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(Original Air Date: 10/23/08) Do you text message while driving? It may seem harmless, but distracted drivers account for nearly four out of five crashes in the United States, and looking away for just two seconds doubles that danger. Still, nearly 50 percent of drivers between the ages of 18 and 24 continue to text behind the wheel. Twenty-one-year-old Heather boasts that her multitasking skills are so fine-tuned, she has no problem texting while navigating the road. Dr. Phil cameras capture Heather driving with her hands off the wheel for more than 60 seconds. Next, Linda discovered the harsh reality texting while driving can cause when her daughter, Lauren, was killed by a driver distracted by his cell phone. She created the Web site HangUpSaveALife.com in her daughter’s memory. Then, Francisco was a survivor of the recent L.A. Metrolink train crash that killed 25 people, and Roland rescued Francisco from the wreckage. Hear their reaction to the National Transportation Safety Board’s reports that the passenger train’s engineer sent and received 57 text messages that day, and that he sent a text just 22 seconds prior to crashing head-on with a freight train. Dr. Travis Stork of The Doctors weighs in regarding accident victims in the E.R. And, State Senator Joe Simitian wrote the bill that outlaws texting while driving in the state of California; he debates with State Assemblyman Chuck Devore, who is opposed to anti-texting laws. Where do you stand on this controversial topic? Log on to DrPhil.com to cast your vote and then join the discussion
Comments
Replied By: wgellatly on Sep 30, 2013, 12:23PM
Doesn't it make sense to build an app to disable functionality if you are traveling greater than 15 mph? Insurance companies may even offer incentives to people who use such a feature...
 
Replied By: ridered2 on Sep 30, 2013, 9:53AM
After two broken legs,broken neck,severed arm,broken ribs and a foot that does not work right anymore from a 28 year old kid hiting me head on at 60 mph (that did not servive) that was texting while driving.Yes there should be hevily enforced laws in all states.Thank god that my kids was not with me.
 
Replied By: spcd2013 on Aug 5, 2013, 4:15AM - In reply to dantree
Sir....your thoughts are misplaced. Thinking of this as a government intrusion is like saying....take out all the road signs and signals.....total insanity. Most people realize that regulation is needed to keep others from killing you. You DO NOT have the right to endanger my life on the road simply because you want to be distracted while driving. Driving is a privelidge.....not a right. Not only should the government get involved and make it a federal law so that it affects all....the penalties should be so severe as to make it easy for people to say no to texting while driving. I pray you never become a victim of someone's assanine behavior while driving. If you want survival of the fittest.....go live in the mountains and take your chances against nature and the animals.....but don't subject anyone else to your wild west mentality !
 
Replied By: spcd2013 on Aug 5, 2013, 3:56AM
This issue has been a real thorn in my side for a while now. I can't believe the number of people who think multi-tasking while driving is alright. Anything that distracts from the job.....yes the job of driving is totally unacceptable. Why would any rational person even want to do anything but pay attention when driving a vehicle. You may think you're the greatest driver since Richard Petty......but does that take into account what others may do ? I hate being out there on the road today......I avoid it if at all possible. I see it day in and day out. Pull up to a red light and look at the people next to you.....behind you......and in front of you. One of them at least....will be doing something not related to driving.....and it continues when the light turns green. The laws are way too lenient. Much harsher laws are needed. Fines should start in the thousands.....and license's to drive should be surrendered for texting.....phone cell usage.....eating......reading......putting on make-up....and everything else NOT related to the task of driving. Maybe the standards for getting a license to drive any vehicle should be much harder.....or include victim impact panels from those affected by texters who have injured or killed people while driving. I'm sorry if you think these measures are reactionary or fringe....but you DO NOT have the right to put my life, or anyone elses life in jeopardy just because you think you're cool.....or you can't figure out how to take care of things BEFORE you start driving. Maybe the auto manufacturers can come up with a device that will not let the car engage if it detects a cell phone that is turned on. Too bad you need to make a phone call....do it before you drive.....or pull over and make the call or text.......everybody's in such a hurry to get nowhere fast. We did fine BEFORE there were cell phones. Too many out there will claim it's a money issue.....too bad......figure it out..........again.....you DO NOT have the right to endanger people out there on the road. Our legislators need to make federal laws so this becomes nationwide. Only 7 states think this a good idea........the dumbing down of America is becoming more entranched into the mindless millions in our country. Let's stop it while we're still alive !
 
