LA Times OP-ED: Texters, you’d be better off driving drunk – latimes.com

Students, there’s a time and a place for texting. It’s not while you’re in a classroom learning and it’s not in the car while you’re driving.

Op-Ed Essay from latimes.com by Michael Fumento
published Sunday October 3, 2010 A 27

“Border collie jill surveying the view from atop the sand dune.” Those were the last words of Malibu plastic surgeon Frank Ryan, best known for “reconstructing” reality TV star Heidi Montag. It’s not quite up there with “Et tu, Brute?” Yet it seemed important enough for him to text it just before driving off a cliff in August. Jill survived.

We don’t know what the message was in a 2007 accident involving the sender and her four fellow New York high school cheerleaders. But it probably wasn’t worth slamming head-on into a truck, killing them all. And the 2008 Chatsworth train collision, in which 25 people died and more than 100 were injured, was officially attributed to the engineer of the Metrolink commuter train being distracted by text messaging.

Unfortunately, laws intended to deal with the problem of texting while driving, a major topic at the Transportation Department’s Distracted Driving Summit on Sept. 21, reflect vital misunderstandings about why a cellphone combined with a moving vehicle can be so deadly and how to deal with it.

Texting while driving can be more dangerous than driving while swigging Jack Daniels, according to studies. Continue reading