Effectiveness of cell phone bans: Motorcyclists benefit

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by Snowbird, Dec 6, 2018.

  1. Snowbird

    Snowbird Cereal Killer

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,802
    Location:
    Between the Great Lakes and Appalachia
    Something to cheer about.

    https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-12/fau-ldt120518.php

    A link to a summary of states' laws would fit nice now....
    #1
  2. jay547

    jay547 Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Oddometer:
    6,225
    Location:
    Broken Arrow, OK
    I recently read an article in the local biker mag. The author stated that around the 4th of July period, he lost nine friends as a result of motorcycle accidents. He broke it down as:

    2 due to alcohol impaired drivers
    1 crashed in a curve going too fast
    6 (yes, SIX) were killed by people in cars distracted by phones
    #2
    CROSSBOLT likes this.
  3. CaptCapsize

    CaptCapsize Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2012
    Oddometer:
    959
    Location:
    Corrales, New Mexico
    Maybe MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Drivers) should update their acronym to MADDD (Mothers Against Drunk & Distracted Drivers).
    Personally I would rather deal with a drunk driver than a distracted driver. I have seen a lot of both.

    Drunks drive erratically pretty much all the time while impaired making them easier to spot.
    Distracted drivers will behave normally until they get a text and decide to read and respond.
    Then WTF look out!
    #3
    Boatman, Wearyeyed, CROSSBOLT and 3 others like this.
  4. Snowbird

    Snowbird Cereal Killer

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,802
    Location:
    Between the Great Lakes and Appalachia
    Wow.

    Speaking for myself, one of the attractions of a dual sport is that riding is on less congested roads.

    Distraction is one thing; drivers acting out impatience and aggression is another killer. Alcohol has a tendency to bring out the worst of drivers' impatience and aggression, and distraction all rolled into one. Nice... not.
    #4
  5. jay547

    jay547 Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Oddometer:
    6,225
    Location:
    Broken Arrow, OK
    Agreed. I probably ride my street bike once for every four times I ride my D-S, excepting commuting.
    #5
    Snowbird likes this.
  6. Elle2Konsai

    Elle2Konsai Squid

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2017
    Oddometer:
    145
    Location:
    FL
    Ironically FAU & UM did the study yet there are either few laws or those that exist are weak or unenforced in our state where they happen to also be based in.

    I commute on my bike often. Now if I collectively take in examples of people on phones that I see whilst on my bike and in the car, I'd say it is easily 60% of other vehicles. With at least half of those 60% blatantly so as in holding the phone at eye level above their steering wheel in plain sight while they tap away at the screen OR with their heads buried in the phone looking down at their lap.

    As I understand it while texting and driving isn't legal here, that in and of itself isn't grounds for law enforcement initiating a stop.

    In other places I've lived including outside the USA, the mere sight of a phone in hand or being touched is grounds for a stop and fine. I think nobody likes intrusive laws but in effect allowing this behavior to go on in the name of someone's purported freedom is endangering many lives. It's the equivalent of allowing people to drive around being blindfolded for 30 seconds at a time. I doubt that anyone would think the latter is reasonable.

    And what's worst about distracted driving is how it cuts across demographics. The young do it, men do, women do, every race and ethnicity does, I even see retirees doing it... .there's no group or segment that can claim to be exempt from this.

    That we'd get to this point seems entirely predictable. Social media companies and others have used science and studied exactly how to hook people on phones. Something like half he population has their phone near them at all times. So to think people don't want to put it down even while operating a 2 ton steel missile hardly seems shocking
    #6
    bomose and CaptCapsize like this.
  7. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2011
    Oddometer:
    25,258
    Location:
    Western Sierras
    Here in California, drivers can be pulled over and ticketed for talking on, or holding a cell phone while driving. Even with that rule, probably half of all drivers do it anyway. They just pay the fine if they get caught.

    The same is true for diving intoxicated. On weekend nights, a high percentage of drivers have been drinking. With recreational marijuana now legal here, probably 90% of those that use it drive while under the influence of it. Although I think that particular drug is the least dangerous to drive on, it's still not improving anyone's skills behind the wheel.

    The moral of the story? Do not depend on drivers' actions to ensure your safety. They will pull out in front of you, change lanes into you, run stop lights, and cross the double yellow line in the oncoming direction. Always leave an out, and keep your head on a swivel.
    #7
    mikegc and CaptCapsize like this.
  8. Tall Man

    Tall Man Priest, Temple of Syrinx

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,098
    Location:
    The Occident
    I've been saying for years now that distracted driving is more dangerous than driving whilst intoxicated. At least the drunks are trying to pay attention to the road. Someone who is in the driver's seat and mucking about with their phone (or even their button-laden steering wheel) must, by definition, look away from the windshield and the world that is in front of them.

    I consider the sad statistics, such as what jay547 mentions, and I sometimes wonder if it would be better if Steve Jobs had never been born. It might have bought us a little time...
    #8
    CaptCapsize likes this.
  9. Berchunis

    Berchunis Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2018
    Oddometer:
    63
    Location:
    Arizona
    In Arizona a DUI conviction imposes serious fines and sometimes jail time. AZ is very strict with DUI. On the other hand, Cellphone use in AZ while driving is banned in just a few counties and seldom enforced to a shortage of Police officers. If caught, a driver can see a fine of $500 as the result.

