Friday, October 29, 2010

Distracted Driving - The New Killer

In virtuallly every jurisdiction that has attempted to reduce distracted driving through 'handheld' device bans and other similar legislation, the results are the same: Distracted driving is on the increase; collision, injury and death rates are on the rise; and device use hasn't been reduced.

Interestingly, the article points to other supposed distractions, such as drinking coffee, eating, and the like. Not one to be afraid of disagreeing with bullshit, I suggest that you, dear reader, try this experiment: First, get comfortable and watch a TV show that you really enjoy, then, while you are watching said TV show: A) call a friend and have a conversation on the telephone. B) apply make up, including foundation, eyeliner/shadow, and lipstick. C) Shave using gel and an instant razer.  D) Have a conversation with someone seated next to you. E) eat a donut. F) drink a coffee. G) listen to some music on the stereo.

While doing so, try and determinehow much of the show you are actually taking in... What you will clearly notice, is that talking on the telephone is by far the most distracting, probably followed closely by shaving or applying make up. Interestingly, having a conversation with someone seated in the room with you is probably nowhere as distracting as having a phone conversation, undoubtedly due to how different telephone and in person conversations are. Eating and drinking are probably accomplished virtually subconsciously while enjoying the show.

Now imagine you instead of watching a television show, you are driving a vehicle. There are things one can do which completely distract the driver from the task at hand (cellphone conversations, personal grooming, reading maps and newspapers) and some things which do not significantly distract the driver (talking with a passenger, eating and drinking (not at the same time), listening to the radio).

So figure out what are distractions to proper and safe driving, and eliminate them completely. Your life, and that of others, depends on it.

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