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From: Adrian on 19 Mar 2010 08:35
NM <nik.morgan(a)mac.com> gurgled happily, sounding much like they were
>> > The fact that the call was technical - and the caller was Asian -
>> > meant that I needed to devote full concentration to the call. My
>> > driving concentration would undoubtedly have suffered if I had not
>> > stopped to take the call.
>> Because, of course, "Look, can't talk now - can you call me later?" is
>> far too difficult, when there's a possibility to get a little casual
>> racism in, eh?
> Because I have difficulty understanding the english spoken by an asian
> call centre operative it makes me a racist?
If you really think their ethnicity is somehow either more important than
or inseparable from their accent, yes.
From: Ret. on 19 Mar 2010 09:09
> "Mr Benn" <nospam(a)invalid.invalid> gurgled happily, sounding much like
> they were saying:
>> Conor, it has already been explained. Talking to a passenger in a
>> car is quite different to talking to someone on the end of a phone
> No, it isn't.
> You might treat it differently, but there really is no inherent
>> A passenger in a car knows when to shut up when a driver had to
> Some do, some don't.
>> Someone on the end of a phone will carry on talking which can
>> distract the driver.
> You don't HAVE to listen to them, y'know.
> One thing I'd quite like to know - how does the car stereo know when
> to shut up?
I'm just baffled as to why you and Conor are so determined to try and prove
that you somehow know better than a whole crowd of independent researchers,
in different countries, who have all studied the ability of the human brain
to concentrate on two demanding tasks at the same time - including, but not
solely, in relation to driving.
There is not a single study that I have been able to find that casts doubt
on these findings. In simple terms - the human brain is incapable of
efficiently handling two demanding tasks at the same time. It simply cannot
This does not mean, as Conor keeps suggesting, that people cannot do two
tasks at the same time - it simply means that when the two tasks are
demanding, and requiring of concentration, they will both suffer. The
greater the concentration on one of the two tasks - the less the
concentration given to the other.
I normally only listen to music on my car radio/CD player but when I tried
listening to spoken books, I found it was a waste of time because I was
constantly losing track of the book when I had to concentrate on the driving
(which was very often of course). I found that I just 'shut out' the
narrator when I had to concentrate on the driving.
With a telephone conversation there are two complications. The person is not
with you and, because of the limitations of sound transmission via tiny
speakers, the speech does not carry the same intonations as you get with
direct speech. Because of this you have to concentrate to a far greater
extent on just making sense of what is being said. On top of this you also
have to concentrate on the content of what is being said. Both of these
tasks detract unavoidably from your ability to continue driving safely.
Now you can, if you wish, continue to dispute these findings, but without
having been involved in any real research yourself into the issues, I cannot
see how you can do so with any authority. If you do a Google on 'human brain
and multi-tasking' or on 'mobile phones and driving', you will find endless
references to the research that has been carried out. Why wont you accept
From: Ret. on 19 Mar 2010 09:15
> NM <nik.morgan(a)mac.com> gurgled happily, sounding much like they were
>>>> The fact that the call was technical - and the caller was Asian -
>>>> meant that I needed to devote full concentration to the call. My
>>>> driving concentration would undoubtedly have suffered if I had not
>>>> stopped to take the call.
>>> Because, of course, "Look, can't talk now - can you call me later?"
>>> is far too difficult, when there's a possibility to get a little
>>> casual racism in, eh?
>> Because I have difficulty understanding the english spoken by an
>> asian call centre operative it makes me a racist?
> If you really think their ethnicity is somehow either more important
> than or inseparable from their accent, yes.
It would not have mattered if the person calling me was Asian, or broad
Geordie or Glaswegian - the effect would have been the same - I would have
had difficulty on understanding what they were saying without a great deal
of concentration. Concentration that you cannot afford to provide when you
From: Ret. on 19 Mar 2010 11:28
> On 19/03/2010 08:13, Ret. wrote:
>> In what way? If you are not consciously concentrating on your
>> driving - then you are on 'auto-pilot' in the general understanding
>> of that term when applied to driving.
> Really? If that is so, how come I've not had an accident in 1.8
> million miles?
There will be many soldiers who return from Afghanistan completely unharmed.
That does not indicate that it is safe out there...
From: Ret. on 20 Mar 2010 10:22
> On 19/03/2010 15:25, Ret. wrote:
>> The only way in which we disagree is that having looked at all the
>> research I am now firmly of the opinion that the use of a mobile
>> phone whilst driving should be completely banned. The abundance of
>> research now available shows beyond doubt that using a mobile phone
>> while driving is particularly distracting - more than adjusting your
>> radio, far more than chatting to a passenger - and more even than
>> driving under the moderate influence of alcohol.
> Funny how the alcohol level is now "moderate".
The research actually quoted the intoxication level they were referring to.
They tested things like hazard perception, reaction times, etc for both
drivers talking on a mobile and those with the moderate level of alcohol.
The mobile phone users did worse.
And its more dangerous
> than the millions of people who turn to look at their passenger as
> they're talking to them whilst driving down the road?
> If its more dangerous than DD, why are there fewer deaths attributed
> to it?
Because deaths caused by drink drivers will not just include accidents
caused by drivers with moderate levels of alcohol - but also include
accidents caused by drivers who are seriously intoxicated.
Also, as has been stated previously, it is not difficult for a driver to
dispose of a mobile phone prior to the police arriving if no-one actually
witnessed him using it.