Thursday, October 21, 2010

Distracted Driving...

 - -In the past five years I've been rear-ended twice by distracted drivers while stopped in the line of traffic, most recently while at a red light.  Both accidents would have been easily avoided if the other driver had been paying attention to what they were supposed to have been doing, but no, the one was on a cell phone and the other was paying too much attention to their passenger!

Distracted driving is a serious problem compounded by other unsafe driving practices in common use such as following too closely!  Remember how you're supposed to keep a car length behind the driver ahead for each 10 mph of speed?--It's true, folks!  Follow that simple rule, and you'll have plenty of room to stop; don't, and you won't be able's basic physics!

But back to distracted driving; I cringe every time that I see someone driving with a cell phone plastered to their ear.  Most of the cell phone conversations being held by drivers are completely unnecessary, nothing that wouldn't wait until they were out of the car!  Multi-tasking is a myth; in reality, multi-taskers are simply shifting their attention between one thing and the other, which isn't nearly good enough for potentially serious tasks such as driving where the circumstances and input variables can change rapidly, demanding,  yes, your complete and undivided attention!  While cell phones are a prime contributer to distracted driving, other potentially dangerous behaviors while driving and in motion include changing the radio or CD, eating, drinking, applying make-up, texting (God help us!), or paying too much attention to human or animal passengers.

Some states wiser than mine have already made it illegal to be using a cell phone while driving.  Until such laws are universal, please hang up the damn phone, and drive!