Americans Text Each Other While Driving to the Ballot Box to Vote for a Ban on Texting

A pair of findings to contemplate from today's Washington Post, on on texting and calling while driving 

This:

Thirty-five percent of drivers said they’ve read or sent a text message while driving in the last month, according to a new survey. Sixty-seven percent said they talked on a cellphone while driving in the past month, and almost a third said they do it regularly.

And this:

Eighty-seven percent supported laws against sending or receiving text messages while driving. Seventy percent wanted laws against the use of hand-held cellphones, and half of those surveyed said all cellphone use should be outlawed while driving.

For more, check out my argument at The New York Times online against bans on texting while driving.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • ||

    I agree!

    Sent from my iPhone.

  • Suki||

    + the internet

  • JEP||

    Me too!

    Sent from your mom's iPhone.

  • *||

    It's a true fact: the road would be safer if *other* people weren't texting while driving.

  • PermaLurker||

    Americans are fucking retarded.

  • ||

    This is just like people who want weed to stay illegal (for the children!) and then go home and smoke a joint after work. Or people who drink when they are 19, think that the drinking age is too high, and then when they have kids they think that the drinking age should be even higher. Or many other examples of hypocrisy.

    People are fucking retarded, including Americans.

  • James Solbakken||

    People's Heads Are Up Their Ass,
    And They Got Shit For Brains.

    PHAUTAATGSFB

  • kilroy||

    KMW phoned this one in.

  • ||

    [golf clap]

  • Apatheist||

    How about a ban on texting all together? Just call me and fucking get it over and done with.

  • Ska||

    I'm the exact opposite way - calling involves small talk and BS. Just text me one line that gets your point across, and I'll reply similarly.

    And chicks send pics of their tits. So, texting FTW.

  • Apatheist||

    Same problem with texting however people are incapable of sending one line that gets the point across. When on the phone I can get them to shut up get on with it (politely of course).

    Pics of tits are nice but inferior to a skype video chat.

  • Ska||

    I think the moral of the story is to pick the right form of communication for the time and the message. But we all have our preferences.

  • Apatheist||

    Nope, I'm going to get the government to punish you for your preferences and subsidize mine! Herpity derp.

  • Brett Favre||

    Not without some provocation.

  • ||

    More evidence that the problem is always other people, and the solution is always another law.

  • Ska||

    If holding a phone next to your ear while conversing is that much more distracting than not holding one and talking to a passenger, the problem isn't the phone.

    Driving with kids is way more distracting than driving while talking on the phone. Ban that shit too.

  • ||

    Agreed.

    You can watch the road and drive while talking on the phone. You can't watch the road and the phone when texting.

    As far as distracted driving, kids can be the worst.

  • Skeletroll||

    Kids should be outlawed.

  • Curmudgeon||

    If you are involved in three accidents, you lose your license for life.

  • some guy||

    How about if you caused three accidents? It's pretty easy to get hit through no fault of your own...

  • Curmudgeon||

    no fault of your own

    That's what they all say.

  • Barack Obama||

    If you are involved in three accidents, you lose your license for life.

    Let me be clear.

    Well, OK, as long as I don't lose my license to kill.

  • CE||

    Who exactly granted that license, Barry? Where's the certificate?

  • some guy||

    87 + 35 - 100 = 22

    At least 22% of drivers are hypocrites when it comes to texting. Isn't that a little low compared to levels of hypocrisy on other topics?

    Nothing to see here. Move along.

  • GroundTruth||

    Unhook yourself. Live now. Focus. Think for yourself.

    Man, sometimes we Luddites have to tell you how to do the simplest things!

  • Curmudgeon||

    IOW, fucking hang up and drive!

  • Brandon||

    If you consider yourself a Luddite, aren't you just following other people who eschew technology?

  • ||

    Wasn't there a study recently that showed banning texting while driving actually increased accidents? People held their cells below cop view and hence took their eyes off the road more with the bans. I'd google, but I'm making dinner.

  • Binky||

    Oh, go ahead and Google while making dinner.

