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Old 04-21-2013, 04:26 PM
 
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I wish America could build a highway similar to the autobahn, but for some reason our drivers are too inattentive for that kind of high way. If people paid more attention to their driving, we would have less accidents.

...But nowadays I see too many drivers looking at their phone while in their car.
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Old 04-21-2013, 04:53 PM
 
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I did not realize how far a vehicle can travel before you can slam on the brakes and bring the vehicle to a stop. Or how far it can travel if driving 60 mph and you take your eyes off the road for a couple of seconds.

They taught me that in a driver's training class in High School. Then I knew!

Many young drivers I know have not taken those classes. It is very expensive these days.
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Old 04-21-2013, 05:10 PM
 
Location: The Circle City. Sometimes NE of Bagdad.
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I don't think they choose it, they are what they are.
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Old 04-21-2013, 05:16 PM
 
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A person that I know crashed while texting and driving. They don't do that any more. Inattentiveness is a choice.
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Old 04-21-2013, 05:22 PM
 
Location: The Circle City. Sometimes NE of Bagdad.
18,601 posts, read 19,571,823 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHurricaneKid View Post
A person that I know crashed while texting and driving. They don't do that any more. Inattentiveness is a choice.
And the person thinking about a sick family member or other family issue is a choice?
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Old 04-21-2013, 05:35 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHurricaneKid View Post
I wish America could build a highway similar to the autobahn...
What, you want a crowded, 80~120kph/50~75mph limited (in most areas) highway? Well, we've got that for ya! Oh, maybe you want the ~2000euro ($2600) drivers license before being Allowed on those highways, along with the major effort to obtain the license in the first place. Well, sorry, it's more like $40 and no effort here in the States. Or maybe you want the 1500euro/year insurance rates that are found for cars like the Ford Focus, or VW Jetta/Golf (basic econo-boxes).


Point being, things could be MUCH worse than they are in the States ~ mostly MUCH more expensive. Of course, that'd limit the people who could afford to be on the roads, which would drastically cut the congestion and probably make everything safer. *shrug* no sense whining about something that's not going to change.
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Old 04-21-2013, 07:23 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHurricaneKid View Post
A person that I know crashed while texting and driving. They don't do that any more...
That, I'm afraid, is the way many of these people will learn they need to always keep their eyes on the road.
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Old 04-21-2013, 07:28 PM
 
Location: Laurentia
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Why do people choose to be inattentive while driving? Honestly I can't answer that question, since when I drive I always focus on my driving. The sole exception is if I'm taking a quick picture, but even then I only do that when stopped at red lights, stuck in a traffic jam, or after I pull onto the shoulder. The only time I ever become inattentive is when I'm traveling at slow speed on a road designed for a much higher speed, such as 60 mph on a road designed for 75 mph; slow speeds simply put me to sleep, which as you might imagine compromises safety. The obvious cure for that is speeding up, which I always do if I can; this maneuver almost always puts me between the speed limit and 15 mph over the limit .

What I have found is that high speed breeds attentiveness, rather than the other way around (though being attentive certainly helps at high speed ). A slow, steady speed is boring and can put someone to sleep, and encourages one to focus on things other than driving; a much faster speed means you're at the upper end of your ability, things are happening at a faster clip, interest is maintained, and the activity demands your full attention, rather than you having to exert effort to pay attention. As we all know, an attentive driver is a safe driver. Also, for an unrestricted freeway to work, lane discipline must also be observed, and the Germans do this very well. Interestingly, anecdotal evidence from when Montana briefly had no speed limit in 1999 suggests that in the absence of speed limits lane discipline improved a bit, possibly because people no longer thought they could hog the left lane if they were going the speed limit. So at least part of the German driving culture may be a chicken and the egg sort of scenario, i.e. German-style driving is cultivated by the German-style road system.

In practical terms this means that the American Autobahn has to be a package deal, and all of this has to occur simultaneously if it is to ever occur at all. You can't wait until American drivers keep right and pay attention to build an unrestricted high-quality road, because without that sort of road those driving habits won't be cultivated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian_M View Post
What, you want a crowded, 80~120kph/50~75mph limited (in most areas) highway? Well, we've got that for ya! Oh, maybe you want the ~2000euro ($2600) drivers license before being Allowed on those highways, along with the major effort to obtain the license in the first place. Well, sorry, it's more like $40 and no effort here in the States. Or maybe you want the 1500euro/year insurance rates that are found for cars like the Ford Focus, or VW Jetta/Golf (basic econo-boxes).
What we want is a national freeway system that has the same high quality in pavement and design as the Autobahn, that is built for high speed*, and one that has no legal speed restrictions. The secret to perfecting your system is to take the best components from other systems and incorporating them into your own, and for decades motorists worldwide have found what they wanted in the design of the Autobahn.

