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    Thread: Are "safety" features making us worse drivers?

    1. Member turbinepowered's Avatar
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      02-15-2017 09:06 PM #76
      Quote Originally Posted by Obin Robinson View Post
      Automation is making us worse pilots. It only makes sense that it would make people into inferior drivers as well.

      obin
      Sounds more like "lack of practice" rather than a necessary and direct result of automation.

      Similar result would come from, say, a larger pool of pilots so they were logging fewer flights. If you don't stay in practice with a skill, that skill degrades.
      Quote Originally Posted by zukiphile View Post
      There is an area of a normal brain that lets the owner know the object works and needs to be left alone. Not all of us have it. It is like being colorblind.

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      02-15-2017 09:12 PM #77
      Quote Originally Posted by turbinepowered View Post
      If you don't stay in practice with a skill, that skill degrades.
      Like panic stops? Like checking your mirrors before changing lanes?

      Reliance on one form or another degrades one's need to do something, and in theory that function your brain is no longer doing would prioritize another task. Stupid humans take that one extra step lost, and stare at a three-inch screen instead relying on nannies to save them rather than focus on the task at hand.

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      02-15-2017 09:44 PM #78
      Quote Originally Posted by turbinepowered View Post
      I'm 32 and a Millennial. When do I become an "adult" and get to complain about millennials?
      When you become Scottish. Kilt up.
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      02-15-2017 09:54 PM #79
      Quote Originally Posted by turbinepowered View Post
      I'm 32 and a Millennial. When do I become an "adult" and get to complain about millennials?



      Also, definitely not making us bad drivers. Slathering a bandage over those who are poor drivers, yes.

      A massive increase in power, general capability, and crap-poor driver's ed have all combined with a steady march upward in number of vehicles on the road to make us all pretty meager compared to what we could be.
      I'm not really sure what you're talking about.

      Millenials drive the way they do because their parents' generation failed to properly educate them on driving.
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      02-15-2017 10:21 PM #80
      Additional safety features help good drivers make more informed decisions.

      They also help "bad" drivers do the same thing!

      Suggesting that driving 1970s ****boxes would somehow make us all better drivers or at all safer on the roads is ignorant.

      A wise man does not decline the use of available tools because he feels he is above them; that is a fool's errand.

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      02-15-2017 10:27 PM #81
      only "modern" safety feature I really want is a back up camera.

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      02-15-2017 10:37 PM #82
      Quote Originally Posted by s2kvondeutschland View Post
      A wise man does not decline the use of available tools because he feels he is above them; that is a fool's errand.
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    8. Member OOOO-A3's Avatar
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      02-15-2017 10:38 PM #83
      Quote Originally Posted by DeeJoker View Post
      Is our dependency on "safety" devices is outstripping actual skill required to operate a motor vehicle?
      No.

      The entire argument that old / less-automated vehicles make people "better" drivers is flawed. You are not a "better" driver if you know how to operate a manual choke, unsynchronized manual transmission, non-ABS brakes, manual recirculating-ball steering, and so on. That describes what i learned to drive in, but it has no relevance to what I drive today. I've adapted to all the new tech over many years as it became available in cars the I had.

      If you can correctly and safely operate something that primitive, great! It doesn't make you a 'better' driver, it means you have a set of skills to operate that type of vehicle.

      Take a person who's only ever driven something that primitive and put them in the latest 2017 tech, and they'd be overwhelmed and unsafe. They wouldn't have the skills to operate a modern vehicle. The reverse is also true - take a person who learns to drive in and is fully proficient in operating a Tesla Model S and put them in something from the early 1960s, they'd be overwhelmed and unsafe. Different vehicles, different equipment different required skills.

      These skills:
      • manual transmission (full-sync or unsynchronized)
      • non-ABS brakes
      • lack of Traction Control / Stability Control
      • manual choke
      • 'automatic' choke (remember pressing and releasing the accelerator once to 'set' the choke, then tapping it to make the idle slow down after it warms up?)
      • paying attention to an oil-pressure gauge in cold weather
      • dealing with a cold-start or flooded carburetor

      ... are completely irrelevant for the majority of people who have never driven anything but modern automatic/ABS/ESC/fuel-injected cars, and will never buy anything new that requires those skills. We're in a transition period now with things like park assist (beeping proximity sensors --> cameras with distance lines --> self-parking) and blind-spot protection (convex mirrors --> blind spot alerts --> auto-steering). It's important to be able to function without the new tech while you're still likely to drive cars with/without it, but as it becomes near 100% market saturation the need for the do-it-yourself skills diminishes.

      summary: You need the skills relevant to the vehicle you operate, whatever it happens to be. Skills that are irrelevant to the vehicle you're operating don't make you necessarily better.

