Texting blamed for serious Ottawa County crash

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PARK TOWNSHIP, Mich. — A driver blamed a text message for causing a crash that resulted in serious injuries Saturday morning.

At 10:47 a.m. Saturday, the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report that a car had hit a motorcycle on James Street at Stoney Lake Drive in Park Township.

The investigation showed that Douglas Dyer, 56, of Holland was driving a 2016 Ford pickup truck westbound on James when he slowed to turn onto southbound Stoney Lake and turned in front of an eastbound 1982 Yamaha 750 Maxim motorcycle ridden by Richard Monetza, 54, of Holland.

The car then hit the motorcycle.

Dryer told deputies that he had been distracted by a text message on his cell phone.

Monetza suffered a serious leg injury and was transported to Holland Hospital where he was listed in serious condition later Saturday. He was wearing a helmet at the time of the collision.

Dryer was not injured. He was wearing his seat belt at the time of the crash.

The accident remains under investigation by the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office.

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6 comments

  • michaeljmcfadden

    For those who doubt the seriousness of distracted driving with phone texting, I found a way to make an impression on today’s teens raised in the rabidly antismoking atmosphere they’re daily presented with in the media.

    When you compare the figures for the supposed risks of driving for a full hour a day in a car with someone smoking the whole time (something that many teens would consider very bad!) with the risk of driving in car where the driver simply engages in a single “texting episode” per hour the numbers are interesting: Driving with the texter at the wheel is, according to available research, over 13,000 times as “risky” as being in a car with an active smoker for an hour! (Refs: 1992 EPA Smoking Report figures from 1992, and “Fatalities of Pedestrians, Bicycle Riders, and Motorists Due to Distracted Driving Motor Vehicle Crashes in the U.S., 2005–2010” Public Health Reports, November-December 2013. )

    Antismokers may not like the message, but it might actually save a lot of lives among our teens if they realized how much riskier it is to drive with a texter than with a smoker.

    – MJM, usually a smoker, sometimes a texter, never a driver…

    • michaeljmcfadden

      To put the statistic in another form, being in a car while the driver sends/receives 6 text messages exposes one to roughly the same theoretical risk as working in a “Mad Men” type smoking workplace for 40 years.

      – MJM

    • ***£***

      Your message is confusing especially since your “statistics” date back to 1992 ?
      Basically telling teens its safer to be a in a car with a smoker? Mad men? Lol! Sounds like you have been watching far too much TV/DVDs…etc.
      Keep focused and realize that this article is about sending/receiving texts therefore causing an accident..
      Really Smoking, eating, gazing into a rear view mirror, fiddling with your music/radio or trying to control your unruly children are ALL distractions and those things should be dealt with by pulling over or waiting to get to your destination. Not any of these things I mentioned warrant causing a possible accident/fatality.
      Smoking stinks- is invasive to others but hey what you do in your own enviroment with your feet planted on firm ground is your own business…
      But for anyone, lighting up in a moving vehicle is still a distraction. So, Keep safe, arrive alive and don’t be an irresponsible ROAD SLOB oxygen thief! JMO.

      • michaeljmcfadden

        The EPA 1992 Report on Environmental Tobacco Smoke was the main basis for the wave of smoking bans that swept the US in the 1990s. It was seen as the most neutral, authoritative, comprehensive and noncontroversial evaluation of the effects of secondhand smoke on the nonsmoker with its conclusion that a lifetime of workplace smoke exposure in the smoky decades of the 1930s through 1970s produced a 19% increased risk of lung cancer in nonsmokers. Since the base rate of lung cancer is roughly 0.4% (four in a thousand), that meant that such a lifetime of heavy workplace exposure would give someone one extra chance in a thousand of ultimately getting lung cancer.

        Of course Antismokers never mention the concept of or the size of the base rate and what it means for the overall statistics. It’s much more impressive, in a propaganda sense, to simply mention “exposure to smoke” and “19% increase in cancer” if you want to frighten people and condition them into giving the desired support to smoking bans.

        Re distracted driving: Yes, those other factors have all been studied as well. Smoking by drivers ranks below all of them surprisingly as a cause of accidents. If you like I can point you to several studies on it. Texting as a distraction has only, to my knowledge, been studied in detailed form by Prof. Fernando Wilson in his: “Trends in Fatalities From Distracted Driving in the United States, 1999 to 2008,” American Journal of Public Health, November 2010, Volume 100, Number 11, pp. 2213-2219. dx.doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2009.187179

        What I did was compare the two figures in terms of risk per text-episode and risk per hour of concentrated secondary smoke exposure. As noted the text-messaging was 13,000 times as dangerous. Even more notable though, the risk from the smoke exposure is risk of death 20, 30, 40 years into the future — while the death of a teen from a texting driver is immediate. The idea is to communicate that risk message to teens in a way that will impact them. Given the fear that has been whipped up around even the smallest exposures to smoke, telling teens that texting is not just MORE dangerous but is THIRTEEN THOUSAND TIMES more dangerous… that might just have some effect in saving teenagers from early graves.

        Heh, re: “irresponsible ROAD SLOB oxygen thie(ves)” I’ve got a long background history work in the area of alternate transit promotion. You might enjoy an article I wrote in 1976 published in WIN Magazine titled “Free Peoples Transit.” You can read it at https://assortedtopics.quora.com/Free-Peoples-Transit if you like.

        Hope that all helped clear up your confusion.

        – MJM

        • michaeljmcfadden

          Sorry… I just realized there was another element to your confusion: I was not talking about the DRIVER smoking necessarily: the EPA risk estimate would refer to ANYONE smoking in the vehicle with the windows largely rolled up.