Texting while driving, by Flickr user ericathompsonEnlarge Photo
Sometimes you hear the most intriguing things at press conferences.
“We asked younger people about texting while driving; they told us the driving distracted them from texting.”
The speaker was Larry Burns, head of R&D for General Motors, at the introduction of Project Puma, the result of a joint effort between GM and Segway to develop a two-wheeled, two-seat, gyroscopically stabilized electric urban vehicle that would run autonomously and avoid collisions by communicating with other vehicles and the surrounding infrastructure.
Part of Project Puma’s new way of looking at transportation includes a dock for your personal communications device—they tried to avoid saying “iPhone”—which would provide destination data to the vehicle. Meanwhile, the passengers could watch a movie or listen to music from those same devices.
When they're not texting, anyway.
Nearly half of 1,000 drivers 18 to 24 years old who were interviewed by FindLaw.com admitted that they had texted or sent e-mail on their mobile phone while driving.
Currently, just three states--Minnesota, New Jersey, and Washington--completely ban text messaging for all drivers. More are expected to follow.