Texting While Biking is for the Birds

26 Apr

(Note: This is the post formerly known as “Texting While Biking is for Idiots”. Click here for an explanation of the name change.)

NPR reports that California is considering extending the ban on texting while driving to including texting while biking. California is one of 23 states to ban texting while driving, a law that should be federal since it is dangerous everywhere.

Clearly the distracted driver of a multi-ton vehicle can do more damage to another person than a cyclist, as shown by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The FMCSA points out that “Drivers who text while driving are more than 20 times more likely to get in an accident than non-distracted drivers.”

Stop, Read, and Respond

I’m not sure if that same rate applies to cyclists, but frankly I just can’t understand why anyone would feel the need to send a text while riding a bicycle in a city. Bikers are already vulnerable enough and if you need to brake suddenly to avoid an absent-minded pedestrian, driver, or another cyclist, you’ve lost that ability.

If an urgent text is received and must immediately be replied to, it is so easy, friends, it is so so so easy to pull off the road, out of the lane, and Stop, Read, and Respond. Think of the adage that explains what to do if you are on FIRE: Stop, Drop, and Roll. If you are facing a life and death situation, you should stop and deal with it. Otherwise, don’t make an already precarious situation worse by becoming a distracted biker.

If your life is so important that you have to keep up with every minute detail and constantly be in touch, isn’t it important enough to make sure you don’t lose it?

Watch out for yourself, watch out for your neighbors and everyone else and put down that ridiculous phone until you get off your bicycle or out of your car.

 

Hot but stupid boy: texting while riding without helmet or brakes.

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6 Responses to “Texting While Biking is for the Birds”

  1. gwadzilla April 26, 2010 at 18:13 #

    agreed.

    or as the kids once said… WORD.

  2. Ginny April 26, 2010 at 19:00 #

    Nice. Swift move. Hopefully he’ll not plow into some innocent bystander.

  3. Michael April 27, 2010 at 06:12 #

    His feet aren’t even in his toe clips.

    And an aside, I can completely text with one hand [keeping the other on my bars].

    • Laura Walsh April 28, 2010 at 11:22 #

      I know, that guy is a mess! I guess some people are able to skillfully manage the scary art of texting in transport, but I’m concerned about hands on the bars and eyes on the road. When I text, I need to look at my phone too often and anything can come up quickly. Someone can fling open a door if I’m not taking a lane, a pedestrian could step into my path, or another texting biker could come up.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Drivers, Please Don’t Hit Me « Reimagine an Urban Paradise - April 28, 2010

    […] at least I was paying attention (and not texting) and was able to react quickly. I slammed on my brakes and swerved out of the […]

  2. Transparency « Reimagine an Urban Paradise - May 8, 2010

    […] been thinking about the post “Texting While Biking is for Idiots” and I don’t like it. I thought it was funny at first but now it just seems glib and […]

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