Distracted Imagination Behind the Wheel — Phones Off!

June 9, 2016

dali - Gala molucules & atomsOvercast again this near-noon Thursday on California’s north coast, today’s environment courtesy of  a moist combo of low clouds and patchy fog — cool, but feels warmer than you’d figure.
Forecast the same for a good-while; rain beyond a drizzle confined to the interior.

Putting aside the horrific 2016 presidential race for a bit — dum-bass shit seems to occur every few minutes, makes my mind freak more so than normal — and look at a new study which confirms my own longtime suspicions — any kind of talking on the telephone, hands-free or not, while operating a motor vehicle is dangerous, more perilous even than with a chatty passenger.

Distracted drivers can look straight at a hazard but fail to recognize it — the brain is not-fully in the car.

(Illustration: Salvador Dali’s ‘Galatea of the Spheres,’ found here).

One of my daughters, who lives n the Bay Area and occasionally drivers for Uber, calls me from her car every once-in-awhile, and I almost-always chastise her for using the phone while driving — she says it’s not hazardous. She will be most-definitely be getting data from the new research.
Supposedly from a series of the tests, conclusion of driving and the human brain, ‘visual imagination create competition for the brain’s processing capacity, making the brain choose between imagining the conversation and processing the road.’
In other words, eyes ‘not‘ on the road.
Some details from CTV News on Tuesday:

“The person at the other end of the phone might ask, ‘Where did you leave the blue file?’ causing the driver to mentally search a remembered room,” said Graham Hole, a senior psychology lecturer at the university.
The study found that drivers using a hands-free device focused on smaller areas of the road, sometimes even looking directly at a hazard but failing to recognize it.
They also found that conversations may use more of the brain’s processing resources than previously thought.
“The use of hand-held phones was made illegal primarily because they interfere with vehicle control,” said Hole.
“But a mounting body of research is showing that both hand-held and hands-free phones are dangerously distracting.”

However, the study says that the same does not necessarily apply to a chatty car passenger because the driver can better moderate the conversation based on the driving situation.
The person on the phone is oblivious to the road.
“Conversations are more visual than we might expect, leading drivers to ignore parts of the outside world in favour of their inner ‘visual world,’” said Hole.
According to Hole, the only safe phone in a car is one that’s turned off.

Technology flip…

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