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Author Topic: Do today's new cars make people drive more stupid?  (Read 1595 times)

RobbieL2415

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Do today's new cars make people drive more stupid?
« on: September 08, 2018, 09:53:41 PM »

This isn't grounded in fact, rather, in my personal driving experience.  Generally I encounter people (I don't consider most people "motorists" as "motorists" would actually bother to follow the rules of the road) driving carelessly in newer vehicles that appear to have the latest safety feature (lane departure alert, forward collision alert, blind-spot monitoring) and just assume the car will do it for them.  Like seriously, get your head out of your butt.  Or better yet, make cars that force people to drive correctly.
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Re: Do today's new cars make people drive more stupid?
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2018, 11:42:55 PM »

All forms of technology that make life "easier" where less effort is put forth to achieve a goal,  means that people don't need as much knowledge to use toward that goal. That means the "old ways" are forgotten and not passed down to the next generation. The next generation is then declared "stupid".
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wanderer2575

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Re: Do today's new cars make people drive more stupid?
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2018, 12:02:50 AM »

My observation is that what results in most stupid driving is people using their phones.  I suspect they'd still be doing so in a car with no safety systems. 
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Re: Do today's new cars make people drive more stupid?
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2018, 01:36:00 AM »

Or better yet, make cars that force people to drive correctly.

I'm curious as to how that might work (other than, I guess, just having the computer drive the car).
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yand

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Re: Do today's new cars make people drive more stupid?
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2018, 01:59:36 AM »

If someone is the kind of person who thinks safety features allow them to drive carelessly, then the worst thing you can do is put them in a crapbox with no safety features. Even if I grant you that older vehicles cause more careful driving (which I doubt), I wouldn't trust these people's idea of what "careful" is for a second.
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RobbieL2415

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Re: Do today's new cars make people drive more stupid?
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2018, 10:42:46 AM »

Or better yet, make cars that force people to drive correctly.

I'm curious as to how that might work (other than, I guess, just having the computer drive the car).
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formulanone

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Re: Do today's new cars make people drive more stupid?
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2018, 01:02:01 PM »

"Stupid" is overly simplistic. Less reliant on figuring out things for themselves? In some ways, yes.

But if it means that a new car makes it easier to drive in varying road/weather conditions, then it allows for greater concentration on the road ahead. It can also mean more distractions with idle time for some people...texting and other things.

If less people are dying, than who cares if they know how to drive stick or drive without traction control? The problem has been an uptick in fatalities in the past few years. It leveled off to its lowest amounts in 2011, hovered a bit to 2014, but the data for 2015-17 is concerning...especially for pedestrians.

Yet, in terms of total fatalities, it's a lower overall number compared to a decade ago, and certainly less than previous decades.

As an aside, the numbers can be skewed...sub-compacts are safer* than ever before!

* less sold, likely less on the road

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Re: Do today's new cars make people drive more stupid?
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2018, 04:13:31 PM »

This isn't grounded in fact, rather, in my personal driving experience.  Generally I encounter people (I don't consider most people "motorists" as "motorists" would actually bother to follow the rules of the road) driving carelessly in newer vehicles that appear to have the latest safety feature (lane departure alert, forward collision alert, blind-spot monitoring) and just assume the car will do it for them.  Like seriously, get your head out of your butt.  Or better yet, make cars that force people to drive correctly.


Also observed with other products with enhanced safety features to prevent damage. For instance, if you've ever purchased a spill/splash-proof phone, you may see a disclaimer that, in simple terms from what would actually be there, says "just because it's spill proof doesn't mean you get to go deliberately spilling things all over it/not exercising care with liquid, if you do that your warranty will be voided." .


I don't know if there's anything similar to that with cars that have enhanced safety features, I haven't paid attention to that. But if not, things like car advertisements, info when you buy a car, etc, should have them, based on what you're saying here.
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1995hoo

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Re: Do today's new cars make people drive more stupid?
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2018, 04:36:40 PM »

"More stupid"? No.

"More stupidly"? Maybe.

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abefroman329

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Re: Do today's new cars make people drive more stupid?
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2018, 07:55:28 PM »

I just rented a car with Lane Knowledge Assist and drove with my hands off the wheel more than I should have, but not so much that I put myself or anyone else in danger.

