We, for the most part, get it. It’s not cool to text and drive and more importantly it’s not cool to be messing with your phone while you’re supposed to be paying attention to the road even if your name is “Distracto”. However, lately it seems like lots of people are getting all sanctimonious about cell phone use, when in reality there are many many ways to be a distracted driver.
Ever driven with kids? I don’t have any, but when there is a borrowed kid in my car holy cow I am distracted! Between the seat kicking and truly random question asking and then making sure they get out on the right side of the street and don’t get run over I am distracted. When I look at my GPS, or in eons past that piece of paper with the directions and address (or maybe even a map – gasp!) of the place I’m going, then I am distracted. Note: I turned down the music when I am unsure where I’m going. It really helps, I think. When I feel like I have a second and I was fumbling for lip balm or trying to get that eyelash out of my eye I am not paying attention to the road. When I want to hear my favorite song again and I am searching for that repeat button on my iThing slides in between the seats I am distracted. Note: this is easier than the endless searching through the A and B sides of tapes. Yay technology! If you need more examples of distracted driving you can check out http://www.distraction.gov/stats-research-laws/facts-and-statistics.html
A quick honk was all that was necessary to get my on my merry way from that stop that took a second longer than it should have. But lately I’ve been focusing on driving in the car. Crazy, right? This may be related to my increasing number of bike commuting family and friends or my summer riding scooter adventures. I have noticed that car drivers are crazy. Bottom line is that I’m a city gal and I really don’t drive for long distances at once. I have learned put my phone on do not disturb or just listen to it ring in my purse wonder who is calling me and if I’ve really got to figure something out, then I PULL OVER. That way I can also check that thing in my eye and dash off a quick text without any feelings of guilt.
The point is that we all do things in the car that distract us. Maybe it’s a text, but it could be something else that is equally dangerous. It’s not just reaching for the phone that can be distracting. But think of this….how stupid and ashamed would you feel if you got into an accident because you were doing the above activities?