Thursday, June 16, 2016

Banning Texting and Driving

Our Consumer Product Safety Department has figured out how to eliminate texting while driving. They submitted a letter to the newspaper on the topic, which might or might not be printed. In case not, here is the text of that letter:

"The dangers of texting and driving have reached the tipping point: The National Safety Council reports that cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes each year; early 330,000 injuries occur each year from accidents caused by texting while driving; 1 out of every 4 car accidents in the United States is caused by texting and driving; texting while driving is 6x more likely to cause an accident than driving drunk; and of all cell phone related tasks, texting is by far the most dangerous activity. The solution is simple: Cellphones can be manufactured to “know” when they are in a moving car (just as built-in GPS systems know when they are in a moving car); texting now can be done audibly, i.e., by voice to send and by speakers to receive; and cell phones can be manufactured to disable any manual texting function (just as GPS systems are disabled) and allow only audible texting when they are in a moving vehicle. The carriers (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile) should demand it, and one class action suit against Apple, Samsung, or Motorola for failing to build-in such safety would provide any further needed incentive. Cell phones are amazing devices based on mind-boggling technology. Given the availability of audible texting, the failure to make them safer is mind-numbing."

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