I completely agree regarding the dangers of cheap or otherwise poor tires, and the tires on my cars reflect how important they are. However, the author is, in my opinion, grossly understating the very real dangers of distracted driving and, specifically, texting (in whatever form) while driving.
For three years, my commute was a 110 mile round-trip, mostly on major highways. Every single day, I saw between half a dozen and a dozen people texting while driving. These are the people I could actually see doing it, but there were many more every I was sure were equally guilty — based on their driving — but couldn’t actually verify it. Every week, there were between 5 and 10 crashes during that commute. Never fewer than 5, and sometimes more than 10. I also witnessed a startling number of extremely close calls by people who were texting, and in most cases within 30 seconds after the near disaster they were texting again.
Texting while driving is an absolutely enormous and lethal problem. Efforts to stop it have been shamefully ineffective so far. Police enforcement is almost nonexistent — traffic enforcement is almost exclusively focused on exceeding the speed limit — unless the speed is very high, texting is MUCH more dangerous. To be clear, no, I don’t want in-car nannies. Until texting while driving becomes socially unacceptable in the way that drunk driving has, it will kill thousands, not hundreds, of people. And yes, the one crash I was involved in during that commute was being rear-ended — by a driver who was texting.