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View Diary: Text someone who's driving, and you might get sued: a torts lesson (159 comments)

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  •  So (0+ / 0-)

    Let's make it illegal for a mom to say to her kids, "If you don't stop this right now, I'm stopping the car."  And if she gets into an accident while saying that, let's make the kids liable to the injured motorcyclist.

    This aggression will not stand, man.

    by kaleidescope on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 06:35:30 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  The kids don't have different $ from mom ... (1+ / 0-)
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      ... so it doesn't make a difference.

      •  The Point (1+ / 0-)
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        wilderness voice

        If the research shows that it is the conversation -- rather than holding a device in your hand -- that causes the distraction, then maybe a passenger conversing with a driver who has an accident should be liable for the distraction.  And driving with kids in the car should be per se negligence.  And just as it's illegal to talk on a cell phone while driving, perhaps it should also be a violation of the Vehicle Code to drive with kids in the car.  Or people who talk to their kids while they're driving should be guilty of felony child endangerment.

        This aggression will not stand, man.

        by kaleidescope on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 09:17:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  and as it happens (0+ / 0-)

          research does show exactly that:
          although the level of impact is not as severe as texting

          •  Talking on a phone has generally been found to be (3+ / 0-)
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            PsychoSavannah, sawgrass727, 417els

            worse than talking to a passenger, according to the research.   From your link:

            It’s all part of what scientists call cognitive load. “When we communicate with a person we can’t see, we create a mental image of them,” says sociologist Clifford Nass of Stanford University. The task occupies more available brain power than passively listening to a radio, which requires no interaction.

            The more remote the conversation, the more taxing it is. Nass says he realized this after his team told drivers in a test simulation that a voice piped into the simulator was coming from nearby in some cases and from faraway Chicago in others. Although the voice was identical, “people drove significantly worse when they thought it was from Chicago,” he says. The drivers had to fill in more context.

            That same article also has a contradictory passage:
            Since then, Strayer and his colleagues have fine-tuned understanding of just how incapacitated drivers are when on the phone. In June, Strayer’s team described monitoring 32 drivers in city traffic and asking them to listen to a radio, have a conversation with a passenger, use a hand-held phone, use a hands-free phone or operate voice-to-text technology. Compared with driving free of any distractions, radio was the least problematic, while voice-to-text was the most. The three conversations were about equally distracting and led to substantially degraded driving, marked by less scanning for potential hazards, monitoring mirrors less regularly and showing poor surveillance at pedestrian crosswalks and four-way stops. This effect occurred even though the tasks didn’t require the drivers to take their eyes off the road.
        •  The primary difference (0+ / 0-)

          is that the passenger is present in the same car as the driver and therefore is, or should be, aware of the traffic and road conditions that the driver is facing. That means that he would normally adjust the pace of the conversation to avoid distractions, and he would be doing this unconsciously, based on cues that would not be available to a party not present in the car.

          This is, of course, less the case with little kids.

          Personally, as a physician, I would be very concerned at a child becoming febrile after having ingested bleach or had it shot up his rectum—Orac (Respectful Insolence)

          by ebohlman on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 03:59:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  or the general public could focus on driving (1+ / 0-)
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          instead of trying to multitask all the time.  I believe we have shifted our driving habits to what they are now, distracted, and not just by phones.

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