So I've written before about the potential laws being considered in Illinois and California banning texts while cycling. At first they seemed silly and misguided to me, another example of Big Brother getting increasingly involved unnecessarily. But after hearing that the California Bicycling Coalition was supporting the proposed ban and hearing their reasons for support, it made a lot more sense to me.
However, just on a practical level, a recent incident involving Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine highlights the hazards of texting while cycling. As the New York Times reported:
On the wet, slippery path [next to the reservoir in New York's Central Park], Valentine was reading a text on his phone from Dustin Pedroia, the Red Sox second baseman, and riding his bicycle. When he looked up, he had to swerve to avoid the umbrellas of two French tourists walking in front of him. The bike skidded, and he lost his balance and went careening head over pedals down the side of the hill by the road.
"I shouldn't have been reading a text while I was riding, " he said. "That's the wrong thing to do. But at least I was wearing my helmet."
Valentine is an avid cyclist, and rides his bike to Boston's Fenway Park before home games. He also takes his bike along so he can ride in other cities when the team travels for away games. He received only minor injuries in the crash.