In the last few years the board has investigated a commuter rail accident that killed 25 people in California in which the train engineer was texting; a fatal marine accident in Philadelphia in which a tugboat pilot was talking on his cellphone and using a laptop; and a Northwest Airlines flight that flew more than 100 miles past its destination because both pilots were working on their laptops.It's probably not a bad idea. My wife likes to tell me that women can multitask while men can't (I then respond that I'd rather be doing one thing well than a bunch of things half-assed, but that's a discussion for another day). The truth of the matter is that there is more than enough stuff in a car to distract us from the task at hand. Whether it be adjusting the radio or CD player, checking out the GPS, turning the a/c up, adjusting the side mirrors, shifting gears, talking to your passenger or trying to keep the kids in the back seat from killing each other, it's hard to keep your focus on the road in front of you. And then you have to keep an eye on the other motorists, watch out for people coming out of parking lots and look to see what color the traffic light is.
All it takes is a split second for your pleasant afternoon drive to turn into a nightmare - and that's without any alcohol being added to the mix.
While I don't think this is a matter for los federales, it is an issue that should be considered by the states. To date, 35 states have banned (to some degree) texting while driving. Now whether that includes updating your Facebook status or tweeting, I don't know.
According to the NTSB, about 1 in 100 drivers is texting, surfing the internet or otherwise using an electronic device while driving. They know this because they stake out intersections and count the number of drivers using their phones while driving.
So, be careful out there and leave the phone in the seat unless it's an emergency.
Now let's see what the Mythbusters discovered when they compared distracted driving with drunk driving...
Part One: Control
Part Two: Distracted driving
Part Three: Drunk driving