It’s pretty redundant to make laws outlawing texting while driving because it already falls under laws covering distracted driving, but holy crap, something needs to be done about it.
You have ridiculous cases like the Trolley driver rear ending another train because he was texting his girlfriend, and train conductors causing a 25-fatality crash because he was texting teenage boys telling them that they’re “gonna run the locomotive.”
There’s two commonalities to these accidents. First is that texting while you’re supposed to be paying attention and in charge of other people’s lives is a bad idea. Second, guys seem to be intent on texting people, no matter how inappropriate the time, if it’s going to get them laid.
But there’s nothing better than an anecdotal account of how bad texting while driving is, courtesy of reader Trevor, who has been rear ended three times this year by people texting on their phones.
Anyways, I live in Idaho. And everyone who lives in this state FUCKING SUCKS at driving. The last thing we need is people using their mobile phones simultaneously, but of course I see everyone from the 15 year old girls to 50 year old guys typing out emails on their Blackberries. It sucks arse to have to deal with these fucking morons on a daily basis.
Anyways, on to the first incidence of getting hit:
I was driving through stop and go traffic outside of a high school moment after they got out of school, and I am completely stopped when I see a brand new Hummer H2 coming up on my arse at ferocious speed. I knew I was going to get hit, and right before he made contact, I was able to discern a fucking cell phone in his hands through my rear view mirror. The officer on the scene estimated he hit me going roughly 30mph, and had not even applied the brakes before hitting me. Completely totaled my beloved Toyota Tacoma, and gave me a wicked case of whiplash. By the way it was a roughly 17 year old guy driving his parents Hummer to school. Spoiled prick…
Second time was just 6 months later in the winter. It was a touch icy on the roads and I was stopped to make a left turn onto a side street and I look in my rear view mirror (after the Hummer incident I have been made paranoid about being hit), and see a little Dodge Neon moving way too fast towards me and start sliding sideways right into the back of my new truck. I jumped out and asked if she was ok, and the first thing she says to me is “Oh my god, I’m so sorry. I was texting and didn’t even see you there until it was too late.” This time the damage wasn’t too bad, but I ended up being without my vehicle for 2 weeks, during which I had a shitty little rental car, so it still was quite the inconvenience.
Third time was about 3 weeks ago and I’m still feeling sore from it. I was sitting at a stop light and a big Ford F-350 with a huge trailer full of lawn mowing equipment plowed into me at about 25mph, once again totalling my vehicle, and absolutely wrecking my back. I felt like I got hit my a freight train this time. I had my foot on the brake, and he made my car skid forward so hard that I pushed the car in front of me into the car in front of him. An eyewitness to the accident said that the man in the truck was using a phone when he hit me, and it was just verified to me the other day that his phone record shows that he sent a text message seconds before the accident occured. At least this guy was able to apply a little bit of brakes before making contact, but still, I got hit really hard. I’m going to have to see a chiropractor, and I now am searching for another vehicle.
So yeah. That’s my record for getting hit. It really sucks. I can’t quite say I would mind the banning of texting while driving after all of this as I’m 100% sure at least somebody has lost their life in an accident caused by texting while driving. Hell, I used to do it before I got the iPhone which is fucking impossible to do without looking, but after seeing how poorly most others handle it, I can definitely understand why people are wanting this kind of a ban.
I don’t know what we need to do about this, and encoding restrictions on devices themselves to not allow texting while moving is not the solution. I don’t know what is.