A study found that the average speed for an unrestricted Autobahn segment is around 140 kph, or 87 mph; there is wide speed variance on the Autobahn so undoubtedly many vehicles are traveling well in excess of that speed. The only road in the U.S. where you can even come close to those speeds without risking a speeding ticket is SH 130 in Texas which has a posted limit of 85 mph. There are a few other roads in Texas and Utah that top out at 80 mph; in total only 16 states legally permit 75 mph, and 15 states don't even make it to 70 mph, instead topping out at 65 or 60 mph. Every state except Alaska and Rhode Island has freeways in rural areas, so obviously the vast majority of the U.S. has a long way to go before even approaching normal conditions on the rural Autobahn.

*By high speed, I mean at least 90 mph, preferably in excess of 100 mph. The lack of speed restrictions need only apply in rural areas; although a completely unrestricted network would be preferable, there is certainly more justification for speed limits in NYC than there are way out in the desert.

Quote:
Point being, things could be MUCH worse than they are in the States ~ mostly MUCH more expensive.
Sure, the system could be much worse. That doesn't mean that we shouldn't try to make it better. "It could be worse" has always struck me as a lame excuse, and an excuse that is often used when an organization or system is in decline.

Quote:
no sense whining about something that's not going to change.
You could have said the same thing in 1900, but the Good Roads Movement gained strength and gained victory by the time the US Highway network was approved in 1926. Although it was for different reasons, the Interstate Highway System later built upon that initial success, giving us the system we know today, such as it is. As decrepit as the road network may be today, however, it still is light-years ahead of where we were 100 years ago (as it should be; if it was not light-years ahead I'd think something was wrong ).
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Old 04-21-2013, 08:59 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHurricaneKid View Post
A person that I know crashed while texting and driving. They don't do that any more. Inattentiveness is a choice.
Quote:
Originally Posted by motormaker View Post
And the person thinking about a sick family member or other family issue is a choice?
Inattentiveness while driving is a choice, phones are the worst offender, they are so distracting, and should NEVER be used while driving, we are biologically programmed to respond to social cues so even a hands free phone call will pull our attention away from the road, it happens all the time, and people don't even realize it, they think they are driving fine. It's so stupid that people have to die, or suffer terrible injuries so people can be on the phone every waking moment.

Somehow the world carried on before mobile phones, businesses survived, work was done, people managed to keep in touch with friends, and family, but now many people refuse to give up that phone for enough time to operate a very dangerous machine that can kill us, alongside others operating their machines. It's insane, and so frustrating to me because I have a commute, and I am forced to deal with the consequences. I see it every day, people on the phone are so dangerous, I'd say about 95% of the time when I find myself in danger, and need to act quickly the other driver is on the phone not reacting as they should, or completely oblivious to what's going on. I save my phone conversations for when I'm not driving, I do that for myself, and other drivers, I wish more people would join me in putting the phone aside, but I know it won't happen. The texting terrifies me!

It's true, we can't stop ourselves from thinking, but thinking, even about serious issues doesn't generally cause us to lose control over our driving, no matter how serious the thought, as long as we have our eyes open, looking at the road, and other cars, and are aware of the fact that we are driving, our focus will quickly shift to the road, and avoiding danger when we spot a threat to our survival. If one starts crying, or truely flipping out, please pull over, and take some time, but just having thoughts isn't very likely to cause an accident.
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Old 04-21-2013, 09:02 PM
 
6,791 posts, read 7,117,325 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy_J View Post
I did not realize how far a vehicle can travel before you can slam on the brakes and bring the vehicle to a stop. Or how far it can travel if driving 60 mph and you take your eyes off the road for a couple of seconds.

They taught me that in a driver's training class in High School. Then I knew!

Many young drivers I know have not taken those classes. It is very expensive these days.
Isn't driver's ed required to get a license?
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