    As a motorcyclist, I would like to see cellphone use by a motor vehicle driver while on the move banned in all counties and in all states.
    #9
  10. baldman1

    baldman1 Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,221
    Most people really don't think texting or using their cell phones effects their driving. When I was working as a cop I would stop lots of people for using the phone while driving. When I asked them why they were driving all over two lanes of traffic they ALL would say, "I wasn't." I would then show them the dash cam video and they would then say, "wow that's me? I had no idea I was doing that." I would then tell them they were driving really good until they picked up the phone.
    I really don't think phone bans are effective. When I drove an unmarked car I noticed most people still use their phone. I had drivers who told me to fuck off and mind my own business when I pulled up next to them and asked them to get off the phone. Those people obviously got tickets.
    #10
  11. windmill

    windmill Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,748
    Location:
    Kent, Washington State
    Simple answer to he OP's question,
    The ban here in Washington state doesn't seem to have changed peoples behavior in a noticeable manner, and overall it continues to get worse.
    #11
  12. Pantah

    Pantah PJ Fan from Scottsdale Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2004
    Oddometer:
    12,111
    Location:
    Scottsdale Arizona
    My new truck connects with my cell. Anybody calls me, I answer the phone by pushing a button on my steering wheel and I have a two-way conversation through the speaker system. I never take my hands off the wheel or my eyes off the road. If I want to make a call I push a voice command button on my steering wheel and a voice asks for a command. I say "call Sandy" and the voice responds "cell or home". I say "cell" and my cell makes the proper out-going call and I can have another hands-off two-way conversation through the speaker system. It is amazing! On the other hand the truck will not allow me to plug in a GPS destination unless we are parked and my shifter in 'Park'. I can make GPS changes through the voice command feature but I haven't tried that yet. Stopping and to make GPS changes is annoying sometimes but these safety features should be mandatory in all cars and trucks. They probably will be eventually.
    #12
  13. Drop_Center

    Drop_Center Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,689
    Location:
    Rocky Mountains
    Fucking pathetic it took as long as it did,
    #13
  14. Tall Man

    Tall Man Priest, Temple of Syrinx

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,098
    Location:
    The Occident
    We drive with our hands, our eyes and our brains. The first two amount to little if our heads aren't also in the game.

    It's not my intent to single you out here, Pantah; rather, it's to make a larger point regarding the importance of being fully present.
    #14
    AwDang likes this.
  15. Pantah

    Pantah PJ Fan from Scottsdale Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2004
    Oddometer:
    12,111
    Location:
    Scottsdale Arizona
    I agree with you 100%, but its not much different than talking to somebody in my passenger seat. But I get your point. My older sister likes to talk a lot and with lots of hand gestures. I hate riding in her passenger seat because she concentrates more on what she wants to say than the traffic around us. As a result we might have 5 or 6 'moments' between Oakland airport and her home in Danville...
    #15
    Iron Cross Junction and Tall Man like this.
  16. Tall Man

    Tall Man Priest, Temple of Syrinx

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,098
    Location:
    The Occident
    Lord, am I familiar with those moments. Riding a motorcycle has made me a better driver. A consequence of this outcome is that I am more sensitive (to put it politely) to demonstrably bad driving habits when riding as a passenger in someone else's vehicle. Some things I can let slide, but there are a few behaviors that make it almost impossible for me to keep quiet. Thankfully, it's quite rare that I find it truly necessary to have someone else take the wheel. This tends to protect friendships, to say nothing of my blood pressure.
    #16
  17. Vertical C

    Vertical C Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    Oddometer:
    7,064
    Location:
    Sydney
    Laws can't hurt

    Takes a while to change things like this They should have bought them in before they were ubiquitous
    #17
  18. RVDan

    RVDan Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2010
    Oddometer:
    6,599
    Location:
    Abbotsford British Columbia Canada
    It’s just so odd. The statistics are so high yet I don’t know anybody who has been hurt by a driver using a phone. I don’t know anybody who has had an accident while using their phone. I’ve never had an accident while using the phone.

    Distracted driving here carries fines higher than drunk driving these days. It really hasn’t changed anything. If anything it’s made things worse since everyone is looking down at their phones in their lap instead of heads up in front of them like it used to be.
    #18
  19. Snowbird

    Snowbird Cereal Killer

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,802
    Location:
    Between the Great Lakes and Appalachia
    Couple more things: I communicate using a hand held FRS radio-- push to talk-- with my otherwise passenger who is behind me driving a car while I am driving my RV. Our topic of conversation is always traffic and safety information to help with lane changes, route changes, highway sign information, etc. In my experience, using the radios as we do, the radios provide a large net improvement in safety. Yet, the radios are, under some states' laws, lumped in with cell phone use which are very, very different from the standpoint of distraction during usage.

    That brings up the second point: Cell phones are different than the FRS radios because one has to take their eyes off the road and onto the device. We would never change channels on the radios while under motion because that would be a significant distraction. Meanwhile, auto manufacturers have frequently switched to touch screens to perform acts as simple as adjusting radio volume! Why have federal auto standards allowed that? Please, please NEVER purchase a car that uses touch screens for normal driving inputs.
    #19
    CaptCapsize likes this.
  20. ozmoses

    ozmoses .

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2009
    Oddometer:
    27,144
    Location:
    USA??
    I don't understand why it's necessary to hold or handle a cell phone given the ubiquitous Bluetooth feature in automobiles which allows a user to send texts or place a call using voice commands. :dunno

    Even I, an unabashed Luddite, am able to do so.


    However, there have been a few instances when I have arrived at my destination, having had a hands free phone conversation en route,only to realize that I have little recollection of the drive there.
    Lately, I am beginning to think that we should be doing one thing behind the wheel- Driving.
    #20