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 Post subject: Dangerous drivers
PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2006 12:15 
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I saw an idea that every car fitted with a black box to ensure that drivers would not be able to drive "hands off" or with one hand.
What would happen,is that the ignition or fuel supply would be cut thereby alerting the driver that two hands must be on the steering wheel.
One could take your hand off for signalling or gearchanging of course but after a delay there would be no power to the wheels.
This would be a major step for road safety and prevent all the illegal use of mobile cellphones in car.
The same system should be in buses,I have seen too many irresponsible bus drivers driving with one finger!


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2006 12:29 
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I don't agree that having one hand off the wheel makes you a danger.

Especially in modern PAS cars which often only have a turn or two lock to lock.

Tell me zak, do you drive?


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 Post subject: Re: Dangerous drivers
PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2006 13:31 
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zak wrote:
One could take your hand off for signalling or gearchanging of course but after a delay there would be no power to the wheels.

So, I take one hand off the wheel to use the shifter/overdrive to control my descent of a steep hill. I reach the steepest bit when the system disengages drive from my road wheels :yikes:

No doubt there are other places (like bends) where losing drive would be extremely dangerous.

zak wrote:
This would be a major step for road safety and prevent all the illegal use of mobile cellphones in car.

It would be a major step backward - and it wouldn't prevent all illegal use of mobiles because drivers would have both hands on the wheel while dialling and then drive with both hands on the wheel with the phone clamped between shoulder and ear, which would imobilise their head and result in more "killer pillar" etc. crashes.

Then you have the technical problem of how you would determine if both hands were on the wheel. Some people drive "10 to 2" others "quarter to three" and while preparing to take a bend some move their hands to "half past six" at the start of the "BSM shuffle". So how is the system to sense how many hands are on the wheel and differentiate two hands close together from one hand with spread-out fingers. Where are the sensors to be placed? For example, most people with off-road experience don't grip the inside of the rim while some other drivers habitually drive with one hand inside the wheel. Also, some habitually drive with one hand on the wheel and the other on the gear knob where frequent gear changes are anticipated (e.g. stop-start traffic).

I can see such a system being more dangerous than helpful.

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 Post subject: Re: Dangerous drivers
PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2006 13:34 
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zak wrote:
I saw an idea that every car fitted with a black box to ensure that drivers would not be able to drive "hands off" or with one hand.
What would happen,is that the ignition or fuel supply would be cut thereby alerting the driver that two hands must be on the steering wheel.
One could take your hand off for signalling or gearchanging of course but after a delay there would be no power to the wheels.

An intriguing idea; however, I’m very sceptical of systems that forcibly take control away from the driver, assuming the sensors even work reliably! It could cause more danger if the car seemingly without warning cut the ignition – like when driving on L3 of a motorway. I had this happen to me once when my immobiliser decided to permanently immobilise, thankfully I had the presence of mind to quickly realise what I should do (hazards, horn, carefully getting to the hard shoulder before I stopped) – I don’t think everyone else is so capable!

zak wrote:
This would be a major step for road safety and prevent all the illegal use of mobile cellphones in car.

That might have the opposite effect.
People less responsible will instead hold their phone between their shoulder and their ear, meaning their head will be kinked sideways. Have you ever played a driving game with your head sideways? I have tried but I don't stay on the road for very long, I have great difficulty judging where I’m going. There’s also the distraction of keeping the phone in that awkward place.


edit:
:bighand: willcove


Last edited by Steve on Sat Nov 25, 2006 13:41, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2006 13:40 
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some upcoming driver assistance systems like lane guidance already require the driver to have their (or a) hand(s) on the wheel, and cut out if they're removed for too long.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2006 13:55 
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Some interesting replies.

But safe driving isn't about what you're doing with your hands and feet; it's about what you're doing with your eyes and brain.

There's much on this in Steve Haley's excellent new book MIND DRIVING. See: http://www.safespeed.org.uk/minddriving.html

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2006 14:22 
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As a child I lived opposite a man with one arm (amputated at shoulder) who drove a Merc, and more recently worked with a Contract Manager who lost his hand at the wrist and is a 30k+ per year driver.

A bit of tightly bound tape, should keep the sensors happy, while we get on with driving properly.

fatboytim


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2006 17:47 
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Surely the obvious point is a manual car with a gear lever - If I need 2 hands on the wheel how do I change gear?

And then there are the other important switches - lights, wipers, demister, etc

2 tone, vascar, blue light, R/T - these obviously for the well trained emergency service drivers - wot me cynical?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2006 19:17 
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Who comes up with these ideas?

Whilst the driver is responsible for driving the car, it's absolute madness to have ANY technology in the car.

