Why is there Public Outrage over Texting and Driving?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Radiating, Oct 30, 2013.

  1. Radiating macrumors 65816

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    #1
    It seems like every time that I look at a news site or a new law that's passed it's about banning texting and driving. For example police departments have started to purchase special vehicles that can spot texters, and there are stories about new laws and campaigns popping up all over the country.

    It's annoying, because according to the government's own statistics cell phones are responsible for around 1% of distracted driving accidents. In-car distractions account for 18% of accidents, while cell phones are a factor in only 0.2%.

    According to the government's own statistics you're 30 times more likely to crash by looking at a road side advertisement than by texting and driving. This makes sense considering that despite how distracted someone gets while operating their phone, they are in full control of when and where they do it, while a road side distraction will happen all of a sudden and be uncontrollable.

    So why don't we hear politicians organizations etc, trying to ban billboards? Which are far more deadly. It seems to me that all of this outrage is mostly aimed at pandering rather than saving lives. If people were interested in actually saving lives from distracted driving cell phones would be the absolute last category to target using any rational logic at all. They are the smallest statistical contributor to distracted driving.

    Applying make-up while driving, eating, talking to passengers and road side distractions are all orders of magnitude more deadly.
     
  2. Grey Beard macrumors 65816

    Grey Beard

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    #2
    If you want to send and receive text messages while driving a car, then pull over and stop. Otherwise you are a bloody idiot.

    KGB:mad:
     
  3. mcdj, Oct 30, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2013

    mcdj macrumors 604

    mcdj

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    #3
    The outrage comes from the fact that there are already plenty of unavoidable ways to have an accident...we don't need to add even a tiny fraction of easily avoidable ways to the mix.

    At least with a billboard, you are looking outside. When you text, your head is down.

    Two other things to consider:
    1. Non phone related distractions have been around a lot longer than phone related ones, thus the accident stats for non-phone distractions are much more mature and likely more accurate.

    2. Nobody but nobody will readily admit that texting caused their accident. And if the accident caused a driver fatality, there's no way of knowing. For all we know, 50% of driver fatalities are texting related. The data is likely skewed if not flat out wrong.

    The bottom line is, texting while driving is completely indefensible. How would you feel if you were slammed into by an oncoming car, driven by someone who was texting?
     
  4. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

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    #4
    Can you source this?
     
  5. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #5
    The hard truth is these laws bring in revenue just like all traffic laws. Safety or not they bring in the money.
     
  6. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #6
    I don't think it is serious to suggest that mobiles aren't a massive distraction when driving. They are pretty bad when merely trying to use the navigation features or to unlock them for the passenger to use - let alone texting.
     
  7. iMikeT, Oct 31, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2013

    iMikeT macrumors 68020

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    #7
    My inner *******tarian thinks that people should have the freedom to drive distracted and get into accidents all they want. Gov'ment should not interfere with people's stupid decisions and if stupid people choose to act on their stupidity, they need to take up personal responsibility for their actions.
     
  8. costabunny macrumors 68020

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    #8
    If you have ever had the misfortune to see the aftermath of a collision where use of a mobile phone at the wheel was the cause; you might see why people are considered dangerous morons for doing it.

    I have seen only one such incident, and that was enough! I have never been so irresponsible as to use my mobile whilst driving, but people do and they are no longer in control of what is essentially a one-tonne murder weapon!

    I feel total outrage whenever I see some buffoon texting at the wheel.

    Basically if you text whilst driving, you are a pillock!

    Thats my opinion and while some may not agree, I am fairly sure I am not in the minority.

    Just to put in perspective; doing anything distracting whilst driving is plain stupid.
     
  9. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #9
    Car accidents harm others and not just the person using the phone.
     
  10. iMikeT macrumors 68020

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    #10

    Ayn Rand would say "tough ****" to the people who get hurt along the way of the phone user's selfish actions, they shouldn't have gotten in the way of an individual using their freedom to be selfish by being on the phone.







    This might be the perfect time to insert [/sarcasm] so you know how I really feel.
     
  11. rdowns macrumors Penryn

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    #11
    Your so-called facts are way off. Where did you get them?

     
  12. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    I'd love to see the source for the OP's statistics as well.

    In the meantime, here's where I become a huge scold: texting and driving statistics.

    My favorites are that texting makes you 23x more likely to get into an accident; that in the 5 sec. (minimum) it takes to text, you can drive the length of a football field with your eyes off the road; and that 77% of young adults are somewhat or very confident that they can safely text while driving.

    ...And I was going to add the same video as rdowns, but he beat me to it, dammit!
     
  13. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

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    #13
    Because there has been critical injuries and deaths.

    Innocent people are having their world shatter just because someone chose not to drive into a parking lot to answer their friend or parent.
     
  14. Eraserhead macrumors G4

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    #14
    I would say in general speeding tickets are mostly about revenue raising (although in residential areas and for gross offenses that isn't the case).
     
  15. VulchR macrumors 68020

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    #15
    Erm... there is outrage at people who text and drive because the hard evidence shows that it seriously decreases driving performance, as anybody who can be bothered to use Google can find out (e.g., see this link).
     
  16. niuniu macrumors 68020

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    #16
    What outrage I feel is usually down to sentencing. I think death and injury caused reckless or drunk driving should be up alongside murder and manslaughter sentencing.
     
  17. erickkoch macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    A few years ago I was rear-ended by a woman who apologized and admitted she was distracted by her cell phone (this was before it became illegal here in CA). I can't imagine that texting would be any less safe. Minor damage, no injuries, BTW.
     
  18. sviato macrumors 68020

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  19. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #19
    Nothing more really needs to be said here, this pretty much sums it up.
     
  20. MacNut macrumors Core

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    #20
    Can we add, lighting a cigarette, changing the radio, eating a happy meal to the list?
     
  21. Tomorrow macrumors 604

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    #21
    Sure, if those things require you to look away from the road I'm all for it.
     
  22. MacNut macrumors Core

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    #22
    That's the thing, you can talk on the phone and not take your eyes off the road.
     
  23. rdowns macrumors Penryn

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    #23

    Are there many drivers out there scarfing down happy meals as they drive? :D

    I can control my stereo with 2 buttons on my steering wheel. No need to look away from the road.
     
  24. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #24
    I don't disagree; I do it myself from time to time. But texting is another matter.
     
  25. MacNut macrumors Core

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    #25
    I agree about texting, and reading/writing email.
     

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