I think that's the mentality that's missing from this whole argument. A risk / benefit analysis. I think LaHood said that 3000 people a year die due to distracted driving. Out of 300 million. Or around 1 in 100,000 . Everybody would be safer if they stayed in their basement, rather than getting out. But there's a whole world out there that's worth exploring, and it's worth the risk to leave your basement. *** Being able to communicate with other people while traveling makes your life better. *** That's worth something. Listening to the car radio is worth something. Reading the newspaper while driving makes the ride more fun, and is worth something. Each of these items has risk. Some risks are worth the benefit. Others aren't.
Starred the bit I have an issue with.
That's just it -- you AREN'T really communicating with anyone if you are driving at the same time. Go back to the multi-tasking issue. Ninety-nine percent of people aren't driving and communicating. They are driving POORLY and communicating POORLY. Your argument falls apart in a cost-benefit regard due to that.
The only cost-benefit, then, is in the cost because the benefit isn't anything of value in the first place. You can't compare that to staying in the basement to going out into the world, because for one thing, going out into the world doesn't necessarily entail doing two things at once and compromising concentration in doing so.