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      02-15-2017 10:42 PM #84
      Quote Originally Posted by AZGolf View Post
      Cite a source, which of course you can't because there is none.

      I've never ridden with any mature adult that said "Hey, I didn't die yesterday, better do 20 over the limit and start weaving aggressively more today!" People under 25? Maybe so, but we all already know that fatalities are way higher for young people and pretty flat from age 26-35 and at their lowest from about 35-55 only moving up significantly above age 65. Above that age, you start to run into a secondary complication, which is that the body is simply more frail and more likely to die in an accident that a younger driver would have survived.

      Bottom line is that I don't buy your unsubstantiated claim that actual mature people suddenly all become lawbreaking reckless drivers more and more every day that they don't get in a wreck. There's no data I know of to support such a claim.



      That car wasn't even equipped with automatic braking. Sales people get that stuff wrong all the time.
      How about this? FB friend of mine (known him from when MaximumPC was around, lives in Jersey) posted this yesterday:
      Quote Originally Posted by Bill
      I was on my way back from Shop-Rite in the sneeting mess doing 40 on Rt. 10, and some egosnobbistic bitch in a Mercedes S-Class 4-Matic blew by me, cut in front of me and squeezed into the extra-safe space between me and a Jeep. She then proceeded to tail him so close, I thought he was towing her.

      He tapped his brakes for a curve. I saw her car do a nosedive as she slammed hers on, then watched with terror as she slid into the curb, blowing out her tire. I stopped to ask if she was ok, which she snottingly said 'Yes.' I then sarcastically told her that maybe she'd stop trying to be the most important person on the road and slow the <bleep> down next time, and drove off.
      Car tech + AWD + overconfidence = crash in snow.


      Also: I've been working on a certain brand of German vehicle for >20 years. I see the results of actions just like the egosnobbistic bitch did a LOT, especially during winter. "The car will make it all right!" they think - right up until the moment that the stability control can't fix their ufckup, and the car says "I can't help you with this. Activating Manual Control. Good luck!"
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    10. Geriatric Member J-Tim's Avatar
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      02-15-2017 10:42 PM #85
      ^^^^^

      This is as good of an explanation as one can get.

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      02-15-2017 10:49 PM #86
      Quote Originally Posted by DanG View Post
      Yes they are. They're also enabling older people who shouldn't be driving to keep driving a bit longer.

      All these safety features are great, but what happens when they fail? Most rely on electronics and they will die at some point.
      I agree. Analog is the way to go.
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      02-15-2017 11:07 PM #87
      Quote Originally Posted by OOOO-A3 View Post
      take a person who learns to drive in and is fully proficient in operating a Tesla Model S
      I think the point, being widely missed in this thread, is that all these driver aids are NOT to be relied upon over the knowledge of how to operate the vehicle. Drivers relying on these supplements fail to learn/remember how to a) look over your shoulder to change lanes b) stay between the white and yellow lines c) not rear end a stopped car d) not reverse over something outside the wide angle lens..... etc.

      Instead, everyone seems to be trying to make this an elitist old school skill is greater than all argument. Which, it is not.

      Quote Originally Posted by OOOO-A3 View Post
      These skills:
      • manual transmission (full-sync or unsynchronized)
      • non-ABS brakes
      • lack of Traction Control / Stability Control
      • manual choke
      • 'automatic' choke (remember pressing and releasing the accelerator once to 'set' the choke, then tapping it to make the idle slow down after it warms up?)
      • paying attention to an oil-pressure gauge in cold weather
      • dealing with a cold-start or flooded carburetor
      This is missing the forest for the trees.

      Quote Originally Posted by OOOO-A3 View Post
      You need the skills relevant to the vehicle you operate, whatever it happens to be. Skills that are irrelevant to the vehicle you're operating don't make you necessarily better.
      Skills relevant to operate the vehicle are different than relying solely upon the driving aids installed on said car. You may have the skills, but if you don't use them, you prove the point of this thread.

