The cellphone paradox - where are all the accidents?

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Per SeaNymph:

Or even stay in the lane?
--
Pete Cresswell

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On 8/17/2015 3:18 PM, (PeteCresswell) wrote:

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4ax.com:

Drunks aside, the worst inability to stay in the lane that I ever saw was a driver who was picking his nose.
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On Wed, 19 Aug 2015 02:32:17 +0000 (UTC), Doug Miller

Were you driving at the time?
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On 8/18/2015 11:24 PM, Seymore4Head wrote:

Are you sure that nose picking driver was sober?
- . Christopher A. Young learn more about Jesus . www.lds.org . .
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My first thought, when I saw how badly he was weaving from side to side, was that he was very drunk. So I caught up with him to get the plate number and a good description, and was getting ready to call 911, when I saw what was going on: he was doing some major nasal excavation, picking his nose with one hand and holding the steering wheel with the other. He'd shove his right index finger up his right nostril, and lean waaaay over to the left -- and pull the steering wheel to the left. Then he'd switch hands...
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On 8/16/2015 8:59 AM, ceg wrote:

Wouldn't you agree that the statistics showing distracted driving would include numbers related to driving while using a cell phone? Therefore, how would it be determined which stats were legitimately due to being distracted. Driving while using a cell phone doesn't necessarily mean a person is also distracted.
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Maggie

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On Sun, 16 Aug 2015 13:58:40 -0500, Muggles wrote:

The cellphone paradox takes all that into account automatically.
The statistics for overall accidents in the USA should include *everyone*, whether or not they own or use a cellphone.
Since we presume cellphone ownership has skyrocketed, and we presume a certain number of those cellphone owners are using the phone while driving, then we *presume* that overall accident rates would go up.
But, overall accident rates are not going up. In fact, they're going down at just about the same rate as they were (year to year) before cellphones were invented.
So that's the paradox. Where are the accidents?
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On 8/16/2015 2:07 PM, ceg wrote:

I'd only agree with the idea that *some* cell phone usage while driving may be distracting enough to cause an accident, so there would then be another subset of statistics defining different usages of a cell phone. From that point it might be determined how much cell phone usage had to do with distracted driving which would make the overall percentage even smaller widening the gap between accidents related to cell phone use and all accidents.
IOW, I more or less agree with you, but for more specific reasons.

--
Maggie

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On Sun, 16 Aug 2015 15:11:41 -0500, Muggles wrote:

I have to agree with you, as would everyone else, that *most* cellphone usage while driving does *not* contribute to accidents.
However, most of us feel (including me) that cellphone usage, overall, should *increase* the accident rate (since cellphone *ownership* is almost 100% in the USA for people of driving age).
The paradox looms even taller if cellphone usage is as distracting as the studies show (i.e., at the level of drunk driving).
So, the more strenuous we make the argument that cellphone use is distractingly dangerous, the *larger* the paradox looms to slap us in the face.
Where are these accidents?
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On 8/16/2015 5:47 PM, ceg wrote:

I don't think it's a given that it would increase the accident rate because as people have gotten used to the technology, they've adjusted how they use it, as in, hands free devices and blue tooth technology built into cars that make the tech no more distracting than turning on a radio or playing music.

I highly doubt it's any more distracting than playing music might be.

Lost within the data, I imagine.
--
Maggie

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On Sun, 16 Aug 2015 18:10:06 -0500, Muggles wrote:

If that is the case, that cellphone usage is *not* distracting, then, instantly, that would *solve* the paradox.
But, then, how do we reconcile that observation with the fact that (unnamed) "studies show" that cellphone use is "as distracting as driving drunkly"?
The *new* paradox looms - which is - if cellphone use isn't distracting, then why do "studies show" that it *is* distracting (as drunk driving)?
Nothing makes sense in all these arguments. There is very little intelligent discussion.
So, maybe the solution to the paradox is, as you said, "it really doesn't matter" whether someone is using the phone while driving, or not, with respect to accident rates in the USA???
But that flies against "common wisdom".
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It's true, playing music can be pretty distracting. It isn't normally, but sometimes it can be.

Well, around here, driving drunkly was common and normal behaviour for a large segment of the population thirty years ago, and now it isn't. Perhaps as a hazard it has disappeared and been replaced with texting while driving instead.

This is true, because there is very little actual data. So an intelligent discussion is pretty much impossible. --scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."

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On 16 Aug 2015 19:54:01 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@panix.com (Scott Dorsey) wrote:

No, there is a LOT of data. And contrary to the theorizing of the alarmists, there is no REAL WORLD evidence that the literal explosion of cell phone use has caused even a blip in accident rates. A few anecdotes of 'I saw Santa on his cell phone and he drove his sleigh right into the side of the chimney" don't prove that cell phones are some special case of distraction that should be outlawed while we still allow the carrying of chatty passengers, the eating of food, the application of lipstick, and the fiddling with CDs and MP3 players.
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On Sun, 16 Aug 2015 19:50:21 -0700, Ashton Crusher wrote:

I can't disagree with anything you said.
Even though I feel, in my heart, that cellphone use *must* be (somehow) causing accidents, I can't find *any* evidence of it actually happening in the USA government statistics on overall accident rates in the USA.
I see plenty of horrible anecdotes, but, they only make the paradox worse.
If cellphone use is so bad, where are the accidents?
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On Sun, 16 Aug 2015 23:25:35 +0000 (UTC), ceg

I've elaborated on that very question earlier in this thread. The short version is that most of the 'studies' are crap designed to prove cell phones are dangerous thru a variety of nonsensical study protocols. You want to prove pianos are dangerous? Do a study where one person puts their head under the upraised and held in place by the stick "hood" of the piano then simulate a magnitude 6 earthquake. You'll find pianos to be quite dangerous.

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On Sun, 16 Aug 2015 19:46:35 -0700, Ashton Crusher wrote:

I have to believe you.
The *one* statistic I would believe is overall accidents.
All the rest seem to be fabricated with an agenda in mind.
The funny thing is that they make the paradox even worse.
I can't be the only person to notice this though.
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On Monday, August 17, 2015 at 12:08:29 AM UTC-4, ceg wrote:

Unbelievable comparison. Earthquakes are rare events, people sticking their heads in pianos are rare events. People driving while talking on a cell phone or texting are not rare. Neither are sudden changes in driving conditions, eg someone opening a door on a parked car, stepping into traffic, stopping in traffic, etc. TAHT is what the simulations have worked with, not some totally bizarre, one in a billion event. There are plenty of stories of accidents and fatalities where cell phone usage was involved. Can you show us one of your piano accidents?
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On Mon, 17 Aug 2015 04:28:35 -0700, trader_4 wrote:

But, if they are actually happening in any meaningful way, then the accident rate would be going up.
That it's not, is the paradox.
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On Monday, August 17, 2015 at 10:43:56 PM UTC-4, ceg wrote:

One more time, there has been a nationwide campaign against drunk driving over approximately the same time that cell phone usage has gone way up. Fatalities from drunk driving have gone down dramatically, something like by half. Is that not meaningful? It's reasonable to assume that many times more accidents have also been eliminated. Is that not meaningful? And let's say that cell phone usage has caused an equal number of deaths and accidents, so that one has just replaced the other. Does that mean to you that cell phone related accidents and deaths are not happening in "any meaningful way"?
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