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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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.

"It seems as though my state-funded math degree has failed me. Let the lashings commence." -- DailyTech Editor-in-Chief Kristopher Kubicki
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