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Have you eaten a sandwich while driving?
Yes, I have and I expect to do it again 70%  70%  [ 45 ]
No, I never have and never will 16%  16%  [ 10 ]
I have in the past, but I won't in the future 13%  13%  [ 8 ]
I never have, but I might in the future 2%  2%  [ 1 ]
Total votes : 64
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 16:18 
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Slightly off-topic but also within the broader discussion points that have developed here.

A little bit of background, I work for a large IT organisation, part of my responsibilities is the education sector. Our solutions enable an IT organisation to have some pretty severe controls of the IT domain.

I had the distinct pleasure of meeting with the Head of IT at arguably the nations finest private school the other day. They use our technology to have a modicum of control over the younger students activities.

Now whilst it is perfectly feasible for them to prevent the uninstalling of the "software agents" they have chosen not to do so, OK it takes a pretty bright 13 year old to work it out but they can and they do. The approach of this establishment is to view this as an "education opportunity", our software will report that the agents are no longer available and the boys housemaster will use this fact as an opportunity to teach the concept of self restraint; yes I know you can do it, you know you should not but I am not going to stop you, these are the reasons why you shouldn't but I'll let you decide, it's up to you to be grown up enough to deal with this freedom.

They have a similar approach to such indiscretions as smoking clearly there comes a point where the indescretion has been so severe or so repeated that the boy has proved by his behaviour that they do not have the maturity to continue at the school.

I see a similar approach would be more welcome with such things as eating at the wheel, what a marvelous opportunity for roadside education about the whole principle of driver distraction. The only problem with this philosophy is that whilst there are plenty of masters at the school there are far too few traffic police on the roads.

It all comes back to that point for me, without sufficient Traffic Police on the roads to conduct preventative education and enforcement any laws or policies are pointless. I have seen no significant reduction in mobile phone use as I filter past vehicles on the M/C but then again I haven't seen a traffic policeman for about a month

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 16:51 
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johnsher wrote:
BottyBurp wrote:
johnsher wrote:
[...]If you're "lying on the sofa" rather than "sitting up" when it happens then sorry, but you'll become the next statistic.

Then you're "lying on the sofa" when it's not safe to...

yes, and my point was that you just don't know that it's not safe.

I understand that, but my point was, I won't do something if I don't know it is safe to do so...

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 17:06 
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BottyBurp wrote:
, I won't do something if I don't know it is safe to do so...

or at least you think it is safe to do so. How do you know for sure? Or are you really saying you don't do any of the things you listed?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 17:10 
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johnsher wrote:
BottyBurp wrote:
, I won't do something if I don't know it is safe to do so...

or at least you think it is safe to do so. How do you know for sure? Or are you really saying you don't do any of the things you listed?

Perhaps what he is saying is that he performs a brief mental risk assessment before deciding it is safe (say) to take a bite from his sandwich, thus ensuring that the risk of something completely unexpected happening is reduced to a negligible level.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 17:12 
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johnsher wrote:
BottyBurp wrote:
, I won't do something if I don't know it is safe to do so...

or at least you think it is safe to do so. How do you know for sure? Or are you really saying you don't do any of the things you listed?

I only know for sure, as much as 'for sure' I can be. As in, I don't know for a fact that I won't get knocked over by a bus etc...

And yes, I do all of those things listed (probably plus others), but only when it is safe to do so...

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 17:16 
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For example, if I'm driving down a motorway, in not too much of a hurry, and there's minimal traffic about and everything is flowing as it should be, then I'll maybe get the odd hamper or two out, but if I'm driving in a 'spirited' fashion, or other people are, or the prevailing road conditions demand more of my attention, then I will solely concentrate on my (and others) driving.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 17:18 
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What is being forgotten here is that with food and drink if you need to devote full attention to the road and it is a matter of life and death then you can drop or throw your food and use both hands and devote your attention fully to the road, also the type of food you eat and if you have a passenger there to assist, it all makes differences to the act of eating.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 17:20 
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dave the nutter wrote:
What is being forgotten here is that with food and drink if you need to devote full attention to the road and it is a matter of life and death then you can drop or throw your food and use both hands and devote your attention fully to the road, also the type of food you eat and if you have a passenger there to assist, it all makes differences to the act of eating.

But if it gets to that stage, then I really wasn't concentrating very well...

I've NEVER had to drop food/mobile/fag/woman etc...

