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TXTNG & DRIVNG... IT CAN WAIT
December 29, 2010 8:35 PM   Subscribe

The Last Text

Studies show that you are 23 times more likely to be involved in an accident when texting and driving

Be safe people.
posted by P.o.B. (36 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is really worth sharing.... very powerful.
posted by HuronBob at 8:47 PM on December 29, 2010


Pffff. You are 79 time more likely to get in an accident while pulling statistics out of your ass about largely imaginary problems.
posted by drjimmy11 at 8:57 PM on December 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


The Welsh approach [YT] is a little less maudlin, though no less manipulative (e.g. gratuitous CGI).
posted by dhartung at 8:58 PM on December 29, 2010


Studies show that you are 23 times more likely to be involved in a car accident than to be impacted by terrorism.
posted by b1tr0t at 9:02 PM on December 29, 2010


TXTNG & DRIVNG...


Stop doing that.
posted by nola at 9:06 PM on December 29, 2010


Well, that was startling. The 2nd story (Ashley) happened just outside my town; the girl was a freshman at the university where I work. It may be maudlin, but it's also all too real.
posted by donnagirl at 9:13 PM on December 29, 2010


You are 100% more likely to be driving shittier than you think while texting. 180% more likely for your shitty driving to be pissing me off, even if I somehow manage to compensate and keep us out of a fender bender.
posted by ctmf at 9:36 PM on December 29, 2010 [7 favorites]


I was almost run off the road today by someone texting and driving. Just had my car detailed and everything. It's so infuriating. It's really incredible to watch - the driver was wobbling in their lane and suddenly made a sharp right into my lane. Sure enough, when I looked over they were gazing into their smartphone.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 9:47 PM on December 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


You are 100% more likely to be driving shittier than you think while texting.

I couldn't favorite this any harder. I can't stand it when people justify their stupid behaviour by claiming "but I can multitask!" So what? Multitasking while driving is gambling with lives, and not just your own.

180% more likely for your shitty driving to be pissing me off


I don't even get mad at the old person in the left hand lane going below the speed limit anymore. I reserve my anger for the talkers and texters in the left hand lane going below the speed limit.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 9:49 PM on December 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


I think the only way to combat this is to have hefty penalities for texting while driving. Maybe have your license taken away for an amount of time if you cause an accident that was a result of texting. Maybe tack on an extra class to driver's ed that specifically deals with this problem in depth and make that mandatory as well.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 9:53 PM on December 29, 2010


Bicyclists know about this. Because we watch every driver's eyes, hands, and vehicular motions as if our lives depended on it. They do, of course. When I started commuting by bike twelve years ago - this would have been pre-texting - I was shocked at watching a driver's consciousness being partly, and often mostly, far far away from where the two of us were doing a very simple dance with very simple rules and very bloody consequences. Not using turn signals quickly became number two on my list of dangerous and unthinking driver behaviors.

Driving seems like something you can do in your sleep after a while. But it isn't. Wake up.
posted by kozad at 10:00 PM on December 29, 2010 [12 favorites]


I can tell when I'm about to find someone looking into their phone while driving on the freeway from the way they can't keep a steady speed. Too slow, then too fast, etc.

Funny, a friend I have in the CHP says that's the #1 way to spot a drunk driver, too.
posted by ctmf at 10:08 PM on December 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


Kozad's comment applies to motorcycle riders as well.. After 45 years of being on two wheels, I can't be on the road and not watch for those signs... It's the observation of nuances that saves the lives of those not encased in 2 tons of metal.
posted by HuronBob at 10:19 PM on December 29, 2010


Pffff. You are 79 time more likely to get in an accident while pulling statistics out of your ass about largely imaginary problems.
posted by drjimmy11 at 8:57 PM on December 29 [+] [!]


Here's the study (pdf). Here's a NYTimes article discussing it. Examining 6 million miles of driving over a period of 18 months doesn't seem like pulling statistics out of your ass. If you believe texting while driving isn't really dangerous, I'd like to know why. Everything I've read (and experienced) seems to indicate otherwise.
posted by funkiwan at 11:13 PM on December 29, 2010 [12 favorites]


Good god, people need to be told this? In other news, it turns out reading the morning paper and driving don't mix. Sheesh.
posted by londonmark at 11:23 PM on December 29, 2010


Maybe have your license taken away for an amount of time if you cause an accident that was a result of texting.

What? Fuck that. Why do we have to wait for the accident to happen?
posted by mannequito at 11:36 PM on December 29, 2010


I ride the bus into town to go to work. While I am standing alongside the road waiting I have ample time to watch what passing driving are doing. Seriously, eight out of twelve drivers are either texting or talking on cell phones. I used to think talking on the phone while driving was bad, and it is, but watching texters is scary: for every 3 seconds, two of them are spent looking down at that stupid piece of electronics. Look people, you CAN'T multitask that well. Inevitably you're going to cause something bad to happen and I would strongly like to not be there when it happens. Pull over or wait until you get where you are going before replying. What you have to say or read isn't THAT important. If a little kid or an animal darts out suddenly in front of you, they're screwed.
posted by frodisaur at 12:14 AM on December 30, 2010


I think the only way to combat this is to have hefty penalities for texting while driving.