No doubt the stage after "road pricing" will be GPS control of the car - with the "controllers" in the indian "transport centre" deciding where and when the vehicle will move. We'll just go to sleep in the back (and of course wake up refreshed to pay the bill at the end).

I jest of course, but I'd put money on us already funding a "think tank" to debate these things.

Why can't they just LEAVE WELL ALONE!

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 Post subject: Re: Dangerous drivers
PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2006 20:01 
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willcove wrote:
zak wrote:
One could take your hand off for signalling or gearchanging of course but after a delay there would be no power to the wheels.

So, I take one hand off the wheel to use the shifter/overdrive to control my descent of a steep hill. I reach the steepest bit when the system disengages drive from my road wheels :yikes:

No doubt there are other places (like bends) where losing drive would be extremely dangerous.
-------------------------
You would only lose drve if you were to continue to drive with one hand.
Do you drive one hand,esp on a bend?
Such a system is already being tested in Sweden.
(It is an offence to drive with one hand,you are not in proper control of the vehicle,the steering wheel is designed for two hands.)
Such a device does not take away your control of the car,or take away your rights etc of freedom.it is a safety device that will remind you that you are driving without proper control.You will not lose control,the car will just slow down and prevent you from driving in such a sloppy and dangerous manner.


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 Post subject: Re: Dangerous drivers
PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2006 20:52 
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zak wrote:
you are not in proper control of the vehicle


CRAP! as im sure most users of this site will agree. when i need both hands, i use both hands but under normal conditions, one is just fine. good driving skills are what you need to be safe, not 2 hands on the wheel. that is just one more step towards zombie driving ie remove the belief that you need to think for yourself. it is an idea that contradicts road safety

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 Post subject: Re: Dangerous drivers
PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2006 21:20 
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zak wrote:
Do you drive one hand,esp on a bend?

I certainly do drive with one hand on the wheel and the other on the transmission controls in the situation I described - and it's entirely safe and appropriate. For that, I could drive in some situations with no hands on the wheel because the ruts would keep me on track. FYI, I do this sometimes because I've lost track of where the front wheels are pointing and doing this lets the castor and ruts sort it out for me so that I don't get unwelcome surprises when the ruts end and the front wheels regain steering.

zak wrote:
Such a system is already being tested in Sweden.

I do hope that they test it under all conditions and not just on summer tarmac.

zak wrote:
(It is an offence to drive with one hand,you are not in proper control of the vehicle,the steering wheel is designed for two hands.)

No, it is not an offence to drive with one hand. It is an offence not to be in proper control of the vehicle - which is impossible if some moronic robot disengages one of your primary controls (i.e. the drivetrain).

zak wrote:
Such a device does not take away your control of the car,or take away your rights etc of freedom.it is a safety device that will remind you that you are driving without proper control.You will not lose control,the car will just slow down and prevent you from driving in such a sloppy and dangerous manner.

It most certainly does take away your control. In the situation that I described, the results of losing drive could be fatal - particularly if there were rocks at the bottom of the descent. I need my left hand on the shift or transfer box lever to fine-tune my descent by switching between first and second, by operating the difflocks, and suspension settings to suit changes in terrain. Trust me, the last thing I need when descending a steep incline where application of the brakes would put me out of control is to have the drive disengage because it would be difficult to cope with the resulting runaway.

However, on reflection, it would be even worse if I was recovering from a failed ascent. I can imagine it now - select reverse, let off the brake, one hand on the back of the passenger seat with the other on the wheel, move backwards a metre or so under engine braking and the drive disengages. The result would almost certainly be nasty - possibly even a roll-over.

The whole idea is dangerous. Even on tarmac the situation could still arise where you lost drive in a situation where that was dangerous. If such a system is fitted it can malfunction - and I can't see a way of having the system fail safe.

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 Post subject: Re: Dangerous drivers
PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2006 22:01 
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zak wrote:
Such a system is already being tested in Sweden.
(It is an offence to drive with one hand,you are not in proper control of the vehicle,the steering wheel is designed for two hands.)


That just goes to show how little they understand the process of safe driving.

"Proper control" is a state of mind, not something you do with your hands.

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 Post subject: Re: Dangerous drivers
PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2006 23:05 
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zak wrote:
I saw an idea that every car fitted with a black box to ensure that drivers would not be able to drive "hands off" or with one hand.
What would happen,is that the ignition or fuel supply would be cut thereby alerting the driver that two hands must be on the steering wheel.
One could take your hand off for signalling or gearchanging of course but after a delay there would be no power to the wheels.
This would be a major step for road safety and prevent all the illegal use of mobile cellphones in car.
The same system should be in buses,I have seen too many irresponsible bus drivers driving with one finger!


So how would an Artic driver with only one arm cope with this system, FYI I know of two of these fellas, and they both drive a manual gearbox with 16 ratios?

