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Topic : 06/01 Killer Texting

Number of Replies: 395
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Created on : Friday, October 17, 2008, 02:55:31 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
(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 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 to cast your vote!

Find out what happened on the show.

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June 4, 2009, 2:26 pm CDT

Kudos to Dr. Phil for bring this issue to the fore

This is one of my causes, dangerous driving because of cellphone use.  Where I stand on it is somewhere in the middle between the two experts.  It's true that wreckless driving laws are already on the book and can be used on anyone who is driving bad.  I spoke to my local police at a conference about this issue and was told that they choose not to use the wreckless driving laws for this and reserve it for, paraphrasing, troublemakers who are intentionally driving bad.  I totally support the police and I know that here, they are way underfunded and must pick and choose.  But my point was that they spend a lot of their resources entrapping drivers who have drank, whether they are driving bad at this time or now, while ignoring people who are driving bad NOW, not just potentially, among them cellphone users and people not using their blinkers, which is epidemic here because they never ticket for it and everyone knows it (they can lie out of it in court, supposedly, no proof). 


The tone I was getting is that they don't want to punish "everyday people" for driving bad because of cellphones, and this makes me very angry.  Theoretically, I would be for stopping only those people driving bad now over a driver who has had a drink who may never drive bad, if funding is too limited to do both, which it is here.  Anyone in my town can readily see that cellphone bad driving has far outranked drunk bad driving or any other kind. 


Because I find it unlikely that all individual municipalities will elect to use their existing wreckless driving law to stop these killer soccer moms and other everyday people, I do think it's advisable that "no cellphone usage while moving" be implemented.  Instead, the legislation I see pending only creates that law for drivers who are driving fast, which makes no sense since the main threat is using a cellphone n heavy traffic when you are not able to drive fast.  As far as I'm concerned, the only safe time to use one might be while out on the open road with no cars around, which is the only ones the pending law would ban.  It makes no sense.  No one should be driving and holding or texting on a cellphone.  And if someone can't handle driving while talking hands-free, the wreckless driving laws should be used to pull them over, as well, or whatever is causing them to drive bad. 


Protect us, legislators!  Make law enforcement stop people who are driving bad NOW and endangering people's lives. 

June 6, 2009, 3:27 pm CDT

Cell phone should be a priviledge like your drivers license

On Feb 18, 2009, my son (16) was to get my daughter off on the school bus and he was riding to school with a friend.  I was at work and my husband had left to go to a 3-day class.  Both my husband and I called to make sure all was okay and he got his sister on the bus and there were no problems.  I thanked him and told him I would talk to him later.  I didn't think I would get a phone call less than an hour later saying he had been in an accident.


I work at the local hospital and usually never have my phone on me, because we get no reception.  I normally put it in my locker but that day I didn't.  My phone vibrated telling me I had a message.  I went out into the hallway and heard a woman tell me her name and said my son was in an accident and if I wanted to know more to call her on her cell.  I called her cell, voice mail.  I called his buddy, voice mail.  I tried my son, voice mail.  I finally called the police and they told me an ambulance was dispatched and where it was.  I called my mother-in-law who has been a nurse for 40 years and told her where they were and to get there. 


I kept trying to call and I finally got the woman and she let me talk to him.  He was in shock and couldn't speak.  I told him to come to the hospital and I would be there.  We lost connection.  The most horrifying 40 minutes of my life.  Waiting, watching the clock, wondering, not knowing the extent of his injuries.


His buddy (16-17) who had been texting and on his cell, not wearing a seatbelt was thrown thru the windshield of a Ford Ranger (he weighed close to 200#) as it was rolling, to the east side of the road.  After apprx 5-7 rolls, the truck stopped on the passenger side, on the west side of the road.  My son still inside being tossed like a salad was scared trying to get out.  The glass broken out of all windows.  He was afraid the truck was going to get hit.  His foot was caught outside between the asphalt and the truck.


The injuries?  He pulled his foot out from underneath severing a tendon and nerve and degloving his right foot.  He slammed on "his brakes" so hard that he broke his left foot requiring 9 titanium screws and a plate.  We thought he was going to need plastic surgery.  Doesn't seem too bad.  He could not walk on his feet until 2 1/2 months later.  He has had 3 surgeries on his feet.  Initially, he needed help to go to the bathroom, he couldn't shower, couldn't go to school.  Nothing.  He was on the football team and went to state this year.  His buddy suffered a bruised brain, broken ribs, broken back ,dislocated shoulder and a fractured ankle.  He went back to school about 3 weeks later.


Guess what?  He's still at it.  His cousin and my son told him he had to stop or they would not ride with him again.  Not like I would get in a vehicle with him again.  One note, the accident wasn't a result of cellphone usage but something wrong with the vehicle.  Because he was not fully aware, he was not able to prevent or even lessen the incident.


Mommy and daddy went and bought him a sports car.  Mom is a teacher and dad works for the state.  Insurance is going to pay $5000 (we are at 45k and still in physical therapy).  Mom asked my husband at the hospital if he had been on the phone and he didn't know the answer to that.  Sit back and let the friends talk and you'll find out a whole lot more.  Texting his teacher aide girlfriend was more important that obeying the law.  They all know the law in Illinois.  Under the age 19, no cell phones, period.  There is your neglect and willful intent, Ms. Insurance Rep.



Nothing is that important that you can't wait 10 minutes.  Pull off to the side.  What in the world did we do 15 years ago with/without cell phones?  It's like drinking and driving...don't do it!

June 8, 2009, 8:19 pm CDT

Outlawing Texting While Driving

I think that cell phone texting while in fast motion should be regulated by the FCC and cell phone providers. There should be some sort of GPS application to sense texting while in fast motion and disable texting capabilities. Laws by city, county, state or school district are not always full proof and law enforcement can't always predict or catch an offender most of the time until it is too late. If the FCC and cell phone providers can regulate this then it would at least take away the ability to text while in fast motion or driving intirely. Some people might have a different opinion because of emergency situations but then I don't know of any transportation authority that allows cell phone usage on airplanes, trains or buses?
June 10, 2009, 7:50 am CDT

Driving while texting

No one is that important they need to be contacted 24/7. If you feel you need to be on the phone all the time don't get behind the wheel.! If you do get behind the wheel, put your phone far away from you so you cant reach it. Put it in the boot, that way you won't be tempted. If you decide you need to send a text PULL OVER, if you have time to send a message you can't be in that much of a hurry. Why would you want to be the cause of harm to someone else? Be smart people.!
June 15, 2009, 2:24 pm CDT

I'd like to point out...

I'd like to point out that drivers who speed and tail gate are dangerous as well. Drivers who cut in and out of traffic on the freeways and 'jack-rabbit' out onto streets too.  I've noticed that a lot of people think it's funny to be lead-footed or impatient in traffic.  It's not.  Everyone on the message board is saying to drive safely, but I bet most of you speed and cut people off and do other dangerous things on the road and laugh it off.  Think about it.
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