For the past week I have been interviewed by print, radio, and internet media reporters about a post to this blog in December 2006. In that post I discussed a patient who was walking down the street, text messaging on her phone. She “missed” the end of the curb, and fell into the path of an oncoming car. The driver of the car was on his cell phone, so he overcorrected when he saw her fall, causing his car to hit a light pole. The young lady suffered a broken ankle. The driver of the car had minor injuries.
The response to the blog in December 2006 was largely humorous, in the vein of “how can someone be so silly?” The response to my recent media tour has resulted in many more upset and angry responses. Two businessmen who were in the American Airlines Admirals Club when I did the NPR – “All Things Considered” interview were incensed that I suggested that they should not walk and text. They feel that it is their constitutional right to walk and text, even if it results in their own injury. When I asked them if they would drive and text in a school zone, they backed down just a little.
Sadly, I have had a few people comment that they had loved ones injured or killed by accidents involving text messaging drivers. My heart goes out to them. It only takes 4 seconds of driver inattention to lead to a serious motor vehicle collision. Is the need to be in constant communication worth the 4 seconds of inattention that could lead to a serious injury or death?