      You may not want to believe it, but people are stupid, you tell them a car has autopilot, they'll watch harry potter on the way to work, you tell people that car will stop before it rear ends someone, green light to text! If you think people aren't that stupid, you are
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    13. Member cuppie's Avatar
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      02-15-2017 11:10 PM #88
      Quote Originally Posted by OOOO-A3 View Post
      summary: You need the skills relevant to the vehicle you operate, whatever it happens to be. Skills that are irrelevant to the vehicle you're operating don't make you necessarily better.
      But, some skills (and, the overarching point of the thread, I think) are (or, should be) a constant:
      -Full situational awareness (i.e. "What's going on around me?")
      -Driving appropriately for the weather & road conditions.

      When a driver complains that "the DSC didn't keep me from tossing my car off of a ramp", that's blatant over-reliance on the tech, and a major fail in basic driving skills.
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    14. Member OOOO-A3's Avatar
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      02-15-2017 11:20 PM #89
      Quote Originally Posted by gr8shandini View Post
      children-of-the-magenta
      I hate when people cite that. It's taking a narrow subset and extrapolating far more out of it than one should, like...
      Quote Originally Posted by gr8shandini View Post
      “We appear to be locked into a cycle in which automation begets the erosion of skills or the lack of skills in the first place and this then begets more automation.”
      ...that. That 'cycle' is a fiction. Skills have *changed*, and some people keep trying to hammer a square peg into a round hole.

      Quote Originally Posted by gr8shandini View Post
      the Air France crash

      the Asiana hard landing
      Both VERY different situations with VERY different cultural and situational factors. Saying "they both involved automation" is like saying "they both involved airplanes", or "passengers were on board". Correlation does not equal causation.

      The 'automation' on that ancient A300 is 1970s-vintage. The problem with that approach was that they were not using the correct descent technique (see Advisory Circular AC-120-108), and lost situational awareness of there position relative to the approach fixes, so they descended early in a 'dive-and-drive' maneuver which put them at an improperly-low altitude that did not clear the terrain. Fatigue, poor crew-coordination, and failure to comply with standard procedures (PINC - Procedural Intentional Non-Compliance) were what did it for them. If they'd had more modern tech, it would have be much more obvious to the crew what was happening.


      Quote Originally Posted by Triumph View Post
      Good info here. I watch A LOT of "Air Disasters" on Smithsonian, so that makes me an expert. The "Miracle on the Hudson" was pretty much only possible because the pilot was former Air Force, with many more hours of difficult cockpit flying than a regular civilian aviator. (further incorrect assumptions stated as fact deleted)
      No. NO. No no no no no. That is complete and utter bull****.

      Quote Originally Posted by Obin Robinson View Post
      Quoting a SAFO out-of-context to try and support your assertion... Because:
      Quote Originally Posted by turbinepowered View Post
      Sounds more like "lack of practice" rather than a necessary and direct result of automation.

      Similar result would come from, say, a larger pool of pilots so they were logging fewer flights. If you don't stay in practice with a skill, that skill degrades.
      For the referenced SAFO, that is *exactly* the point. Long-haul pilots get very few approaches and landings per the number of hours flown. A couple of weeks ago I was part of a 3-person crew who took a plane from the middle of the US to the middle of Europe via the northern route (Canada/Iceland), and back. In the 23 hours of flying time over 2 working days among 3 crewmembers, I logged.... ONE landing. A friend of mine is on a different type of plane. In 20 hours logged over the same week, he did 12 landings. Depending on the work situation it's easy to fall into a lack of practice.

      Quote Originally Posted by gr8shandini View Post
      And these are people who fly hundreds of hours a year, are routinely quizzed on emergency procedures, and have to pass rigorous simulator checkrides on a regular basis. If they're making a mess of it, what chance does Joe and Jane Sixpack have?
      Since I spent 4+ years being the simulator instructor who gives those checkrides, I can answer this. Unfortunately I had a long flight today and a long day tomorrow so I won't go in-depth right now. The short answer is that in the great majority of cases where technology is a factor in a pilot's performance, it's due to UNDER-reliance and not utilizing it correctly, rather than OVER-reliance like this thread seems to want to claim. This is regardless of the age of the pilot. On the whole, though, older, "seasoned" pilots perform worse overall, not just tech-related.
      Last edited by OOOO-A3; 02-15-2017 at 11:27 PM.

