since you stated "not 98, not 99.9% of the time"...you were being overly anal about it --- unless you never listen to the radio -- EVER and never talk to anyone in the car EVER...technically you are not 100% focused....maybe 98 or 99.9% focused but you know...some folks think only 100% is good enough. ;>


RE: In other news...
By Steve1981 on 2/6/2009 2:25:42 PM , Rating: 2
For an activity where a single mistake can end up killing someone, 100%, or as close as humanly possible, should be demanded.

A parallel would be going to a gun range. Handling your firearm properly demands your full attention. Anything less is negligence.


RE: In other news...
By DFranch on 2/6/2009 3:07:52 PM , Rating: 2
Just talking to a passenger is diverting some attention from driving. Should we just make single seat cars then? Remove radios, cd player etc? They all distract the driver. How about adjusting the heat/AC that is a distraction.

Ford has a really good selling point with sync. I wish more car companies had similar tech, but from what I've seen Sync is by far the best system out there.


RE: In other news...
By Steve1981 on 2/6/2009 3:43:24 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Just talking to a passenger is diverting some attention from driving. Should we just make single seat cars then? Remove radios, cd player etc? They all distract the driver. How about adjusting the heat/AC that is a distraction.


Depends on how much those things can be shown to increase accidents, and how safe you actually want your roads. In either case, much like handling a firearm, handling a car without giving it the attention it deserves is utterly negligent. And yes, yacking with your friends in the back seat and not paying attention to your driving qualifies as negligence too.


RE: In other news...
By acase on 2/6/2009 3:50:44 PM , Rating: 2
Not gonna lie, I kinda hope you sneeze on your way home and rear-end someone. Then they can put you in jail for not paying 100% attention.


RE: In other news...
By Steve1981 on 2/6/2009 5:41:05 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry to disappoint. In any case, I'll have to recuse myself from this conversation. I can't see any benefit in talking to someone who wishes me harm, or someone who thinks its A-OK to drive double the speed limit.


RE: In other news...
By afkrotch on 2/6/2009 3:50:48 PM , Rating: 2
You don't need to remove the radios, cd players, etc. Just move it to the trunk, so that all changes made to them have to be done when you stop the car, get out, and open the trunk.


RE: In other news...
By lifeblood on 2/6/2009 3:49:12 PM , Rating: 2
What? Abstinence? That's very republican of you. Now the democratic thing would be to educate and provide protection in the form of voice activated systems.


RE: In other news...
By gstrickler on 2/12/2009 12:43:21 AM , Rating: 2
And how distracting is it when it blue screens and you have to reboot?


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