At the behest of AT&T, German filmmaker Werner Herzog made a half-hour video that shows the real-life human tragedies that texting while driving causes.
I couldn’t get through the very first story. It made my heart hurt too much. From the very first second that I saw that young woman holding her fingers out to her side, I knew that there was supposed to be a small child clinging to them, and that the child was gone.
It’s brutal. But as an updated, higher-quality film of the sort they made driver’s-ed students watch back in my day, it’s got to be effective. I hope.
I watched the first two segments and stopped, not because it was too heart wrenching but because it was so plodding in terms of pace and the over-direction. It took many minutes to even know that the first boy was hit by a texting driver.
Andrew Sullivan also had a post on this video today along with some research that cellphone use while driving has NOT caused any more accidents.
A key quote “Additionally, the researchers analyzed the effects of legislation banning cellphone use, enacted in several states, and similarly found that the legislation had no effect on the crash rate.”
So if your first response is “There oughta be a law!” you should suppress it. We need more education and higher insurance rates for anyone involved in an accident where distracted driving was the cause.
And another reason why I am opposed to laws banning texting is because it will be too difficult to determine what is considered “texting”. Is looking at a text message texting? Is typing in an address into my phone’s GPS texting? Is reading a blog on my phone while driving not allowed? If I use the voice-to-text option on my phone is that texting? It’s not like a DUI where you can measure the level of intoxication.
It will just open up a huge can of worms legally to try and enforce it…
Better to severely punish those who commit acts of driving distracted that result in accidents than to try and define a law that will be open to too much interpretation.
Higher insurance rates might work with adults, but with the kids who are more likely to be texting while driving, I think what Helmholtz Watson would have called “emotional engineering” is more likely to be effective.
Besides, the idea is to persuade people not to do this on the front end, rather than penalties after they’ve already caused an accident…
Shorter, more in-your-face spots would work better for kids. A thirty minute documentary won’t.
How about no use of cellphones at all while driving?
Because there is no evidence using them causes accidents.
Yes, there is. Google is full of reputable links.
Well, my post has a link to research that says otherwise. Pretty extensive.
The cited study is new, but based on data prior to 2005, and it only examined call data, not texting. There’s a difference between holding a phone to your ear and talking while your eyes remain on the road and trying to read or send a text.
Education is the only way to reduce the crashes related to texting, but a law allows the state to impose penalties such as denying an individual the right to operate a motor vehicle after a crash. Insurance companies may raise rates, but they can’t keep dangerous drivers off the streets.
Kathryn suggested banning all cellphone use. There is no reason to do that and there would be no way to put that genie back in the bottle anyway. People would still use them frequently simply because there is no way to enforce such a law.
Again, I would suggest that trying to enforce a law which attempts to define “texting” whiile driving would be open to all sorts of legal challenges.
Education is the only way to make a dent in this problem.