I had someone almost sideswipe me over the weekend while I was out and about. It made me think about the following items I had recently seen on the "tubes"
http://video.nytimes.com/video/2009/07/18/technology/1194841442782/distracted-drivers.html a NYTimes video article on drivers distracted by the technology
http://3g4g.blogspot.com/2009/09/youtube-clip-on-dangers-of-driving.html a film made by a police department in the city of Gwent in the U.K. A fictional, but all too real, crash caused by a Welsh teen's texting while driving.
Why is it that we "consumers" think it's our god given right to do what we want, without regard to our own and other's safety? Perhaps the same could have been said for motorcycle helmet laws in the U.S. until finally most states adopted them solely to cut down on the expense of medical care for those critically injured in this fashion.
The same thing for smoking, in that you can't in many places any more, principally because of the direct medical costs associated with the behavior.
Perhaps this will be the angle that will ultimately be taken in order to force us to behave like sensible people. California (where I live) does have talking on the phone (without a hands free headset) and texting laws designed to prevent this. Mostly, I fear, these laws are ignored. I say this because I've seen a fair amount of tickets being written, but the practice continues, in spite of the tickets. Other places have similar laws and I suspect are also being ignored as much as out here in the west. -- Since there is a direct relationship between the behavior and the ultimate consequences, e.g. the crash, the medical care, the lawsuits - it's only a matter of time before there will be a stronger set of talking/texting laws -- a mandatory "helmet" law for our cell phones?
That would be scary for many of us, now, wouldn't it?