Texting And Driving - Just Say No - InformationWeek

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Commentary
7/28/2009
08:08 PM
Ed Hansberry
Ed Hansberry
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Texting And Driving - Just Say No

We've all talked on the phone while driving and it definitely a distraction to fiddle with dialing and have one hand permanently unavailable for driving. Many states have passed laws prohibiting using a cell phone while driving unless you have a hands-free headset. Texting has become more popular, especially with people updating their Twitter or Facebook accounts. Though not illegal in many states yet, texting is far more dangerous than just talking on the phone according to a newly relea

We've all talked on the phone while driving and it definitely a distraction to fiddle with dialing and have one hand permanently unavailable for driving. Many states have passed laws prohibiting using a cell phone while driving unless you have a hands-free headset. Texting has become more popular, especially with people updating their Twitter or Facebook accounts. Though not illegal in many states yet, texting is far more dangerous than just talking on the phone according to a newly released study.The New York Times is reporting on a study conducted by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute. The study claims that behind the wheel texters are 23 times more likely to crash than those paying attention to what you are doing. Notice I said crash and not accident. If you are texting and wreck, it is no accident, just foolhardiness.

I think many of us, myself included, have got a text or email message while driving that we felt compelled to open and read while cruising down the road. Think of what happens when your spouse or teenager does this at the kitchen table or during a conversation. You totally lose that person for several seconds while they process that information. Now, think of how much distance they will cover if doing 30, 50 or 65mph down the road. That is a lot of distance to cover with no attention to what is going on.

This excerpt from the article is particularly disturbing.

"It's convenient," said Robert Smith, 22, a recent college graduate in Windham, Me. He says he regularly texts and drives even though he recognizes that it is a serious risk. He would rather text, he said, than take time on a phone call..."I'm pretty sure that someday it's going to come back to bite me," he said of his behavior.

Mr. Smith, it would be horrible if you got into a crash and injured yourself, but I don't worry about that. What I worry about is, when it "comes back to bite you" that it will be when you ram your vehicle into my wife, one of my sons, my mom or my nephew and end one of their lives and ruin dozens of lives they touch because of it. If your time is so valuable that you would risk the lives of those around you while propelling a 3,000lb piece of metal down the road at 60mph, then you need to hire a chauffeur. Is your time valuable enough to do that? Here is a free clue. If you cannot afford a chauffeur to drive you around, then your time is not as valuable than you think.

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