NYT: "The Truth About Cars and Cellphones"
Very funny, guys. We get it. The Truth About Cars takes you to task for your shoddy “investigative” report into the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA). You respond with an editorial called “ The Truth About Cars and Cellphones.” Inside joke or not, we stand by our condemnation. First, conflating cell phone use with other distractions—excoriating drivers who “juggle hot coffee and a Mc-whatever or attend to personal grooming in the rearview mirror”—is both lazy AND stupid. Second, repeating your dubious charges—that the NHTSA bent to political pressure instead of faithfully discharging its duties—does not make them so. And third, semantics are the second-to-last refuge of a scoundrel. To wit:
What we want to know is: Since when did trying to save lives constitute lobbying?
The NHTSA has an approved protocol for commissioning research, analyzing the results, updating members of the safety community (including the relevant state authorities), making recommendations for corrective action (when needed) and creating automotive safety legislation. I would say that subverting that system—which is exactly what the Times is suggesting should have occurred—constitutes lobbying (in the negative sense).
Is it the NHTSA’s place to “advise” states to amend or create driving laws before the federal agency has conclusive evidence that any such amendment or new law is A) warranted and B) effective? Lest we forget, ALL states have laws against dangerous driving or driving while distracted. The NHTSA was not preventing any state from creating a new law OR enforcing existing laws. It was investigating the dangers of driving while yakking on the cell—as it does many risk factors—in a methodical manner.
Six years later, the Transportation Department advises drivers to avoid cellphones except in emergencies. But far too many Americans now consider phoning while driving to be standard behavior. The department estimates that roughly 12 percent of drivers are on the phone at any given time — twice the estimate of its own researchers when their effort to document the risks was rebuffed.
Hyperbole, lax reporting, bias, innuendo and a cheap shot at TTAC. Nice work, guys.
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- Stuart de Baker I didn't bother to read this article. I'll wait until a definitive headline comes out, and I'll be surprised if Tesla actually produces the Cybertruck. It certainly looks impractical for both snowy and hot sunny weather.
- Stuart de Baker This is very interesting information. I was in no danger of buying a Tesla. I love my '08 Civic (stick), and it feels just as responsive as when I bought it 11 years ago with 35k on the clock (now 151k), and barring mishaps, I plan to keep it for the next 25 years or so, which would put me into my mid-90s, assuming I live that long. On your information, I will avoid renting Teslas.
- RHD The only people who would buy this would be those convinced by a website that they are great, and order one sight-unseen. They would have to have be completely out of touch with every form of media for the last year. There might actually be a few of these people, but not very many. They would also have to be completely ignorant of the Hyundai Excel. (Vinfast seems to make the original Excel look like a Camry in comparison.)
- RHD This was awesome, in 1978. Now, it's very much obsolete - thirsty, slow, ponderous, noisy, rough, and dated design even in its time. Still, someone who wants to recreate some distant memories will buy it and restore it and enjoy it, and the seller just has to find that particular individual.
- BEPLA Cybertruck may have made some kind of weird sense had it been brought on market on time, ie: before Rivian and F150 Lightning.But the market has progressed.If this were any normal company it would be ditched for a more competitive product.But in Elon's narcissistic dreamworld - well, we'll just see how it flops.
PS. Since I guess we can't exactly count on pch101 to fess up to his error, I'll put the sheer magnitude of it out there. If we assume the numbers he uses, in transitioning from the risk factor model to the model in his head, the total fatalities attributable to the "12%" talkers should be about 14% instead of 2%, or about 7 times off. This would be considered quite egregious. In other words, if we are to phrase it the way pch does, the sentence should read: Now apply the other figures, and we’re left with 12% of the population doing 14% of the killing, and 88% of the population doing the remaining 86%. (Note that the "14%" would not be a precise value because of other correlation factors involved, which I guess would be part of the reason why pch101-head's hillbilly model is not used for such purposes)