I read a fascinating article after the Air France plane plunged into the Atlantic while flying from Brazil to Paris that speculated whether autopilot was making human pilots too comfortable.
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Re: Do today's new cars make people drive more stupid?
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2018, 08:03:08 PM »

I feel some people do view these features as a replacement for human skills, rather than just as a supplement.
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formulanone

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Re: Do today's new cars make people drive more stupid?
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2018, 08:13:11 PM »

I read a fascinating article after the Air France plane plunged into the Atlantic while flying from Brazil to Paris that speculated whether autopilot was making human pilots too comfortable.

I don't think it's as easy to make the same assumptions with passenger aircraft - there's a lot of items and conditions to be monitored. The pitot tubes froze up, giving a bad speed reading, which caused the autopilot to disengage. I recall the resulting issue there was that the pilot was pushing up on the stick, while the first officer was doing the reverse action. This cancelled out the extreme moves as a precaution, which led to the airliner descending ever closer to the ocean (at night, so it was imperceptible to discern altitude). Airbus modified the autopilot to prevent a similar issue from happening again.

What makes drivers assume folks are "stupid" are probably the same things seen repeatedly that reinforce our beliefs that Everyone is Getting Dumber when it's just the same mistakes continuing to be made. Besides, driving is a classic example of Dunning-Kruger; everyone thinks they're great, nobody claims otherwise...yet I have not been anywhere in which people brag that they're collectively the best all-round drivers (short of a professional automobile race).
« Last Edit: September 09, 2018, 08:43:32 PM by formulanone »
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Roadrunner75

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Re: Do today's new cars make people drive more stupid?
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2018, 09:16:35 PM »

I think that automatic headlights coupled with daytime running lights in more vehicles seem to have resulted with more people driving without their headlights on at night (or maybe just my imagination).  I had a car with auto headlights (that frustratingly couldn't be disabled), followed by a car where it could be (and I manually turned them on) followed by my current car where I don't have it at all.  However, my car has daytime running lights which provide just enough light where I might not immediately think to turn on the headlights at dusk (although I always check).  It seems on my commute home at night that I encounter a number of cars in the darkness driving on their daytime running lights with no taillights.  There's probably a few driving rentals or used to auto headlights that don't realize they're driving without their lights on. 
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vdeane

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Re: Do today's new cars make people drive more stupid?
« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2018, 09:23:25 PM »

It's known that people drive based on how safe they perceive themselves to be and are more careful when they feel less safe.  That's why most crashes happen when people are on familiar roads, and why studies show that areas with more "free for all" conditions can be more safe than a fully controlled street (think an unmarked European street with lots of pedestrians vs. the typical American suburban arterial).  I imagine it applies to cars too.

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Sounds like the Stanley Milgram Experiment.

I think that automatic headlights coupled with daytime running lights in more vehicles seem to have resulted with more people driving without their headlights on at night (or maybe just my imagination).  I had a car with auto headlights (that frustratingly couldn't be disabled), followed by a car where it could be (and I manually turned them on) followed by my current car where I don't have it at all.  However, my car has daytime running lights which provide just enough light where I might not immediately think to turn on the headlights at dusk (although I always check).  It seems on my commute home at night that I encounter a number of cars in the darkness driving on their daytime running lights with no taillights.  There's probably a few driving rentals or used to auto headlights that don't realize they're driving without their lights on. 

Rain too, since people tend to assume that they do more than they actually do.
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jeffandnicole

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Re: Do today's new cars make people drive more stupid?
« Reply #14 on: September 10, 2018, 09:16:31 AM »

'Stupid' is also in the eye of the beholder.  I've seen many people doing the stupid thing, getting made at someone doing the proper thing.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Do today's new cars make people drive more stupid?
« Reply #15 on: September 10, 2018, 09:38:38 AM »

On the whole the average drivers arenít particular skilled in anything other urban commute combat.  That doesnít particularly endear itself to good behavior no matter what road or vehicle is involved, a shitty driver is just plainly that...a shitty driver. 

SP Cook

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Re: Do today's new cars make people drive more stupid?
« Reply #16 on: September 10, 2018, 09:42:33 AM »

Stupid is as stupid does.

Let us divide the idea into two parts.  First are the driver assist items like lane departure, anti-collision, adaptive cruise control, and so on.  These are 99% good things, but a driver is still required.  I will give an example.  In my area, they are doing some road work.  This has shifted lanes, so the old lane stripes are painted over and new ones put down.  Fine.  Except when it rains, they all look the same to the computer.  Several times my lane departure goes off, and I do nothing.  Because I am paying attention.   But I have seen many try to hold to the wrong lane, and thus several near accidents. 

