Print 68 comment(s) - last by hifloor.. on Nov 22 at 3:50 AM

Stupid is as stupid does...

A large number of deaths are attributed each year to distracted driving in the United States. Many drivers are too busy texting, making phone calls, or reading (among other things) while driving their cars. If you listen to some people in Washington, the answer to fixing such driving stupidity are even more safety mandates.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) wants collision-avoidance technology such as forward-collision and lane-departure warning systems, adaptive cruise control, and automatic braking on every car sold in the U.S. These technologies are already available as options on many luxury cars currently on the market.

The problem on the consumer end of things is that these safety features are included in options packages that add $1,000 or more to the price of the vehicle. Automotive manufacturers oppose the NTSB because the added costs would spread to even the most basic automobiles on the market instead of being relegated to more expensive vehicles where buyers are more willing to fork over the money.
However, the NTSB believes that this sort of technology can help drivers improve reaction times and avoid crashes.

According to the NHTSA, systems such as the ones it's recommending would make a significant impact on reducing the number of accidents caused by distracted drivers. Accidents caused by distracted drivers account for 60% of highway fatalities.

"We have a chance to take a big bite into that figure," NTSB board member Robert Sumwalt said.

Source: Detroit News

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By Ammohunt on 11/15/2012 9:50:55 AM , Rating: 3
Another "safety" system to compensate for a lack of personal responsibility. How about if you cause an accident becasue you were distracted you lose your driving privledges for a year?

RE: DUmb
By Capt Caveman on 11/15/2012 9:52:52 AM , Rating: 2
Tell that to the person that you hit with your vehicle.

RE: DUmb
By invidious on 11/15/2012 11:04:56 AM , Rating: 2
No one forced them to get on the road, when they did they accepted the risks.

RE: DUmb
By FITCamaro on 11/15/2012 12:33:14 PM , Rating: 2
That's what they have insurance for.

RE: DUmb
By FITCamaro on 11/15/2012 12:34:47 PM , Rating: 2
Or do you mean an actual person?

Because these systems won't detect a person in time to avoid you hitting them. Only maybe slow you down slightly before you do.

RE: DUmb
By valkator on 11/15/2012 11:08:07 AM , Rating: 2
You really think if people lose their license that they will stop driving? What a moron!

RE: DUmb
By freedom4556 on 11/15/2012 12:11:50 PM , Rating: 3
These are the sorts of things they should focus on writing tickets for as a revenue generator, not people doing 5-10 over on the daily commute being an otherwise courteous driver. >.>

RE: DUmb
By tjcinnamon on 11/15/2012 12:16:20 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, for the most part people are bad drivers and it's getting worse because of 1) more people on the road and 2) more distractions (i.e. phones).

This idea that people are inherently rational and always make the right decisions under the guise personal responsibility is downright fantasy (like the gold standard).

How about if you cause an accident becasue you were distracted you lose your driving privledges for a year?

How about if you pirate music you get fined? How about if you speed you are given a monetary fine?

Are these effective detourants for perceived victimless crimes? Obviously not. People will not stop these behaviors until something goes wrong. In the case of distracted driving the consequences are severe.

I understand that there is a fine line between coddling people and legitimate safety regulation. However, I think drawing a hard-line of personal responsibility for public policy issues societal responsibility.

RE: DUmb
By boeush on 11/15/2012 1:53:15 PM , Rating: 2
The word you were looking for is "deterrents", not "detourants" (the latter isn't even a word...)

RE: DUmb
By Ammohunt on 11/15/2012 3:51:43 PM , Rating: 2
This idea that people are inherently rational and always make the right decisions under the guise personal responsibility is downright fantasy (like the gold standard).

This is not personal responsibility; what I am advocating is people should be held accountable for negative consequences derived from poor decision making. Rather than putting in false safety nets or legislation to compensate for stupidity. The problem is the person not the car.

RE: DUmb
By boeush on 11/16/2012 1:38:51 PM , Rating: 2
Rather than putting in false safety nets...
What are "false safety nets"? For instance which ones of seat belts, airbags, anti-lock brakes, roll cages, crumple zones, and stability control are somehow 'false'?
... or legislation to compensate for stupidity.
The type of legislation you appear to decry, usually aims to protect *other* people (i.e. innocent bystanders / prospective victims) from the actions of the stupid ones. You can't take "personal responsibility" for getting rammed from behind by an idiot -- but you'll suffer the consequences of it regardless.

RE: DUmb
By GatoRat on 11/15/2012 10:03:21 PM , Rating: 2
Except it's not getting worse. Driving is safer than ever. Moreover, many of the claims of distracted driving are greatly exaggerate--find a cell phone or smart device which is on at an accident, it's classified as a cause.

The reality is, dealing with kids, changing radio stations, simply getting bored, thinking about work and so on are all more common distractions. Even then, there are often mitigating factors such as getting blinding by the rising or setting sun, black ice and a myriad of other things.

In short, this is all really about those in power trying to justify their existence and get more in the process.

RE: DUmb
By FITCamaro on 11/15/2012 12:35:37 PM , Rating: 1
Liberals answer to everything.

More government.

RE: DUmb
By mgilbert on 11/15/12, Rating: 0
RE: DUmb
By Ammohunt on 11/15/2012 3:44:32 PM , Rating: 4

RE: DUmb
By JediJeb on 11/15/2012 4:27:53 PM , Rating: 2
I guess I am a selfish, sexist, racist, bigot that hates everyone because I believe everyone should take responsibility for their own actions.

RE: DUmb
By Rukkian on 11/16/2012 11:33:03 AM , Rating: 2
While I would like that to happen, and don't particulary agree with what they are proposing, I would like your idea of how to get that to happen. Right now most people in the country (the world?) only care about what they can get, how will they get paid, not about anything else. There will always be distracted people, and the average person is an idiot (and 50% of people are below average).

I am not sure this will help, and will be yet another electrical component to break down and need maintenance, but I also don't think it will cost $1000. If the option right now is $1000, that means it probably costs $250 max and with max production, that number will come down. If it starts to lower the risk that some idiot will not rear end me, potentially harming my wife or kids, then great, I am all for it.

RE: DUmb
By JediJeb on 11/18/2012 3:52:28 PM , Rating: 1
I agree with what you have said, I just didn't like being called those names simply because I believe people should be held responsible for their actions.

RE: DUmb
By marvdmartian on 11/15/2012 1:50:30 PM , Rating: 2
How about, we stop making the issuance of a driver's license into a money maker for the states (licence fees, fees for auto titles, auto registrations, taxes collected for car sales, auto insurance company business taxes, etc), and turn it back into what it used to be....a reward for being a responsible and talented driver?

Seriously, if you look at the vast majority of dunderheads on the road these days, you have to wonder how they got their license!

RE: DUmb
By Ammohunt on 11/15/2012 3:56:44 PM , Rating: 2
Although I am hesitant to advocate anything the Europeans do but one thing I feel they have correct is the issuance of motor vehicle licenses. Its and expensive and laborious affair costing multiple thousands of dollars and if I remember correctly many hours of training and probation periods in Switzerland and Germany at least. I drive 130 miles a day and the fact is some people should not be driving..

RE: DUmb
By JediJeb on 11/15/2012 4:33:14 PM , Rating: 2
Finland even requires multiple driving sessions on a wet skid pad to prove you have the skills to handle a car even in those conditions before you can get your license. My dad made me drive in rain, snow and heavy traffic before he would allow me to get my license, and it was for the better. Of course I had been driving since I was 12 so I had plenty of experience before hand, most of that was driving farm trucks in fields and gravel roads, but I knew how vehicles handled before taking it on the streets.

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