OT If she was on her phone

If she was on her phone she deserves accidental murder charges.

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used to do a lot of 3-4 hour road rides out in the beautiful country side around here. Got scared off of it, for the most part, after reading on FB vehicle drivers ranting about how po’d they were about having to share the road with cyclists. Also scared off of it by observing, while driving my own vehicle, how distracted other drivers were/are. American drivers can’t be bothered with concentrating on actual driving while they’re behind the wheel, they might miss a text or an internet meme. I trail ride the vast majority of my pedaling miles, much much safer than trusting narcissistic Americans to do the right thing and pay attention.

Sickens me to read about that 17 year dying. I’d bet money that the girl that killed him was too busy doing texting or doing the internet to be bothered with paying attention to the road. Hope she spends years in prison for her involuntary manslaughter, but odds are she’ll walk away with a slap on the wrist.

Texting and other smart phone functions need to be disabled when in a moving vehicle. No big techno feat to accomplish that, huge political feat to accomplish that. In the meantime, more good people will die.


So if you’re riding the bus or the train or an uberlyft, you can’t use your smartphone?

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I get you.


There would be tech ways to deal with that. Such as a beacon that could actively distinguish driver in car from passengers.

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Isn’t using the screen to run your EV as bad as using your smartphone? Both take your eyes off the road.

The Captain


Figure something out. Have a sensor in drivers seat that if activated sends a signal to disable features of a smart phone that is within a predetermined proximity to that seat. It can be done, if there is a will to get it done. The alternative is cyclists keep get running over by drivers who can’t control their urge to use their phone while driving. I’m not expecting any of this to happen, which is why I have mostly changed my biking behavior. I do risk road riding a couple of times a year, but I treat those rides like I’m on a commando mission, and every vehicle nearby is a threat to kill me. I have always stayed as far over as possible, am not one of those cyclists that believes that since the laws state that bikes have a right to be on the road that I can take up as much space as I want. I know better than that, American drivers are as narcissistic as they come.


Most new cars, EV and ICE, have screens nowadays. And using the screen is not necessary for driving. Glancing at the screen to see speed, or to see the side view cameras while turning or changing lanes is similar to turning head to look, or looking at the various mirrors. And changing radio station on screen is commonly done in all cars.

(In fact, last week, I had to reboot my car because NAV wasn’t working right. So I rebooted while stopped at a traffic light, and continued driving with NO screen at all for the next few miles while it was rebooting.)

The real issue is TEXTING while driving. TEXTING requires a much higher level of concentration, and people routinely underestimate how much time their eyes are off the road while they are doing it. It is NEVER a fraction of a second, it is usually multiple seconds, enough to kill yourself or others. But that isn’t the only issue. American drivers are undertrained, it is so ridiculously easy to pass the driving test that it is a joke to anyone from most other countries in Europe or Asia. And enforcement of bad driving is nearly nonexistent. I see people crossing double yellow lines every single day, because it’s a location that it’s “easier to make that illegal left than going all around” and the cops do nothing at all about it. They could sit there and hand out tickets all day, and they don’t bother. The municipality could install poles to prevent it, but they don’t. Nobody really cares.


I did very little driving during the pandemic. Now that I’m driving more, one thing I’ve been acutely aware of is how drivers seem have become more reckless.

People are speeding more, making dangerous lane changes, tailgating, and showing a lot less courtesy to other drivers.

On the expressway, I’ve often seen 3 or even 4 cars packed more tightly than a NASCAR race or cutting off cars with little room to spare.

Maybe I’m just getting old, but it seems as if most drivers consider it a race, not a trip to a destination.

Then again, maybe it’s not my imagination.

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It would be a great help to pass a law making a presumptive assumption of full guilt in any instance of a driver’s phone being active with voice or text within minutes of an accident.

david fb


Thanks. I’m a bit out of touch. I haven’t bough a car in 30 years and I haven’t driven since 2019.

The Captain

What about having the “self driving features” of a car give a distinctive audible warning when a bicycle is detected near your path. Tesla, for example, detects bicycles and gives a 3D rendering of them on your screen. No reason why others couldn’t also do the same AI detection. And no reason why you can’t get a unique warning beep-beep tone 50-100 ft in advance.
Yeah, this doesn’t solve the problem of people texting. but maybe it helps. Costs almost nothing in a car that has cameras already in place.


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Not exactly. You’ll come to appreciate it more as you get to your 60s, but the focus distance is much different. When looking out the windows or in a mirror, your eyes stay focused on things well in the distance. When looking at a screen, your focus needs to change to a much closer point - an arm’s length or so. For younger folk, that change is easy. But get tired or just plain old and the switch doesn’t happen as quickly.

I personally notice it the most when looking at my rear view camera screen. I don’t have a mirror in my van - it’s basically useless. So I have a full time camera instead.



I disagree with you. From experience the younger folks, once a upon a time me, who rush things are more accident prone no matter how you want to cut it. The young folks hit more walls in life.

If she was not banking on quick reflexes she would not be off the road.

It is an instrument panel. It is for a momentary glance. You know for a few seconds where you are in time. You know what stationary point you need to get the data you want.