“The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion, economic status, or ethnic background, is that, deep down inside, we all believe that we are above-average drivers.”
― Dave Barry, Dave Barry Turns Fifty
The number one cause of traffic accidents is distracted driving. Did you know that? Number one on the list is people who are doing other things while they're driving. Knowing that, it's a wonder I don't have an accident EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
I don't know if I could drive AT ALL if I wasn't distracted.
The problem is SO HUGE that there is an OFFICIAL government Web site entitled (appropriately) D!straction.gov dedicated ONLY to facts and statistics on distracted driving. They say that ALL distractions can endanger driver, passenger and bystander safety. Distractions listed include:
|They LOVE my driving!|
- Texting. OK, FINE. I've done it. I've done it a LOT. My oldest son (whom I refer to as Thing 1) will no longer allow me to text while driving. BUT HE'S NOT ALWAYS IN THE CAR WITH ME. Actually, I've scared myself so badly doing this a couple of times that I've vowed to seriously reduce the amount of time I spend texting while driving. Now, I only do it at stoplights, and when I'm on cruise control at 70mph on the highway. And I only do it without kids in the car (because my life isn't NEARLY as valuable as theirs). I've watched other drivers do it, weaving and careening in front of me, completely unaware that their minivan texting just makes them look like drunk moms. Way to go! (OK, this is a SERIOUS problem and I am making light of it. I am a very, very bad person.) I would like to point out to the US government that they did NOT include Facebooking while driving. (Also guilty.)
- Using a cell phone or smartphone. This is not me because I don't currently have a cellphone or a smartphone. Ha! Next...
- Eating and drinking. Hello? What are DRIVE-THRUS FOR?? If we weren't supposed to eat and drink in our cars then why in the heck do they make it SO CONVENIENT?l
- Talking to passengers. So, I'm going to ignore the 2-year-old in the car seat who's asking me why God made flowers? No, I'm not. Some of the best conversations my kids and I have ever had have been in the car. It's where I told them what sex ACTUALLY IS. (And they WERE horrified.) It's the only time I have them completely captivated as long as their iPods are firmly tucked into my driver's side door panel. But, hey, Big Brother, if you think talking to my children in an honest, open manner makes me distracted then I can stop.
- Grooming. Sigh. Guilty. Again. I pluck my eyebrows while driving. (I am smiling SO BIG right now because I know there will be gasps over that one.) Yes, I put a sharp metal object near my eyeball while cruising around in my metal box at speeds of over 35mph. I am very, very careful, though. This is probably only a danger to me. Until I blind myself and then all bets are off.
- Reading, including maps. I am a TERRIBLE PERSON!
- Using a navigation system. See above...apparently you just can't get where you want to go without being distracted. Perhaps if we had a USB with uploadable maps we can plug into our brains?? Is that the answer?
- Watching a video. I have never done this (FINALLY!). But I have listened while my kids watch videos. So, yeah, I'm probably distracted. But I'm NOT TALKING TO THEM. Ha!
- Adjusting a radio, CD player or MP3 player. Who doesn't do this?
Yes, I am a judging judger. Stop driving distracted.