I was surprised when I saw Toyota's advert for distracted driving
in their Aygo.
People are addicted to their mobile phones. You see it everywhere -
it's human nature to focus our attention on screens. On the sofa at
home - fine. On the train or the bus - fine, most of the time.
Walking around town - not so good, but probably the only danger is
to the person doing it, not anyone else. Cycling - not recommended,
but to an extent it's the person on the bike putting themself in
danger more than other people.
Driving? No. We know perfectly well it's dangerous. Look where
you're going, not at your phone.
You see the effects time and again. Driver doesn't pull away from
the lights when they change, because they are looking at their
phone. Driver in slow traffic on the motorway veers to one side of
the lane, then makes a sudden correction, because they are looking
at their phone but keep glancing up. And occasionally, driver causes
a crash and kills someone, because they are looking at their phone.
And yet, car manufacturers are building distracted driving into
their products, with screens above the gear stick, that display the
same things as mobile phones. How is this responsible, or even
That Aygo advert accurately portrays a person behind the wheel with
two thirds of their attention on driving, and the rest on a
conversation by text on the car's screen.
For it to be totally realistic, you would add in two more things.
One, there would be traffic, not empty roads. Two, when stopped in a
queue at the lights, Mr Aygo would be sending texts to Alan and
Emily, or whoever it is. A conversation is usually two-way.
(Actually, on a second viewing, I see he is tapping the screen at
I find it incredible that Toyota think this is an acceptable car
design. I realise other manufacturers are doing much the same. And
unbelievable that this could be regarded as an acceptable advert.
There's been an awful lot of comment on Chris Froome's Salbutamol
case, almost certainly too much. Cycling journalists ask hard
questions of Froome, but give the UCI a free ride about the leak
of the confidential process. For below the line commenters,
everything is evidence of cheating - good and bad performances
I set out for a long ride after overnight rain. The first soft,
sinking feeling came only 6 miles in, and I got another puncture
before the roads started to dry. This got me thinking, why are
punctures more likely in wet conditions, and how can you prevent