Help for a friend

The first test you do - organised by the government.
TheInsanity1234
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Re: Help for a friend

Postby TheInsanity1234 » Wed Dec 16, 2015 8:10 pm

Mr Cholmondeley-Warner wrote: [good points]
Try the following. While driving in a straight line, look to the left (not necessarily at right angles, perhaps just at the centre of the windscreen below the RVM). Do this for 2 seconds, then look back at the road and see if you're still on the course you thought you were.

Now take your left hand off the wheel and put it in the free space in the centre of the car as well. Again, hold for two seconds, then check your course on the road.

Now do the same but make some signs for 2 seconds, go back and check your course relative to the white lines on the road.

If you continue to drive in an absolutely straight line without thinking about it, you're safe. Any deviation, and we've shown that even your basic control of the car's direction is affected. This doesn't even acknowledge any loss of mental focus that may be accompanying the distraction - loss of peripheral vision to the right, loss of attention on events in front, etc.

I'll do that when I can and report back on the results.

Black Cat
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Re: Help for a friend

Postby Black Cat » Wed Dec 16, 2015 10:31 pm

Mr Cholmondeley-Warner wrote:
TheInsanity1234 wrote:I've been a BSL user my whole life, and I've signed for longer than I've been talking (signing since about 1 year old, and talking since about 5. Still haven't shut up in either language :mrgreen:), so the amount of "thought processing" I've got to do in order to use BSL is probably equal to the thought processing that hearing people have to go through in order to speak.

That would need some kind of brain wave analysis to prove one way or the other, but think that talking only requires moving the mouth and vocal cords and no other muscles. Signing is going to affect your driving in a number of ways just connected with using an arm:


There is a reason I am famed for not saying much when I am driving (hence the wife hates long journeys with me - can happily go for hours without a word when behind the wheel). I have yet to meet the person who doesn't lose something of their driving ability while holding a conversation, so add in the motor control required for signing and things can only get worse (sort of reverse New Labour, but probably too old a reference for the Insane One).

Strangely though, well timed conversation is a useful tool with learners in some cases. If they are struggling with overthinking their physical actions and not letting their subconscious take a role, then asking how Aunty Mildred is doing when approaching a junction or roundabout can do wonders... Suddenly because their conscious brain is concentrating on talking to me, their subconscious is allowed to get on with slowing down and changing gear.

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Mr Cholmondeley-Warner
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Re: Help for a friend

Postby Mr Cholmondeley-Warner » Wed Dec 16, 2015 10:44 pm

Or singing - cue Horse ...

[there is meaning in the apparent madness of this post :)]
Nick

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Horse
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Re: Help for a friend

Postby Horse » Thu Dec 17, 2015 1:20 pm

Thank you for remembering :)

A Horse 'War Story':

I had a back-to-biking trainee who was having real problems 'multi-tasking'. She could do great slow speed control in a straight line, but it went to pot if she was attempting to ride around tight corners. She couldn't/wouldn't turn her head when the bike's engine was running.

I asked: "Do you like music?" Yes. "What sort?" Sheepish look (this is mother of teenagers) "Well, rock and roll".

"Do you know Steppenwolf, 'Born to be wild'?" Oh, yes :)

OK, so I explain what we'll do. You sit on the bike, all you need to do is look through the turn, as I push. And we'll both sing out loud!

So off we go. Concentrating on singing takes her mind off worrying about looking away from straight ahead, and she didn't tense rigid holding the bars, instead allowing it the bike to balance itself.

One verse and chorus, one loop around a block of hedge, one knackered Horse.

But it proved to her that she could do it, so no looking back (but plenty sideways).

You won't find that method in a DVSA manual! It's more 'inner game' style.
My own views. For better or worse :)

TheInsanity1234
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Re: Help for a friend

Postby TheInsanity1234 » Thu Dec 17, 2015 4:40 pm

So, I was driving home today, and did the "experiment" on a nice straight bit of road which was junction free, but had a slight bend at the end.

I looked to the centre of the windscreen (below the RVM) for 2 seconds, then looked back, no deviation from the intended line.
Looked and moved my left hand to the centre for about 2 seconds, looked back, no deviation still.
Looked and did some signing with the one hand, and negotiated the bend at the end while signing and looking slightly to the left, and when I looked back, there was still no deviation from my intended line.

I know that if you look in a certain direction, you will subconsciously steer in the direction you're looking at.

However, one of the necessary things in sign language is the ability to control your hands and having a precise knowledge of where they are in relation to each other, even when you're not looking at them, and I suppose that may have helped in this "exercise".

I dunno, it's just a guess.

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akirk
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Re: Help for a friend

Postby akirk » Thu Dec 17, 2015 5:00 pm

to take that one step further - it would be interesting to have an additional person in the back on a journey - then see what happens as you settle in, I suspect that doing the exercise above - because it was deliberate it might have skewed the results - an extra person keeping an eye out might eventually spot differences - but good to see those initial results...

very interesting - thank you for being so open about it, fascinating

Alasdair

TheInsanity1234
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Re: Help for a friend

Postby TheInsanity1234 » Fri Dec 18, 2015 5:58 pm

akirk wrote:to take that one step further - it would be interesting to have an additional person in the back on a journey - then see what happens as you settle in, I suspect that doing the exercise above - because it was deliberate it might have skewed the results - an extra person keeping an eye out might eventually spot differences - but good to see those initial results...

I did think that would've been a factor. Also, I wasn't concentrating on having an actual conversation as such, I was just simply signing "how are you" and assorted phrases, which meant I could still have some kind of focus on my positioning, but if I was actually distracted by a conversation, then perhaps the results would be different.

akirk wrote:very interesting - thank you for being so open about it, fascinating

Alasdair

Well, how does one improve one's driving if one won't actually be honest about one's shortcomings.

(I've typed one so many times in that sentence it's starting to not look like a word :mrgreen:)

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superplum
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Re: Help for a friend

Postby superplum » Fri Dec 18, 2015 11:12 pm

TheInsanity1234 wrote:Also, I wasn't concentrating on having an actual conversation as such, I was just simply signing "how are you" and assorted phrases, which meant I could still have some kind of focus on my positioning, but if I was actually distracted by a conversation, then perhaps the results would be different. Well, how does one improve one's driving if one won't actually be honest about one's shortcomings.


Your honesty and openness are praiseworthy. To improve your driving, give 100% concentration to the driving task and ignore any conversations or distractions, including those you would create. If appropriate, explain so before you move off - cars and occupants get damaged; conversations get forgotten.

8-)

IcedKiwi
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Re: Help for a friend

Postby IcedKiwi » Sat Dec 19, 2015 7:41 am

superplum wrote:To improve your driving, give 100% concentration to the driving task and ignore any conversations or distractions, including those you would create. If appropriate, explain so before you move off - cars and occupants get damaged; conversations get forgotten.
8-)


The same can be applied to everyone. I'm often told off by my wife for not replying or asking whether I'm listening because I'm trying to concentrate on something happening on the road and as a passenger they're just not aware.
It's a bit like that new drink drove campaign "In the doghouse, but alive"

TheInsanity1234
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Re: Help for a friend

Postby TheInsanity1234 » Sat Dec 19, 2015 8:25 pm

superplum wrote:Your honesty and openness are praiseworthy.

As I said, it's hard to improve at anything if you won't admit you're rubbish at it in the first place.

sugarplum wrote:To improve your driving, give 100% concentration to the driving task and ignore any conversations or distractions, including those you would create. If appropriate, explain so before you move off - cars and occupants get damaged; conversations get forgotten.

8-)

Good point. Noted.


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