The recent “no texting while driving” signs on the freeway got me thinking. California passed a law to make driving and talking on a cell phone against the law. Great idea…in fact now, when I see people on their phone talking instead of paying attention to the road, it drives me mad!
But were there unintended consequences? The idea of making a change with a positive goal in mind, but inadvertently affecting something else in a negative way…it absolutely fascinates me. Seeing those no texting signs got me thinking. Back in the day, before the “no cell phones while driving” law, if people wanted to communicate with someone, they probably called them. After the law though, what did most people do?
(For this next segment, I have zero evidence of any kind, but I’m probably right.)
Most people did not go out and buy a hands-free ear piece.
Most people have stopped talking on the phone while they drive (good job law!)
So what do people do now? They text. It is very likely that texting while driving has increased as a result of the law. And that is much worse than talking on a cell phone. I would much rather people have their eyes on the road and be somewhat distracted mentally than looking down at their phone for seconds at a time.
I don’t have any proof, but it is quite possible that an unintended consequence has actually lead to more accidents.