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Stories Like These Will Decrease ‘Driving While Texting’



The California Highway Patrol is in the midst of a crackdown, issuing hundreds of tickets per day to drivers who are texting or talking without a hands-free kit of some kind. A lot of experts and politicians are chiming in on the matter, but I don’t think the masses listen to research wonks as much as celebrity magazines and gossip sites.

According to People, a plastic surgeon with high-profile celebrity clients recently died. He apparently drove off of a cliff in Malibu while updating his Twitter status. The urgent message being sent had something to do with his dog, who was riding with him and survived the wreck.

Texting while driving is inherently dangerous, but it is still socially acceptable, at least in some social circles. I think highlighting the problem in on shows and publications that set the tone for what’s ‘cool’ and what’s not is the best way to adjust the behavior of the masses. Lifestyle media can paint certain behaviors in a negative light and help change behavior.

The this video is another approach that can hammer home the (gory) message that driving while is as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. But people don’t tend to re-watch videos. A more persistent drone of ‘this isn’t cool’ will do a lot of good.



  1. tivoboy

    08/18/2010 at 12:49 pm

    See, I don’t understand how they can TELL if someone is TEXTING while driving. Driving with the headset up to ones HEAD is clear, but texting? How can they tell that I am not simply dialing the phone, or looking down in my lap – for whatever that would mean?

    • Sumocat

      08/18/2010 at 1:17 pm

      Some people really don’t hide the fact they are texting and driving. I have pulled up along side cars and either my wife or I have glanced over to see drivers texting.

    • Letishabustamante

      04/13/2011 at 6:14 pm

      looking away for a brief second can be dangerous. Even talking is considered focusing on something else besides focusing on the road can lead to an accident. Driving requires full attention to the road. Whether anyone is a pro a texting, make your brain put these two things together is a huge distraction. in a matter of seconds the light can change or another driver is slowing down or changing lanes. You could be in a daze listening to music and not realize you’ve just missed your exit! It’s that simple to be distracted. So imagine what texting can do.

      • Letishabustamante

        04/13/2011 at 6:16 pm

        And it’s pretty easy to find somone texting anywhere. Such a shame

  2. Roberto

    08/18/2010 at 12:54 pm

    Link didn’t work for me.

  3. Roberto

    08/18/2010 at 1:00 pm

    haha just look around and it’s easy. I live in Los Angeles and I have literally seen people holding their phones with both hands texting, no hands on the wheel, and moving forward at the same time on the freeway. It’s crazy. Also another good clue is the car that almost hit you. Nine times out of ten they got a phone in hand, looking down and maybe another hand on the wheel. Frankly I see it everyday I drive.

  4. Erik Wood

    08/18/2010 at 5:05 pm

    I am not so sure…I think people hear stories of horrible text and drive accidents and their ego clouds rational thought so that they feel like “that wouldn’t happen to me” or “I am a champion multi tasker so it doesn’t apply to me..”

    People need to remember that for every 6 seconds a driver spends texting, 4.6 of those seconds are with their eyes off the road, which makes texting the most dangerous cell phone activity anyone can engage in while operating a 5,000 pound piece of steel and glass. This activity produces 6,000 highway deaths a year and that number is rising. I think this comparison is therefore a bit of a stretch and dilutes the seriousness of texting while driving.

    I decided to do something about it after my three year old daughter was nearly run down right in front of me by a texting driver in Seattle last fall. Instead of an expensive shackle that locks down phones and alienates the user (especially teens) I built a tool that is a simple app for smartphones – low cost, no recurring fees. I think if we can empower the individual then change will come to our highways now and not just our laws.

    Erik Wood, owner

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