The second is GPS.  GPS is useful, if you use it properly.  I just got back from a quick trip to DC.  Two cars, I was driving neither.  Younger guys in the front, older guys following.  Young guys driving is using GPS incorrectly.  At interstate speeds, GPS will not tell you to work your way right four or five miles ahead, which is needed on busy multiple lane highways.  Thus, and not just from the guy we were following, but lots of people, sudden crazy Ivan turns across 4 or 5 lanes to get to an exit.  Missed an exit twice.  Because you use GPS AS A SUPPLEMENT, for already knowing what route you are taking, including the exit name and number, every time, period.

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MikieTimT

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Re: Do today's new cars make people drive more stupid?
« Reply #17 on: October 15, 2018, 10:05:09 PM »

It's attention deficit more than stupidity, and yes smartphones and their integration into vehicles do play a notable role in it being more prevalent nowadays.  However, I had 2 rear-end accidents where I was at fault before my 20th birthday in my tiny hometown running into the back of left-turning trucks.  One was looking across a parking lot at a girl, and the other was dinking with my stereo, so my stupidity couldn't be blamed on anything other than head-in-arse disease.

I still think that the majority of the humans around me in traffic during rush hour would fail a followup driving test, though.  It comes down to common courtesy in most cases.  Common courtesy, like common sense, doesn't seem to actually be common in practice.
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Re: Do today's new cars make people drive more stupid?
« Reply #18 on: October 16, 2018, 07:29:01 AM »

I still think that the majority of the humans around me in traffic during rush hour would fail a followup driving test, though.
When my family and I moved back to Illinois, as adults, and went to get Illinois driverĒs licenses, we all had to take the same written test they give to first-time licensees. Even my parents, who were in their 60s at the time and once had Illinois licenses. I was the only one who studied for the test and did no better than my family members who didnít study (we all passed).
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Re: Do today's new cars make people drive more stupid?
« Reply #19 on: October 16, 2018, 08:51:51 AM »

Well, all I know is that since ashtrays have been removed from cars, I'm seeing more burning cancer sticks thrown out the window
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Re: Do today's new cars make people drive more stupid?
« Reply #20 on: October 16, 2018, 12:19:07 PM »

In my area, they are doing some road work.  This has shifted lanes, so the old lane stripes are painted over and new ones put down.  Fine.  Except when it rains, they all look the same to the computer.  Several times my lane departure goes off, and I do nothing.  Because I am paying attention.   But I have seen many try to hold to the wrong lane, and thus several near accidents. 

I'm curious to know how lane assist works.  If there's a bunch of potholes in my lane, is it going to freak out if I cross the center line or shoulder line to avoid blowing a tire?
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SP Cook

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Re: Do today's new cars make people drive more stupid?
« Reply #21 on: October 16, 2018, 12:53:41 PM »

On my particular car, if you cross out of your lane (or what the computer thinks is your lane) the steering wheel shakes and a "womp womp" sound replaces whatever is on the radio. 

I think there are more expensive models that actually try to hold the car in the lane, which is a bad thing.
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frankenroad

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Re: Do today's new cars make people drive more stupid?
« Reply #22 on: October 16, 2018, 12:55:11 PM »

I think that automatic headlights coupled with daytime running lights in more vehicles seem to have resulted with more people driving without their headlights on at night (or maybe just my imagination). 

Not your imagination.... I have observed the same. 
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kphoger

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Re: Do today's new cars make people drive more stupid?
« Reply #23 on: October 16, 2018, 01:12:54 PM »

On my particular car, if you cross out of your lane (or what the computer thinks is your lane) the steering wheel shakes and a "womp womp" sound replaces whatever is on the radio. 

I think there are more expensive models that actually try to hold the car in the lane, which is a bad thing.

Gosh, I would hate that!  On highways with particularly bad pavement, I'm known to ride the center or shoulder stripe for miles at a time (obviously only if doing so doesn't interfere with other traffic).  I also ride the stripe when crossing railroads, because it's usually a smoother transition than the more rutted tire tracks.
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kphoger

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Re: Do today's new cars make people drive more stupid?
« Reply #24 on: October 16, 2018, 01:15:34 PM »

I think that automatic headlights coupled with daytime running lights in more vehicles seem to have resulted with more people driving without their headlights on at night (or maybe just my imagination). 

Not your imagination.... I have observed the same. 

I haven't noticed that.  Sure, I see people driving without headlights when they should have them on, but I've been seeing that for as long as I've been old enough to drive.  If anything, I think people are more likely to turn their lights on simply because they're seeing more traffic around them with their lights on.  I chalk up the occasional ninja car to the same old forgetfulness that's been around for years.
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