    It's not illegal, yet.

  • Mainer||

    I'm googling myself right now.

  • ||

    I'm too cheap to pay for a data plan so that problem is solved. I do talk while driving - on my bluetooth system.

    For some reason everyone in north NJ seems to have a Lexus or Infiniti - but none of them can figure out how to sync their phone with the blutooth. So they all drive around with smartphones next to their ears.

  • Ska||

    Nah, you can't have your car tell you you're getting a call from Liz and Mary is sitting next to you stabbing you with her eyes.

  • ||

    You sync your good boy phone, not your naughty boy phone.

  • Fluffy||

    I don't consider READING a text to be that oh-so-dangerous "texting while driving".

    Texting while driving is dangerous (to me at least) because you have to type.

    Just READING a text is no more dangerous than looking at your printed directions (back when we still printed directions) or at a street sign or road sign.

  • Invisible Finger||

    A lot of "texting" is actually idiots typing on the GPS because they couldn't be bothered to do it before they put the car in gear.

  • Apatheist||

    Us 1%ers who are working to pay off our student loans instead of going camping and therefore use old flip phones still print off directions.

  • Brandon||

    Why do you have to look at your phone to type a text? Finish the damn thing, then glance down for a quick proofread.

  • ||

    Someone made the same ban-texting argument to me, and I pointed out that everyone is against texting while driving until they need to send a text while driving.

    He was completely dumbfounded

  • Gojira||

    Those accusing these people of only thinking that *others* are the problem, are missing the real message.

    People realize that *they* are part of the problem. But they do not believe they are capable of controlling themselves, and thus demand the heavy hand of gov't to do it for them. They're begging someone to stop them from doing something they believe is wrong to begin with, but which they lack the willpower to refrain from doing without the threat of law enforcement.

  • ||

    I'm sure that's true for a small number of people, but most people are not that honest. They believe they can perform the action just fine, but other people cannot. They want it banned because a) they know that it won't inconvenience them in the least since they'll just do it anyway, b) they believe they're the only one who will do it anyway, and everyone else will obey the law, which will c) make their dear loved ones much safer. See Carl Rowan for a perfect example.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    I have friends that have ingested damn near every drug banned by the government. At the time, they were proponents of legalization. Now they have children, they are against it. It happens alot.

  • Binky||

    Obviously their "crack babies" don't have the ability to handle drugs like they did.

  • Brandon||

    No, it's just that today's pot is 20 trillion times more powerful and deadly than the happy, carefree stuff they smoked when they were kids.

  • ||

    Gotta go with Mad Scientist on this one, Jimbo. You are correct for a small number of cases, but otherwise it's just hypocrisy. If you tell the average person you want to get rid of the retarded super low speed zones around schools, they will look at you in horror because you want to murder children, and then they will blow through there at double the speed limit if they know no cops are waiting.

    Rules are for other people.

  • Apatheist||

    In my experience the worst drivers in school zones are mothers in their SUVs. Besides going over the speed limit they talk on the phone and roll every stop sign.

  • Mainer||

    Somewhat related, but has anyone else noticed that hybrid drivers tend to roll stop signs...probably "hyper-milers" trying to avoid a mileage killing full stop.

  • ||

    Right, and anyone else who drives 3 mph over the limit just tried to murder their children and is worse than Warty, who is of course worse than Hitler.

  • ||

    Where does Michael Bay fit into the Hitler < Warty continuum?

  • ||

    Hitler < Michael Bay < Warty < Guy Fieri

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    That was on point, man!

  • Brandon||

    In my experience the worst drivers tend to be the ones who complain about others going over the speed limit. Especially the ones who have their heads so far up their own asses that they think it's a good idea to go exactly the speed limit in the left lane on the interstate so no one behind them can do teh evul speeeeding. Yesterday one asshole jumped over going so slow and so close in front of me that I almost dropped my joint. But hey, that's what shoulders and paint-filled balloons are for, right?

  • Mainer||

    Rules for thee, but not for me.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement