Texting And Driving
Here’s a confession in two parts:
- My father used to drink and drive. Every Friday night, he’d go out and get thoroughly tanked up, then drive home. He’d usually make it half way, before abandoning the car, and Saturday mornings were then spent in a hilarious parody of a treasure hunt, trying to find said car. This was all after drink-driving was made illegal, but before it was socially unacceptable. That’s now changed though - he’s older and wiser, and more importantly, drink driving is socially unacceptable.
- I used to use the phone while driving, and even on occasion read & write text messages. When it was made illegal, I thought that the law was only for stupid, bad drivers. I got a hands-free link, and pretty much carried on as normal. But three things happened.
Firstly, Wife acted like my personal Jiminy Cricket - there or not, I could hear her reminding me that it was illegal.
Secondly, this was also at about the time I started riding a bike again. Suddenly I was aware of other drivers drifting in and out of lane; hands-free or hand-held, I could see them driving with the lights on but no-one home; when they were texting, I could see that they had absolutely no idea I was there.
Thirdly, Daughter was getting to an age where she wanted to ride her bike, and the thought of what these idiots would do to her made my blood run cold. These three factors combined for me to make using a mobile phone while driving a socially unacceptable thing to do.
So now if it rings while I’m driving, I ignore it. If it bleeps for a text message, I ignore it. If we’re heading somewhere and it rings with what’s probably one of those, "Are you here yet?" calls, it’ll get tossed to Wife to deal with, or just ignored.
All of which brings me to this video from AT&T that Carlton Reid tweeted about this morning:
When you watch it, remember that talking on the phone is also a distraction - heck, even the Daily Mail accepts that you’re four times more likely to be involved in a crash if using a phone , and that hand-held or hands-free makes no difference. That doesn’t mean that talking is "safer" than texting - it means that texting is six times stupider than talking!
Put it this way - talking on the phone makes if four times more likely that you’ll be involved in a crash, while being on the drink-driving limit makes it 2½ times more likely that you’ll crash . So in other words, if you wouldn’t drink & drive, why would you EVER use a phone while driving?