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 17:22 
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BottyBurp wrote:
dave the nutter wrote:
What is being forgotten here is that with food and drink if you need to devote full attention to the road and it is a matter of life and death then you can drop or throw your food and use both hands and devote your attention fully to the road, also the type of food you eat and if you have a passenger there to assist, it all makes differences to the act of eating.

But if it gets to that stage, then I really wasn't concentrating very well...

I've NEVER had to drop food/mobile/fag/woman etc...


:shock:

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 17:34 
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Sixy_the_red wrote:
BottyBurp wrote:
dave the nutter wrote:
What is being forgotten here is that with food and drink if you need to devote full attention to the road and it is a matter of life and death then you can drop or throw your food and use both hands and devote your attention fully to the road, also the type of food you eat and if you have a passenger there to assist, it all makes differences to the act of eating.

But if it gets to that stage, then I really wasn't concentrating very well...

I've NEVER had to drop food/mobile/fag/woman etc...


:shock:

Like I said, ONLY WHEN IT'S SAFE - :rotfl:

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 17:35 
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johnsher wrote:
SafeSpeed wrote:
The 'what if's' that come up in these discussions are usually rather contrived to prove a weak point.

maybe so, but as the saying goes, shit happens. How many of our road statistics are the results of those so called contrived "what if's"?

I've had three major incidents in my driving career. No doubt you'd dismiss them as just "what-ifs":
- what if a car missed its braking point on a left junction that you're about to pass at 50mph and shot halfway into your lane?
- what if a driver heading towards you on the (30mph) bridge decides that the driver in front of him is a bit slow and he's going to overtake regardless of your presence?
- what if that truck on your right decides to move into your lane without looking?


But in all those cases you're knowingly in a 'hazard zone', so presumeably you'll be prepared for the first sign of trouble.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 17:40 
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BottyBurp wrote:
Like I said, ONLY WHEN IT'S SAFE - :rotfl:


Well that's OK then! I had visions of scantily clad young women being thrown out of a car window.... :rotfl:

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 17:44 
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sixy_the_red wrote:
I had visions of scantily clad young women being thrown out of a car window


Although possible, I find it easier to just open the door and push :evil:

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 17:44 
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Sixy_the_red wrote:
BottyBurp wrote:
Like I said, ONLY WHEN IT'S SAFE - :rotfl:


Well that's OK then! I had visions of scantily clad young women being thrown out of a car window.... :rotfl:

Worry ye not - I regularly have visions of scantily-clad women... :D

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 17:50 
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I think I'm going to shut up now... :roll:

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 17:54 
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SafeSpeed wrote:
But in all those cases you're knowingly in a 'hazard zone', so presumeably you'll be prepared for the first sign of trouble.

The junction I can maybe accept but not the others - unless you're switched on all the time.
If you're driving over a bridge with no traffic in front or behind, no pedestrians or any other obvious hazards and a clear view to the end of the road would you be expecting something to happen or would that be a safe time to do something else?
If you're driving along a DC would you be expecting someone to get halfway past you and then for no reason move into your lane or would that be a safe time to be doing something else?
If those aren't "safe times" then what exactly is a safe time once we accept that anything can happen at any time?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 18:02 
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SafeSpeed wrote:
...normal crash development is much more a matter of bad management than it is a matter of failing to react in last few tenths of a second.


This is exactly what it comes down to. If we blindly feel our way along the 'chain' then eventually we'll arrive at the incident. We need to take our chances to break the links while we can. Sure, if you're plugging along on a NSL SC with blind side turnings using the speed limit as a target and you decide to dig into a baguette then you've missed several opportunities to break the chain and you're edging precariously close to the end of it. If you're on a deserted motorway between junctions then you could probably manage to take the wrapper off a creme egg and devour it without increasing the liklihood of coming a cropper!

Quote:
1. what if a car missed its braking point on a left junction that you're about to pass at 50mph and shot halfway into your lane?
2. what if a driver heading towards you on the (30mph) bridge decides that the driver in front of him is a bit slow and he's going to overtake regardless of your presence?
3. what if that truck on your right decides to move into your lane without looking?


1. I would see the vehicle approaching the junction and either brake or cover the brake as appropriate in case they overshot. As a matter of course I move to the right of my lane in such situations, and if the road is clear in the opposite direction I have an escape route there. If the approach road to the junction is obscured, but I am aware of the junction's presence, then I would be unlikely to be pressing on at 50 without an escape route being clear in the other lane.

