Under Ohio law, a driver can accrue 12 points’ worth of violations within two years before his license is automatically suspended. That is, he could be caught going 30 miles over the limit three times (four points each) or cause multiple accidents resulting in misdemeanor reckless-driving charges (two to four points each) before losing the right to drive. Should he commit vehicular manslaughter (six points), his license would be suspended, but he could get it back in as little as six months. Other states have similarly forgiving laws. Considering that 94 percent of crashes involve some form of driver error or impairment immediately before impact,  you have to wonder: Are we too tolerant of bad driving—or is the problem more basic? Are we, as humans, simply not suited to the task?
According to one analysis, 4 million of the nearly 11 million crashes that occur annually could potentially be avoided if distractions were eliminated.  But instead, we actively seek out distractions, like texting. A meta-analysis of 28 studies confirms that typing or reading on our phones while driving adversely affects stimulus detection, reaction time, lane positioning, vehicle control, and, yes, collision rate.  Some researchers have concluded that texting while driving may pose more of an accident risk than driving either under the influence of marijuana or at the legal alcohol limit.  And, contrary to stereotype, teenagers aren’t the primary offenders: A survey of more than 2,000 adults suggests that they are just as likely as teens to have texted behind the wheel, and substantially more likely to have talked on their cellphone.