    15. Member g-man_ae's Avatar
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      02-16-2017 12:12 AM #90
      My coworker reverses (quickly!) out of parking spaces without checking his mirrors, because "if someone's coming I'll catch it in the camera"

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      02-16-2017 12:23 AM #91
      Quote Originally Posted by g-man_ae View Post
      My coworker reverses (quickly!) out of parking spaces without checking his mirrors, because "if someone's coming I'll catch it in the camera"
      That's what those 3/4 panels are for, right ? For catching sh!t.
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      02-16-2017 01:28 AM #92
      Quote Originally Posted by g-man_ae View Post
      My coworker reverses (quickly!) out of parking spaces without checking his mirrors, because "if someone's coming I'll catch it in the camera"
      Well, his car may have "Rear cross-traffic alert" system. Works great on my Hyundai. Even tells you which way they're coming from.


      I'd imagine drivers with blind-spot monitoring will shoulder-check less often.

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      02-16-2017 06:45 AM #93
      Quote Originally Posted by g-man_ae View Post
      My coworker reverses (quickly!) out of parking spaces without checking his mirrors, because "if someone's coming I'll catch it in the camera"
      This sounds like the kind of person who always backed out like that, with the assumption "they'll stop for me."

      Bad drivers continue being bad drivers, they just have more justifications now.

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      Quote Originally Posted by zukiphile View Post
      There is an area of a normal brain that lets the owner know the object works and needs to be left alone. Not all of us have it. It is like being colorblind.

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      02-16-2017 07:47 AM #94
      Quote Originally Posted by turbinepowered View Post
      Bad drivers continue being bad drivers, they just have more justifications now.
      Maybe so, but the justification doesn't just apply to "bad" drivers per se. Reliance on nannies to save you (regardless of driving, walking, eating macaroni, etc.) will make your brain rearrange safety priorities. Think of blind-spot-monitoring like a condom. While not 100% reliable, you tend to forget that you are still in-charge of the situation and will be held liable. The reliance on electronics in cars, life, space, bowls of cereal, have taken the human decision-making out of the equation, allowing our brains to focus on what? Further distraction from the task at-hand.

      Not everyone is at fault, but the volume of dumb behind the wheel is a yuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge number.

    20. 02-16-2017 08:42 AM #95
      Quote Originally Posted by OOOO-A3 View Post
      I hate when people cite that. It's taking a narrow subset and extrapolating far more out of it than one should, like...

      ...that. That 'cycle' is a fiction. Skills have *changed*, and some people keep trying to hammer a square peg into a round hole.

      Both VERY different situations with VERY different cultural and situational factors. Saying "they both involved automation" is like saying "they both involved airplanes", or "passengers were on board". Correlation does not equal causation.

      . . .
      Sure that radio program used one example, but again, the FAA has cited over-reliance on automation as a problem after reviewing numerous incidents, accidents, and over 9000 monitored flights. It's not just a couple of journalists. I agree that on a whole, modern avionics have made airline travel safer, but it does tend to lead to a lack of "stick and rudder" skills.

      And yes, pilots need to adapt to the new technologies, but certain things are just hardwired into the human brain and won't change without a few thousand years of evolution. I spent the last 15 years in flight test. Much of that was testing avionics. Things like mode confusion are a constant problem even with test pilots who have read the full design documentation of the system and are reading off of a set of instructions written by engineers like myself and reviewed by the people who made the box. If you don't think it can happen to you because you have the "new skills", I think you might be a little over confident.

      And finally, this isn't a stats based argument. Both of those crashes had over-reliance on automation cited by accident investigators as a primary or substantial contributing factor to the incident. "Correlation vs. causation" doesn't apply when causation has been directly attributed.

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      02-16-2017 09:12 AM #96
      Quote Originally Posted by cuppie View Post
      How about this? FB friend of mine (known him from when MaximumPC was around, lives in Jersey) posted this yesterday: Car tech + AWD + overconfidence = crash in snow.

      Also: I've been working on a certain brand of German vehicle for >20 years. I see the results of actions just like the egosnobbistic bitch did a LOT, especially during winter. "The car will make it all right!" they think - right up until the moment that the stability control can't fix their ufckup, and the car says "I can't help you with this. Activating Manual Control. Good luck!"
      I done seen that in real life.