2. Hopefully you see them following the closing car too closely, or popping/pulling out, and slow down/move left. If you aren't aware of his intentions and he pulls out into you anyway, what difference is eating going to make to you, notwithstanding the dry cleaning bill on top of your repair bill!

3. You don't spend any longer than necessary alongside other vehicles, particularly those larger than you, or with poorer visibility. If they start to move over, this is exactly the scenario for which horns were intended. Trucks do not swing in quickly, they would tend to fall over if they did, so this is hardly a snap reaction situation. What are you doing being overtaken by a truck in the first place?

The real point is that if these "what ifs", or any others, had a chance of occurring then its not the time or place to be taking a bite of your butty. There are, however, plenty of situations where the hazard density is low, and ancilliary tasks at the wheel pose no threat to safety.

Judging where it is safe to eat whilst driving is much like judging when it is safe to pull out of a non-traffic-light controlled junction, you weigh up as many factors as you are in possession of, and use your best judgment. Some people get it wrong, at both practices, but most of the time it goes off without a hitch. Surely the minority of those who are unable to make the safe decision should not be grounds for putting traffic lights at every single junction?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 18:07 
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johnsher wrote:
If those aren't "safe times" then what exactly is a safe time once we accept that anything can happen at any time?


Thats simply not true mate! Anything at anytime?!? We better drive super slowly with both hands on the wheel and our noses pressed against the windscreen in case a UFO lands in front of our car, or the gateway to Hades opens up in the road ahead?

There might always be the chance thats something can happen at any time, but there are times where that chance is negligible or zero.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 18:30 
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RobinXe wrote:
1. I would see the vehicle approaching the junction and either brake or cover the brake as appropriate in case they overshot.

no, sorry, you can't see the car approaching the junction.

RobinXe wrote:
If the approach road to the junction is obscured, but I am aware of the junction's presence, then I would be unlikely to be pressing on at 50 without an escape route being clear in the other lane.

so at what speed do we approach the junction then?

RobinXe wrote:
If you aren't aware of his intentions and he pulls out into you anyway, what difference is eating going to make to you, notwithstanding the dry cleaning bill on top of your repair bill!

the difference was a dry cleaning bill (not for food!) rather than a head-on collision.

RobinXe wrote:
You don't spend any longer than necessary alongside other vehicles,

and I can stop people overtaking me how?

RobinXe wrote:
Trucks do not swing in quickly, they would tend to fall over if they did, so this is hardly a snap reaction situation.

I'm not talking arctics here but a dump truck. He came alongside, dropped back again and the next thing I knew I was getting nerfed.

RobinXe wrote:
What are you doing being overtaken by a truck in the first place?

it was on a dual carriageway in London, traffic was flowing but only doing around 40mph. It was saturday morning, I wasn't in a hurry and I was coming off at the next junction so I was sitting in the left lane. Is that ok with you?

RobinXe wrote:
The real point is that if these "what ifs", or any others, had a chance of occurring then its not the time or place to be taking a bite of your butty.

well, they all happened.

RobinXe wrote:
There are, however, plenty of situations where the hazard density is low, and ancilliary tasks at the wheel pose no threat to safety.

tell that to the people who've been wiped out by vehicles crashing through the central reservation on motorways.


Last edited by johnsher on Wed Mar 14, 2007 18:32, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 18:30 
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johnsher wrote:
SafeSpeed wrote:
But in all those cases you're knowingly in a 'hazard zone', so presumeably you'll be prepared for the first sign of trouble.

The junction I can maybe accept but not the others - unless you're switched on all the time.
If you're driving over a bridge with no traffic in front or behind, no pedestrians or any other obvious hazards and a clear view to the end of the road would you be expecting something to happen or would that be a safe time to do something else?
If you're driving along a DC would you be expecting someone to get halfway past you and then for no reason move into your lane or would that be a safe time to be doing something else?
If those aren't "safe times" then what exactly is a safe time once we accept that anything can happen at any time?


I think Robin's really covered it.

But it's interesting to perhaps draw the distinction between ability to avoid someone else's crash and not causing one yourself.

Some crashes caused by others really are unavoidable (although it is very few).

Our first duty, of course, is not to cause a crash. Could eating a sandwich ever force us into causing a crash? I'm just wondering... another point to explore.

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