Minimum one year suspension plus a mandatory safe driving course. Anything less is absurd. It's your legal and moral duty to pay full attention while driving a motor vehicle. There is no conceivable justification for doing otherwise. If you're not up to it, I suggest other modes of transport. The blind aren't allowed to drive. Why should the inattentive?
posted by philip-random at 1:00 AM on December 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


As a former tow truck driver, i approve of texting for commerce and I have had commerical empathy when the customer blames the texting devise for non-fatal accidents. Death, of course, I hosed down back at the shop.
posted by clavdivs at 4:37 AM on December 30, 2010


THS IS BULSHIT PPL! THS IS JUS BAD DRVERS! LOL. SEC POL JUST STOPED ME ON MY WAY TO THE STORE TTYL

Sent from my mobile device.
posted by clvrmnky at 5:53 AM on December 30, 2010


londonmark: "Good god, people need to be told this? In other news, it turns out reading the morning paper and driving don't mix. Sheesh."

I don't commute to work anymore (thank $DIETY) but when I was driving 18 miles to work every morning, I did often see people with the folded up morning paper propped up on the steering wheel.
posted by octothorpe at 6:29 AM on December 30, 2010


I caused a crash once because I was texting while I was driving. I don't do that anymore. Nobody was hurt, fortunately, but I caused a lot of damage and felt really bad about it.

When you're not looking at something, your brain keeps on projecting its motion. It's easy, if you're not paying attention, to think that you still know where all the cars around you are going. It's thus easy to underestimate the risk of looking down at your screen.

Maybe try to be a little less judgey, please?
posted by Mars Saxman at 9:57 AM on December 30, 2010


Man, it's not judgment, it's rational thinking informed by experience of needless tragedy. How is it not some form of 21st century psychosis to even imagine that texting while driving a hunk of metal around is not as criminal as randomly firing a gun into a residential area? No guarantee that you're going to kill or injure someone but the odds sure do skyrocket.
posted by philip-random at 10:02 AM on December 30, 2010


Less judgey? You drove a two ton hunk of steel at speeds fast enough to pulverize walls (not to mention people) and didn't stop to think that maybe trying to text should wait. I'm damn well going to judge. Cars are mobile death machines that require constant attention to use and people need to respect that or stop driving. It's only easy to underestimate the risk of of looking down at your screen if you've already forgotten the most important rules of driving.

(Yes, my only transportation was a motorcycle for over a decade, can you tell?)
posted by aspo at 10:12 AM on December 30, 2010


Here in Washington, there are stiff penalties if you get caught texting (or talking into your phone instead of hands-free) while driving. Both of these actions are a primary offense, meaning that you can be pulled over for texting.

The law was put into place after a very high-profile accident on the 520 bridge. A man who was texting plowed into the back of a stopped car at 60MPH. Traffic had stopped, but he didn't notice. Luckily the two babies in the back seat survived.

I'm sure he thought he could pay attention while texting, too. Right up until he hit two babies at 60MPH.

I have less sympathy for driving-while-texting than I do for drunk driving. At least drinking has the excuse of your judgment being chemically impaired. The only excuse for texting while driving is arrogance.
posted by ErikaB at 10:14 AM on December 30, 2010


I generally hate texting as a mode of communication. Why not just actually TALK to someone?
posted by Samizdata at 10:16 AM on December 30, 2010


I know it's tempting even when you know better. I have to turn the text notification sound to disable before I get in the car because otherwise oh, I'll just look real quick. Especially when I know it's going to keep dinging every couple of minutes until I acknowledge it.

Lately I just put my phone in airplane mode. I'm not going to answer a call anyway, so why have it ringing annoyingly in the car? It'll tell me who called when I put it back to normal.

So far I have not missed any emergencies that absolutely had to be dealt with in the next 20 minutes to save lives.
posted by ctmf at 10:31 AM on December 30, 2010


About a month back while I was walking to work, a woman drove out of the alley behind my building and stopped right in front of me on the sidewalk. She was eating a bowl of cereal! While driving! I have lived in Vancouver for almost 5 years now and been hit 4 times by people not looking as they pull out of parking garages into traffic and once by a driver not looking ahead while trying to make a right at a stop sign. I'm 6-foot-fucking-4, so it's not like I'm hard to spot. Frankly it doesn't surprise me at all that people think they can text and drive at the same time, they can't even remember to watch where they're going and to look out for pedestrians when they're driving over a sidewalk downtown. I firmly believe that you should have to take a new test every 5 years if you want to keep driving because the shit I've seen from drivers in this city is unbelievable.
posted by Hoopo at 10:37 AM on December 30, 2010


DRIVN & CRYIN

because fuck yeah that song is awesome
posted by Eideteker at 11:34 AM on December 30, 2010


Maybe try to be a little less judgey, please?