Replied By: cavemanhippy on May 4, 2013, 4:25AM
How stupid does one have to be to see that it's not a matter of IF you'll have an accident while texting and driving...it's a matter of WHEN and if you hold a CDL-A like I do and yiu get caught even talking on a cell phone it's at least 1200-1500.00 fine for your FIRST offence and may God help you (if there is one)  should you become involved in a fatality accident and it is discovered you were texting before or during the accident because I feel, you should become one with the American prison system because for one time for certain, there would be someone in there that truly deserves to be there and not some political prisoner in there for smoking med-weed. If I had an accident in a commercial vwhicle and killed someone because I was texting....there's nothing they can do to me that would assuage my guilt or make me not deserve to be locked up. As commercial drivers' we have an obligation to maintain public safety and though our reputation has soured over the years, whatever you have came on a truck and we owe it to America to get whatever it is to the people safely and to text and drive ANY vehicle is a serious determent
 
Replied By: cadescove99 on Feb 4, 2010, 1:19PM - In reply to kateena
We are banning Texting while driving on a state-by-state basis. I don't think it's illegay yet in Georgia, where I live. But, it was just outlawed in North Carolina. And, South Carolina is considering outlawing it. It's downright scary, how many drivers I see with a cell phone "glued" to their ears.
 
Replied By: cadescove99 on Feb 4, 2010, 1:12PM - In reply to dafydd
We Americans have some pretty stupid driving habits. My husband doesn't text, he doesn't even know how. But he talks on his cell phone and even eats ice cream out of a cup with a spoon while driving. And, I once even saw a man reading a magazine while driving. And, he had a bumper sticker claiming that nuclear power plants were dangerous!
 
Replied By: cadescove99 on Feb 4, 2010, 1:06PM - In reply to scape09
I just can't understand all this stupid texting. Isn't it quicker and easier just to talk back and forth? Maybe some people send the same text to more than one person. Why not send a mass email.
 
Replied By: susieallen on Dec 18, 2009, 6:21AM
When my daughter was in High School, the amount of texting and the monies spent was excessive each month.
A decision was made to STOP the monthly text plan, plus I contacted our carrier, VW, and requested that all text be BLOCKED.  Since you can continue to receive text on a per text fee.  This was our way of eliminating the texting dilemma.
What I found that was interesting,  was my daughters friends just could not understand why she did not have texting!   If this was a service available through their cell phones, why we were not allowing it.
 
Replied By: dafydd on Nov 16, 2009, 7:58AM
Hello Dr. Phil

My name is Dafydd I am 21 years old and I live in the Netherlands. Just today I came home from school and I found my family watching your show about Killer Texting. I only saw the last 10 minutes or so but what I heard amazed me.

First of all:
The show was broadcasted here much later than in America so I don't know if my comments are of any use.

Now the things I would like to say:

1. The next time that politician says that you don't need a law for this subject because only 9 people die of texting while driving in california, then please do me a favor and give him a punch in the head.

What the -beep- was he thinking? Only 1 out of the 10 people are helped by CPR. So why do we do it? For that 1 person that does survive. Every life saved is another saved. He probably doesn't send his 17 year old kid out to do some shopping with the car while knowing the kid has a cell phone.

2. Here in The Netherlands texting/calling while driving is forbidden for a while now. To answer to that politicans question: 'How do we know what they do with the phone?'

Very simple:
Fine everyone who is even holding the phone. Here, you get a ticket the moment they catch you with the phone is in your hand. And everyoen knows it, so if you get caught you know what you did.

3. Tip: send over a cameracrew and ask the gouvernment if you are allowed to join an undercover trafficpolice team. And observe how it is done properly.

Thank you for reading my comment.

Dafydd
 
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