Those of us who have spent a career in professional aviation found out a long time ago that the diversion caused by talking on the radio with air traffic control has to be managed carefully, and placed at the lowest of three levels of tasking:
- Flying (controlling) the aircraft.
- Navigating the aircraft.
- Communicating by radio with ATC.
A subset of Number 3, even with a two or three-person crew on an airliner, is to never respond to, an initiate a radio communication with ATC while taking off or landing on a runway at high speed.
And, normally aircraft are not operating in as tight of an enviornment as automobiles. Plus, professional pilots are professional pilots, whereas most (but not all) automobile drivers are poorly trained, poorly kept up-to-date, rank amateur drivers.
Plus, there is the progressive decline in amateur driver's attitudes for common courtesy and observation of proven safey rules. The common running of red lights, failure to yield to pedestrians lawfully crossing the street, and failure to use turn indicators are prime examples. Grossly excessive speed and excessive lane changes (as in, "get out of my way you idiot, I am more important than you are) is another scary trend.
Cell phones should be outlawed for drivers everywhere. Then again, it takes consistent enforcement to make any rule like that work Consistent enforcement is the exception, rather than the rule, these days.[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: I assume you are referring to *using* a cell phone, not merely *being in possession* of a cell phone while driving. They are very important tools for people driving alone at night, or on the highway in the event of an accident or automobile malfunction, etc. PAT]