Yeah, no. If you can't judge someone by their actions, then what can you judge them by? What you did was incredibly stupid and it shouldn't take causing an accident to realize that.

When you're not looking at something, your brain keeps on projecting its motion. It's easy, if you're not paying attention, to think that you still know where all the cars around you are going. It's thus easy to underestimate the risk of looking down at your screen.

You can try to rationalize this all you but were you really dumb enough to think that taking your eyes off the road to text in a 2 ton death machine was a safe idea? I know it's kind of cliche but driving is a privilege, not a right.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 3:08 PM on December 30, 2010


I'm not trying to defend it. It was a mistake, I paid for it, and now I know better. My point is just that it is an easy mistake to make, and therefore perhaps not as morally reprehensible or intrinsically stupid as some people in this thread are making it out to be.

There is no such thing as "constant attention", and there are far simpler reasons for distraction than "psychosis" or "arrogance". People fuck up. This is a fact of life. This is why we drive cars equipped with bumpers, seat belts, crumple zones, and air bags. This is also why we do what we can to educate people so they are less likely to make mistakes. Making it illegal to text while driving makes sense; so does an effort to change cultural expectations so people are aware that it is dangerous. But all the grandstanding - what exactly are you trying to accomplish?
posted by Mars Saxman at 3:20 PM on December 30, 2010


People fuck up. This is a fact of life. This is why we drive cars equipped with bumpers, seat belts, crumple zones, and air bags.

What about pedestrians or people on bicycles or motorcycles? Also if you were permanently disabled or paralyzed due to an injury from an accident caused by someone else who was texting, would you just say "Well, people fuck up! It's a fact of life!"
posted by MaryDellamorte at 3:27 PM on December 30, 2010


Samizdata: "I generally hate texting as a mode of communication. Why not just actually TALK to someone?"

Me too. After the second text from someone in a row, I just call them back so that we can actually communicate. A thirty second call can accomplish more than about twenty painfully pecked out texts.
posted by octothorpe at 3:36 PM on December 30, 2010


That would be a fuck-up, alright. Which would be bad. Which is why I do my best to avoid fucking up. That includes not doing things that I know to be dangerous. You don't need to convince me that using a phone while driving is dangerous. I've figured that one out for myself.

All I am trying to do here is to report, from personal experience, that texting while driving does not feel as dangerous as it actually is, in hopes that this report will contribute toward a solution of the problem.

Moral judgements are not going to help you convince people that they ought to change what they're doing. Browbeating people for being so wilful and stupid as to do something dangerous is not going to help them change their behavior if they do not perceive their actions to be dangerous.
posted by Mars Saxman at 3:43 PM on December 30, 2010


Mars Saxman, the reason I threw the word "psychosis" into my comment was to address what you're saying here, specifically ...

that texting while driving does not feel as dangerous as it actually is

I hear you. But that's also my point. To be psychotic is to lose contact with reality, and I can't think of a clearer example of that than texting while driving (however un-dangerous it may feel). At least once you're actually speaking on the phone, you're actually looking where you're going.

For the record, I drove cab for a few years while younger and certainly brought a lot of bad driving habits with me. But after three tickets and one minor accident in my first month on the job, I knew I had to change my attitude, absolutely. Now, in the past thirty years, I've had exactly one speeding ticket (and that was 27 years ago). I'm not saying I'm a perfect driver. I am saying I'm pretty damned religious about PAYING ATTENTION and I wish to hell everybody else was, because unlike a lot of other aspects of so-called modern life where it doesn't really pay to "sweat the small stuff", there is no small stuff when it comes to driving.
posted by philip-random at 4:54 PM on December 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


I generally hate texting as a mode of communication. Why not just actually TALK to someone?

Because texting is asynchronous. The great thing about most digital modes of communication (texting, email, letter-writing) is that each participant can respond when it's good for them. If I get a text while driving, I can glance at it when stopped at a light. I probably can't respond to it there, but in the unlikely event that it's important I can pull off somewhere and deal with it (possibly calling you back). If I get a voice call while driving, or while cooking, or working, or really anything, I have to answer it right then or let it go to voicemail— and voicemail is worse than texting in almost every way. So the temptation to use my cell phone while driving (dangerous) is much greater.

From the sending side, I know I can text someone pretty much any time and it won't be a hassle. If I voice-call them, they have to immediately stop whatever they're doing and answer the call, and for quite a lot of things ("hey I'll be a bit late today and do you want me to get anything at the store while I'm there?") the communication is not important enough for me to want to cause that inconvenience.

/textbeanplate
posted by hattifattener at 2:33 PM on December 31, 2010


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