I’ve been driving while distracted quite a lot over the last seven weeks or so. I’ve been distracted from driving itself by finding my way around the Silver Spring area, to which I moved in early December. I’ve often also been distracted by kids in the back of the car: are we nearly there? I’m hungry, etc.
So my actions suggest that I consider a certain amount of distraction while driving to be reasonable. Now that it’s possible to turn cars into wireless wagons, a whole range of social media distractions are becoming available. Mashable Greg provided an interesting account of such distractions.
My guess at an answer is that driving while cellphoning will top the list of dangerous social distractions for the forseeable future. But it is just a guess, and systematic research about the effects of driving of specific social behaviors is needed. Credit goes to Ford for conducting, and publishing the results of, such research.