- Regulations & Driving Rules
Multi-Tasking While Driving; Bad Idea, Bad, Bad Idea
Cell Phone Use and Driving is a Dangerous Combination
Even though, it is the law in many places, we still see people driving while on their cell phones. When I see people talking on their cell phone while on the wheel, I cannot help but ask myself; don’t these people care about anyone else but themselves? A lot of people might argue, “I can drive and handle a cell phone without causing any accidents.” Under normal driving conditions it is possible to drive while talking on your cell. The problem is that these people are not counting with the unexpected. I remember many years ago while driving a boy suddenly got out of a car in the lane that was left of mine ran in front of my car and got into the car on the lane other side of my car. If it wasn’t for the fact that I had very fast reflexes and slammed on my brakes, that boy would have been killed or badly injured. When this incident happened, cell phones did not exist, and drivers where better able to focus on their driving. Thanks to the fact; that I was focused on my driving, and had all my senses on the wheel that boy is still alive today.
If you are still not convinced, let me tell you about another incident. The traffic signal had changed at my intersection, and I took my green, then suddenly half way across the intersection a Toyota truck took the red light at eighty miles an hour, if I had not slammed on my brakes I would not be writing this story. The reason I was able to make that split second decision is because I was focused on my driving. My point is this. If a driver chooses to be on a cell phone while on the wheel, he or she may not be prepared for those events that require split second timing. The difference between life and death could be as little as a split second.
As a society we care greatly about drinking and then driving. When our judgment is impaired we are a danger to others when on the wheel. Even if you can walk the line while holding cell phone conversation that doesn’t mean it is something you can do while driving. Our society is so demanding of everyone in terms of time management that I often see people chewing down their food while driving back to work. I understand that many people are under a lot of pressure to make the most of every minute of everyday. The problem is that people often fail to use good judgment in deciding which activities can be done simultaneously. In an article from Reader’s Digest Magazine titled “Driving Safety; Distracted Drivers” they stated the following: ‘Nationwide Insurance, which conducted a survey in November 2006, suggested that distracted driving is a national pastime. Of 1,200 respondents, ages 18 to 60, 73 percent said they use a cell phone while driving; 68 percent eat while driving. Others shave, read, even paint their toenails in traffic.’ Do Americans want this nation to be characterized as a country of uncaring drivers?
One great way to solve this problem would be if people made it a practice to stop at a parking lot before answering their cell phone. This way the driver can focus on their conversation and not be a danger to others. As to eating and painting your nails, I think there’s a time and place for everything. Behind the wheel is not the time or place to be doing anything else but driving.
Driving under the influence could also mean emotional influences as well. A cell phone conversation could easily turn into an argument. If you are on the wheel, this could easily impair your judgment and lead to an accident. So for the sake of that child that runs across the street unexpectedly, or that driver that has to make a sudden stop, please turn of your cell phone, and keep all five senses on the task of driving. Who knows, your own life may depend on it.