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Celebrity Plastic Surgeon Killed Texting While Driving

10 comments

Texting while driving increases the chance of an accident by 2300%A Virginia Tech study has shown that drivers are 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash if they are texting instead of paying attention. People Magazine reported that a celebrity plastic surgeon – Dr. Frank Ryan – was killed when he was texting while driving. Dr. Ryan gained notoriety by performing 10 plastic surgery procedures on Heidi Montag in a single session.

He lived up in Malibu on a tiny street and he was texting while driving and he accidentally went over the cliff," Charmaine Blake says.

The Huffington Post compared the dangers of texting while driving with driving under the influence with some surprising results — the study showed that texting while driving was much more dangerous than drinking and driving.

  • Drivers are twice as likely to cause a crash if texting than if drinking — Drunk driving increases the likelihood of causing a car crash by 4 times while texting and driving increases the risk by 8 times.
  • Texting drivers need 6 times as much distance to stop than a dunk driver — drunk drivers travel 4 additional feet before stopping while a texting driver travels 25 more feet before stopping
  • Texting drivers typically gaze at their mobile device for 5 seconds — enough time to travel 29 car lengths at interstate speeds.

It is all too easy to become complacent or distracted while driving. Don’t add to the danger by texting, twittering, emailing, Facebooking, etc. while driving. Not only is this activity dangerous, but in many areas it is illegal. Many states have enacted laws prohibiting talking on telephones or texting while driving. Use common sense and avoid distractions when driving.

[Note: there is a discrepancy in text above concerning the degree of risk stemming from texting while driving. The Virginia Tech study mentioned at the beginning of this post looked specifically at semi truck drivers. The Huffington Post study listed in the bullet points examined car crashes.]

[Update 8/19/2010]:

Here is the PSA Teresa mentioned in her comments below (Teresa – thanks for sharing your story):

10 Comments

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  1. Teresa Breen says:
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    My son was a United States Marine, home on leave when he was killed due to Texting While Driving. When we found his cell phone and got it working we discovered a message that was not finished or sent and it was just seconds before his accident. our son thought he was invinceable, but a tiny cell phone cost him his life! This has become an epidemic and it needs to involve a serious penelty if caught, crashes do not discriminate especially while driving….

  2. Brett Emison says:
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    Teresa,

    Thank you very much for sharing your story. This is an important lesson, not just for young drivers, but for all of us.

  3. Teresa says:
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    You are welcome and we have done a PSA/Documentary for AT&T and Motion Masters on this matter so I am trying very hard to get the message out there, if we can save just one life by what we have done it will be worth it. The segment we did for Motion Masters is one being used in schools and businesses across the country. If you see or hear a commercial that says “This is the unfinished text my son was typing when his car went off the road and he died of massive head injuries”, that is me or you see Yeah T in an AT&T store that is our son’s last text… Thanks again for the article…

  4. Brett Emison says:
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    Teresa,

    Do you have a link to the PSA? I would be happy to add it to the post above.

  5. Teresa says:
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    you can go to AT&T.com/gen/press-room and then scroll over to the right and see the list of PSA’s and ours is the yeah t…. Thank you and I hope this helps…

  6. Rhonda Blake says:
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    Hello Teresa

    I am so sorry to hear about your son. I would like to share that I am with a company who has developed a technology that provides a solution to this problem. We understand to matter the law or severity of the punishment those who feel they can get away with it will continue. Unfortunately, there are too many people who feel the same as your son “INVINCIBLE”. If you wouldn’t mind taking a look at the technology, that I am referring to and then contacting me….maybe we can work together to push this safety zone crusade. My email is home2808@hotmail.com… and the link to the technology is http://www.fdihandsfree.com/rhondab

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    Just tragic… how many more deaths until texting and driving is outlawed everywhere?
    Please everyone do your part, educate and inform your loved ones about the dangers of cell phone driving.

  8. Dwaine says:
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    I will never gamble my life at the wheel for a tx ever again. And i will give anyone i see doing this a slap aswell.

  9. Losts Parents says:
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    I have a question for any of you. Can it be determined if someone was checking their emails or on the internet on their PDAs (Cell Phones)while driving? Everyone always mentions texting and talking but not checking other technology that the newer phones can perform. This August the parents of a dear friend were killed. The driver slammed into the father’s side of the car at 55 mph (no attempt to brake/no skid marks)killing him instantly and then shoved the car twenty feet into a telephone pole killing the mother. There must be some accountability here. If asked if the driver was talking or texting on his phone he could honestly answer no if he was checking emails or looking at a youtube. Any response?

  10. Teresa says:
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    Lost Parents ~ I am so sorry and i can tell you what my son’s cell phone provider told us, they told us they could go back (at the time of his accident so this may be different now)one month and show us ALL activity on his phone, calls, text messages etc. so you may see if you cannot get someone to do this for your friends. Texting, tweeting whatever is Distracted Driving and it has become an epidemic that we have got to get a solution for… This will never go totally away i know but when an innocent life is lost to something like this it is terrible.. I tell people to look at your last text you sent and tell me would it be worth dying for or killing someone else??? Good Luck with your situation.