CAR magazine, one of our favorite enthusiast magazines from the U.K., had an in-car video filming go very very bad this week when their reported Jethro Bovingdon crashed the new Ferrari FF. There goes 230,0000 pounds. You can see some of it here… but as Jethro puts it in his own tweet, he has crawled under a rock and won’t be discussing it anymore. Blame it on distracted driving and inexperience.
This is the absurdly named “GoSmart” clip – the stated purpose of which is to allow you to watch and use your phone while you drive.
Brilliant: another dumb distraction for drivers. And a missile in case of airbag deployment!
You can read the attempted rationalization for this in The Gadgeteer: http://the-gadgeteer.com/2011/01/23/gosmart-clip-smartphone-steering-wheel-mount-review/. The article does admit the phone might block the speedometer but doesn’t say that is enough reason not to buy it. There’s no mention made of the distractions the phone will cause.
Nor any mention of the fuzzy gloves, which tend to slip on steering wheels. 2 strikes against this reviewer and this company!
The U.S. Dept. of Transportation has a site setup to discuss the statistics of distracted driving here: http://www.distraction.gov/stats-and-facts/. You’ll notice that use of the phone meets all three classifications of distraction:
- Visual – taking your eyes off the road
- Manual – taking your hands off the wheel
- Cognitive – taking your mind off what you’re doing.
16% of driving fatalities in 2009 involved driver distraction. That kind of statistic, and the purpose of this device, clash 100%. Which would also suggest that the makers of this device and those who sell it could be held liable in a crash or fatality.
Just the type of person who very likely is driving in the lane next to you. Don’t text while driving!
We’re still amazed at this clown we had on our bumper a few weeks ago (45 MPH), who was not only blabbing on her cell phone but is also reclining in her seat as though she were sitting at home in her living room. And then there is the position of her hand (singular) on the steering wheel. When we got out of her way, we noticed her head plastered up against the side window.
Something along the lines of this book should be mandatory reading – and testing – material for license candidates in every state.
State lawmakers across the country are more concerned with putting band-aids on the problem in the form of speed enforcement and red-light cameras rather than in making driver education and continued testing requirements for license holders. The city she is driving in banned cell phone texting (and admittedly doesn’t know how to enforce it), but did not ban cell use period. Just wonderful – this in a state with a large proportion of uninsured drivers and huge numbers of illegals. You’re in serious and very expensive trouble if you have a traffic accident with either of these groups.
DrivingEnthusiasts should keep this issue in mind when on the road. And driving means not only driving your own car safely, it means awareness of who and what are around your car at all times. You may think of yourself as an excellent driver, but if you have an accident and claim that you didn’t see the other party, you should carefully reconsider your position.
After a couple of thousand miles of road trips recently, we’ve been left extremely discouraged by the condition of drivers in this country. Driving skill is at an all-time low, driving training is practically unheard of (and certainly not required in schools or by the licensing process), left-lane cell-phone talkers are the norm, and idiots abound.
And not just in our own state of Texas (where lawmakers are more concerned with cramming Jesus into every aspect of history in our new school textbooks), but the entire country.
First up is this Farmers Insurance company car – from a company that you’d think would know better. It’s hard to see in the only picture we managed to snap, but there is a full-size laptop mounted on the dash. It’s on and the driver is using it while moving at speed. Note how high the laptop is mounted, and the position of his head. If you’re an idiot like this guy, you’ve found the perfect insurance company for you. Otherwise, call the cops – as we should have done. There is a law against this in some cities or states. At the very least, a distracted driving ticket could be issued.
Next was this clown in an Escape. You can see her comfortably leaning into the door, with one hand on cell phone and the other rested atop the steering wheel. The passenger is oblivious, as if this is the norm. Or, maybe, hunkering down for the inevitable crash. Wonder why insurance rates are so high in thiscountry? It’s people like this. There should be a Federal ban on using cell phones (and laptops, netbooks, and iPads) while driving. You can thank the cell phone companies themselves as the reason why there isn’t. And if you see anybody using one on the road – give them a nice long blast with your horn.
We’ve saved the worst for last. Not only is the driver busy enjoying her leisurely smoke and driving with only one hand at about 60 MPH, this is her son in the back seat. Also with smoke in hand, and getting a bad lesson from his Mom in how to drive (and live).
Thanks to cartalk.com (http://cartalk.com/ddc/?p=433) for finding this gem. We can’t even imagine what kind of an idiot would mount one of these anywhere in their car, much less on the windshield. The iPad has no business being there, and neither does an iPhone.
Of course the Mac types will be looking down their noses at us lessor computer types. But we’re sure that the police officer that we’ll be calling to the scene will shake his head in disgust and will hand out a ticket for reckless driving. We can’t wait to make that first call.
A responsible and realistic statement from Ford on a critical issue. At DrivingEnthusiast.net, we endorse a ban on all texting and a requirement for hands-free voice-activiated support of cell phones. Lets put the distractions away and focus on driving!
STATEMENT ON DRIVER DISTRACTION LEGISLATION
The following is a statement from Sue Cischke, Group Vice President for Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering:
WASHINGTON, D.C., September 10, 2009
Another dummy lost it this week – this time a tow truck driver who was texting on one phone while talking on another. And he hit somebody else before carteening into a backyard pool. The result is shown below.
Follow the link to MSNBC for the complete story: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32232659/ns/us_news-crime_and_courts/
Sgt. Kevin Locicero, left, and Capt. Bruce Elliot, of the Niagra County Sheriff’s Department, examine a flatbed tow truck that crashed into a swimming pool in Lockport, N.Y., on Thursday.