Driving has lost its cool for young Americans
by Lisa Hymas
27 Dec 2011 6:21 AM
.Amidst all the hand-wringing over distracted driving, a critical point is getting lost. The problem isn't the texting -- it's the driving.
Clive Thompson made this argument in Wired last year:
When we worry about driving and texting, we assume that the most important thing the person is doing is piloting the car. But what if the most important thing they're doing is texting? How do we free them up so they can text without needing to worry about driving?
The answer, of course, is public transit. In many parts of the world where texting has become ingrained in daily life -- like Japan and Europe -- public transit is so plentiful that there hasn't been a major texting-while-driving crisis. You don't endanger anyone's life while quietly tapping out messages during your train ride to work in Tokyo or Berlin.
... Dramatically increasing public transit would also decrease our carbon footprint, improve local economies, and curtail drunk driving. (Plus, we'd waste less time in spiritually draining bumper-to-bumper traffic.)