Breaking News: Distractions cause automobile accidents

I don’t mean to make light of traffic accidents, they happen every day and can be devastating to everyone involved, but how far should the government go to reduce the chance of having an automobile accident?

A national safety group wants to flat out ban the use of cell phones while driving. They insist employers should prohibit cell phone use by employees on the road, and states should ban use as well.

Accident attorneys from Nehora Law Firm claim – rightfully so – that talking while driving, whether using a hands-free device or not, is a distraction that cause 2,600 deaths and 12,000 serious injuries per year. My guess is the numbers are totally inflated, but that is not the point.

How many distractions can you list off that can be banned? Billboards, beautiful homes near the side of the road, eating, drinking, pedestrians in crosswalks, car passengers who talk, adjusting mirrors and lighting a cigarette can all be associated with death and serious injury.

How about listening to Shoot to Thrill by AC/DC?

Here is a bit of the AP story found on…


States should ban drivers from using hand-held and hands-free cell phones, and businesses should prohibit employees from using cell phones while driving on the job, the congressionally chartered National Safety Council says, taking those positions for the first time.

The group’s president and chief executive, Janet Froetscher, likened talking on cell phones to drunken driving, saying cell phone use increases the risk of a crash fourfold.

“When our friends have been drinking, we take the car keys away. It’s time to take the cell phone away,” Froetscher said in interview. …

… Froetscher said the council examined more than 50 scientific studies before reaching its decision. One was a study by the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis that estimates 6 percent of vehicle crashes, causing about 2,600 deaths and 12,000 serious injuries a year, are attributable to cell phone use. Hands-free cell phones are just as risky as hand held phones, she added.


“It’s not just what you’re doing with your hands — it’s that your head is in the conversation and so your eyes are not on the road,” Froetscher said.


Sister Toldjah has more

This is the problem when so-called “safety groups” take things too far in an effort to save people from themselves. They step over a line from a reasonable request to an invasion of someone else’s privacy. It’s one thing to ban drinking while driving – alcohol is not merely a “distraction”; it impairs your ability to think clearly and make good decisions, so the NSC comparing that to talking on a cell phone while driving is like comparing apples to steak. It’s not an invasion of privacy to outlaw drunk driving, but – in my view – it’s not reasonable to expect people not to talk on their cell phones while they’re driving anymore than it is to expect them to stop talking to the passengers in their cars, or to expect them to stop listening to the radio.

We all know that we can make cars and driving safer by passing unreasonably restrictive laws and removing all personal responsibility, but that does not mean that we should do that. We would cross a very important privacy line if we banned all backyard swimming pools.

Almost 800 kids in the United States under 14 died in swimming pool drownings in 2003. More data here.

Drive with care will ya, and watch your kids in the pool.

4 replies
  1. Wayne SW
    Wayne SW says:

    I drive 30,000 plus miles a year.  I see all types of drivers on the road.  There is no such thing as a car accident.  Accident by definition is when an uncontrollable event occurs.  Cars collide when one or both of the drivers fails to drive safely.

    An intersection near my home has a 4 way stop.  In Conn, this means, two or three or four cars in a row can proceed thru the intersetion with out stopping.  At this same intersection a few weeks ago, a driver was killed when another car neglected to stop, and allow right of way.  Grandpa was buried a few days later and the Police are looking for a witness.  This was no accident. 

    Our Police Departments are grossly negligent in enforcing simple traffic laws.  Drivers are equally negligent in their cavalier attitude to practicing safe driving techniques.

    Hang up and drive.  Stop means Stop.  Right on Red means, STOP and proceed if the intersection is clear of pedestrians and vehicles.   Tailgating is dangerous.   Whose Grandpa will be the next to die due to driver neglect?

  2. Dimsdale
    Dimsdale says:

    How many times have you seen the following: snow left on windows and taillights, people driving into the sun with no sunglasses, driving in heavy rain or snow without the headlights on, someone reading the newspaper, mail etc., women "farding" in the rearview mirror (look it up; from Rush), driving too fast/slow in inappropriate lanes of the highway, etc., etc., etc?

    Driver error should not be confused with driver stupidity, ignorance or lack of skill.  Or plain old common sense.

    Come to think of it, these are the same problems we have with members of Congress…. 😉

  3. Rick-WH
    Rick-WH says:

    The best investment would be for everyone to use "common sense" when it comes to safety.

    Interference by government setting up ridiculous laws (like the hand held cell phone law, or the flying snow law) is useless.  The laws are rarely enforced, the penalties are generally minimal (when enforced) and you can't legislate everything.

    The problem with this approach is printed on a sign that is  on my bookcase.  It reads:

    "Common sense is not so common".

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