Mike and Mark Patey FlyingTexting and driving
It's been a tough couple years for pilots in Utah. We've lost some loved and talented pilots in plane crashes. Ive personally lost my brother in law, (my sisters husband Robert Lamb), and two days ago lost a close personal friend Jay Lessley, and a third from my local airport Jared Despain passed not long ago. As a result, the subtle and not-so-subtle comments come our direction as pilots. All questioning if I or we pilots really should continue flying. It's out of love and concern and I see it as such, and thank you, I feel loved.
Out of love for you all may I return the favor and provide some perspective.
If I am to consider not flying for recreation, might I suggest not driving for travel. Hold your thoughts. (Hear me out)
Commercial aviation has always been far safer then driving. Simple fact; one is more likely to die on their way to the airport then on the flight itself.
General aviation (private aircraft) is not as safe as commercial. The type of aircraft flown, the pilots sometimes lower experience levels etc all play into that statistic. However, for decades now, even general aviation is "nearly" as safe as driving and still significantly safer then riding on a motorcycle. But even this statistic is now changing. 
Since the texting communication age has come,
Texting While Driving Causes an additional:
1. 1,600,000 accidents per year – National Safety Council
2. 330,000 injuries per year – Harvard Center for Risk Analysis Study
3. 11 teen deaths EVERY DAY – Ins. Institute for Hwy Safety Fatality Facts
4. Nearly 25% of ALL car accidents

 


Texting While Driving Is:

1. About 6 times more likely to cause an accident than driving intoxicated
2. The same as driving after 4 beers – National Hwy Transportation Safety Admin.

With the recent changes in our apparent lack of safety on the road, it looks like even general aviation might end up on top as a safer form or travel then driving on our public roads and highways. Sorry to tell you folks, I'm now safer racing around the sky then any of us are driving next to that idiot with their phone in their lap.
Since I have no intentions of ending my flying fun and I suspect you all have no intentions of giving up the car, lets all make a deal.
Let's all put an end to texting at inappropriate times. It will save 11 lives a day! If you're that idiot with your head down on the highway... May the flees of a thousand camels infest your armpits!!!
When it's our time to go, let's make sure it's not doing something stupid like texting, if you want to kill yourself that's one thing but texting almost always takes others with you. As for my aviation racing passion, I intend to continue and am reminded of a favorite quote. 

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!”
There is no way to remove all risk from life, nor should we; in fact, the only guarantee we get in life, is death. May we all be blessed with a great death. And if not that, please God, don't let me go at the thumbs of an idiot!
Mark Patey

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Comment by Jonathan Porter on September 29, 2013 at 2:12am

Nicely put.  Our condolences on your loss.  Fly safe.

Comment by Danal Estes on September 18, 2013 at 9:48am

Well said. 

Comment by Jim B Belcher on September 12, 2013 at 4:40pm

What a good idea! If we encourage drivers to text more, their accidents will go up, making our numbers look smaller!

Comment by Ben Haas on September 10, 2013 at 8:55pm

I just turned 58 and am proud to say, I have NEVER texted... Don't even know how and don't understand why spending all that time typing in stuff is better then a 10 second phone call... Geez...  I will say, if some idiot hits my vehicle while they are texting,, they better make sure the crash kills me cause if I have 30 seconds left to live,, I will beat the tar out of them for taking me out....

Comment by Normand Lambert on September 9, 2013 at 10:29pm

Amen to that !

Regards,

Norm

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