      And almost always it is a soccer mom plowing along in her luxury SUV that goes into the median, because her car is "safe" because it has "4x4." You know the one, it has the stick figures on the back window of her, her extremely unhappy husband, her 3 crotch fruit, the two dogs, three cats, and a hamster. But she had to make it to Soul Cycle or else her whole day would be ruined!


      Quote Originally Posted by Sheep Shagger
      Skills relevant to operate the vehicle are different than relying solely upon the driving aids installed on said car. You may have the skills, but if you don't use them, you prove the point of this thread.
      QFT.
      The above post may contain opinions, coarse language, offensive terms, spelling mistakes, and/or improper grammar. You have been warned.

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      02-16-2017 09:18 AM #97
      Quote Originally Posted by atomicalex View Post


      I personally will stand up for ABS, though. ABS is the one system that makes an improvement in all cases. Whether you use it for braking or for braking training (learning threshold braking, terrain management, etc), it works and makes everyone safer. The rest of the nannies, learn to drive, *******!

      totally disagree. It is not an improvement in all cases. max breaking can be achived from a proficient driver without ABS VS same car with ABS. It also teaches bad drivers to not break properly since they can now not have to break before turning.

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      02-16-2017 09:25 AM #98
      Quote Originally Posted by jszucs View Post
      totally disagree. It is not an improvement in all cases. max breaking can be achived from a proficient driver without ABS VS same car with ABS. It also teaches bad drivers to not break properly since they can now not have to break before turning.
      I'm sorry, but it is physically impossible to modulate the brakes as fast as the ABS system can and does. I learned how to drive and brake using tried-and-true threshold braking and still would not consider a vehicle without ABS with few exceptions.
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      02-16-2017 09:30 AM #99
      Quote Originally Posted by OOOO-A3 View Post
      No.

      The entire argument that old / less-automated vehicles make people "better" drivers is flawed. You are not a "better" driver if you know how to operate a manual choke, unsynchronized manual transmission, non-ABS brakes, manual recirculating-ball steering, and so on. That describes what i learned to drive in, but it has no relevance to what I drive today. I've adapted to all the new tech over many years as it became available in cars the I had.

      If you can correctly and safely operate something that primitive, great! It doesn't make you a 'better' driver, it means you have a set of skills to operate that type of vehicle.

      Take a person who's only ever driven something that primitive and put them in the latest 2017 tech, and they'd be overwhelmed and unsafe. They wouldn't have the skills to operate a modern vehicle. The reverse is also true - take a person who learns to drive in and is fully proficient in operating a Tesla Model S and put them in something from the early 1960s, they'd be overwhelmed and unsafe. Different vehicles, different equipment different required skills.

      These skills:
      • manual transmission (full-sync or unsynchronized)
      • non-ABS brakes
      • lack of Traction Control / Stability Control
      • manual choke
      • 'automatic' choke (remember pressing and releasing the accelerator once to 'set' the choke, then tapping it to make the idle slow down after it warms up?)
      • paying attention to an oil-pressure gauge in cold weather
      • dealing with a cold-start or flooded carburetor

      ... are completely irrelevant for the majority of people who have never driven anything but modern automatic/ABS/ESC/fuel-injected cars, and will never buy anything new that requires those skills. We're in a transition period now with things like park assist (beeping proximity sensors --> cameras with distance lines --> self-parking) and blind-spot protection (convex mirrors --> blind spot alerts --> auto-steering). It's important to be able to function without the new tech while you're still likely to drive cars with/without it, but as it becomes near 100% market saturation the need for the do-it-yourself skills diminishes.

      summary: You need the skills relevant to the vehicle you operate, whatever it happens to be. Skills that are irrelevant to the vehicle you're operating don't make you necessarily better.
      I think the difference is the level of respect for the vehicle and roadway. A modern car is so much more capable, smooth, and quite. Many drivers in the new cars simply don't know the limits or how close they are to the limits of control loss/crash.

    25. Member
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      02-16-2017 09:34 AM #100
      Quote Originally Posted by jszucs View Post
      totally disagree. It is not an improvement in all cases. max breaking can be achived from a proficient driver without ABS VS same car with ABS. It also teaches bad drivers to not break properly since they can now not have to break before turning.
      Mechanically impossible for a driver to modulate pressure independently on each wheel. Even if the driver had four independent brake pedals, the brain is unable to function as quick as a modern car.

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