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2006 01:42 
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Disability Discrimination Act? :wink:

Loss of power = loss of control. So going on the assumption that 'only one hand' = 'not in proper control' then at the most dangerous time the system would remove your control even further?

It's about as good an idea as flashing a blinding light in the face of "the most dangerous drivers", assuming that exceeding the speed limit makes you dangerous.

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 Post subject: Re: Dangerous drivers
PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2006 08:41 
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zak wrote:
(It is an offence to drive with one hand,


This is a common misconception put about by the media. There is no offence of "driving with one hand on the wheel".
It is an offence to not be in proper control of your vehicle, but it is entirely possible to drive with one hand and still be in full control.

Do you drive?


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2006 09:08 
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Such a device has been on trial and has been approved for fitting to new vehicles by the Swedish gov.The device is best descibed as an" operater presence control",it has a fail safe function.
I remember back in the 50s when I was helping with some deliveries,being pulled over by the Police for driving with one hand,the driver,(not me) was fined and had his licence endorsed for 'driving without due care and attention'
The reaction generated on this forum to this seems to confirm the lack of intelligence and arrogance of some of todays drivers who have little concern for safety!


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2006 11:36 
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zak wrote:
Such a device has been on trial and has been approved for fitting to new vehicles by the Swedish gov.The device is best descibed as an" operater presence control",it has a fail safe function.

Which is? IOW, how does the device guarantee to fail safe no matter which system component fails?

zak wrote:
The reaction generated on this forum to this seems to confirm the lack of intelligence and arrogance of some of todays drivers who have little concern for safety!

Actually, it's the opposite. The members of this forum are generally passionate about road safety. I can only speak for myself but authoritarian interference without that authority considering all possibilities has to be bad. I gave examples upthread of where such a device would be dangerous - and possibly fatal. The mere existence of such a possibility should be enough to ensure the system is never mandatory. Unlike things such as cruise control and ABS the motorist is unlikely to perceive an advantage and so most would (I suspect) switch off the system - in which case, what is the point in fitting it?

I note that you still haven't answered my technical questions about how such a device would work (got a link to the Swedish system - preferably in English?) In the meantime, I've thought of yet more issues with such a system:
  • It has to transmit the full torque from the engine - or perhaps the full torque from the gearbox output. If you put it between the gearbox output and the diff on an auto, it will need to take account that torque converters are effectively torque multipliers at low speed - i.e. it will need to be really beefy.
  • Where are you going to fit this device? In modern front-wheel-drive cars, there isn't much room for an additional clutch capable of transmitting the full power of the engine. It has to be an additional device - unless you're only going to fit it only to manuals.
  • Such a device is certain to absorb power - which means greater fuel consumption - and is thus contra to the stated government policies of reducing emissions.

I just hope that this device is only ever fitted as an "optional extra".

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2006 12:33 
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zak wrote:
The reaction generated on this forum to this seems to confirm the lack of intelligence and arrogance of some of todays drivers who have little concern for safety!


actually, i would say that the members of this forum are exactly the opposite. we are here to discuss the 'real' issues of road safety rather than giving in to the governmental plans to blanket us all with the same ridiculous ideas which are an attempt to improve road safety overall instead of identifying the individuals who should not be on the road at all. we are all being punished for mistakes made by others. brainwashing motorists into thinking that they are safe by sticking to what the government says is the biggest counter-safety measure they can do. it removes the ability to think for themselves which has an adverse effect and quite a big one

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2006 12:45 
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zak wrote:
Such a device has been on trial and has been approved for fitting to new vehicles by the Swedish gov.The device is best descibed as an" operater presence control",it has a fail safe function.
I remember back in the 50s when I was helping with some deliveries,being pulled over by the Police for driving with one hand,the driver,(not me) was fined and had his licence endorsed for 'driving without due care and attention'
The reaction generated on this forum to this seems to confirm the lack of intelligence and arrogance of some of todays drivers who have little concern for safety!

:roll:

Let's recap:

You put forward an idea, we considered it and politely explained to you how such an idea is flawed and potentially more dangerous - an engine cutting out when the vehicle is in motion can never be considered to be 'failsafe', compounded by unreliable hardware.

You have not even tried to address our responses; instead you state 'governments are trialling this, therefore you guys are wrong, arrogant, stupid…' - guess what, governments have trialled and installed speed cameras trumpeting them as being successful bringing casualty reductions of 40-70%, but thanks to the effort of the SS campaign it is now acknowledged they actually do nothing of the sort.

Even worse, the energy for the power steering and brakes are derived from the rotation of the engine.......:shock:


zak wrote:
The reaction generated on this forum to this seems to confirm the lack of intelligence and arrogance of some of todays drivers who have little concern for safety!

Straight back at you!

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