Distracted Driving Is a Shock and Awe Campaign

It happened just the other afternoon. There I was driving on the highway minding my own business doing a forgivable 7 miles over the speed limit. The sun was piercing through white fluffy clouds in a bright blue sky. Open road was in front of me. It was definitely a sunroof day… If I had one.

But minding your own business on the highway is almost as dangerous as driving recklessly. That’s what happened to me when someone tried to cut me off from the left lane at 80 miles an hour with no signal light.

It happens more than once a lifetime. Try once a week. You’ve been there. You know that sudden adrenaline rush when you see an accident about to happen. And you’re in it! All of a sudden you process fifty thousand scenarios of how bad this could be in a nanosecond. You become a mutant with eyes all over your head at every angle, able to see what’s there, what’s not, so you can swerve, stop, speed up, go right, go left, all while laying heavy on your car horn.

On a side note I’m quite thankful the simple system of the car horn has not been polluted by Bluetooth technologies. The action of hitting the middle of your steering wheel as hard as possible in frustration is still quite satisfying.

Thankfully our cars avoided impact as I kept laying on my horn while seeing there wasn’t anybody close behind me with my sudden mutant powers and hitting the breaks harder than I usually do. It also made me realize I should get my brakes checked soon.

But don’t misunderstand me we didn’t avoid each other. We made eye contact. When you’re in that automotive situation you feel the other driver staring at you. So believe me when I tell you the driver’s dirty looks and tirade of silent profanities while holding a cell phone in one hand and the wheel in the other left me in shock and Awe.

What were they angry about? That they almost sideswiped the crap out of me on the highway at 80 MPH while doing something unimportant on their cell phone?

And what were they doing on their cellphone? Texting, Snapchatting, Tweeting, asking Siri something?

Cell phones cause a lot of accidents. According to an article from USA Today they cause 1 in 4 car accidents. Yet cell phone use in the car remains commonplace.  And that’s not the wackiest  thing I see other drivers do that make me do a  double take, switch lanes and remain dumbfounded at the distracted driving conundrum we happen to be cruising in everyday.

Driving and Eating

Have you ever seen the people chowing down on breakfast, lunch or dinner? I’m not talking about a granola bar or a banana. I’m talking about giant fast food burgers, sandwiches and tacos. I’m talking about people eating a 3-course meal with a fork and knife. Seriously how enjoyable can that meal be? Isn’t it just stressful? Because inevitably they drop something on their shirt or lap and are frantically reaching for a napkin while trying to keep an eye on the road. Or they go for the driving with a knee move that’s become all too routine. Especially for other bad habits.

Driving While Reading The Newspaper

Yup I’ve seen it. And once again I’m in shock and awe. First of all newspapers should be grateful because it’s a sign that people still read them in print. That being said I find it hard to believe you can concentrate on driving and reading at the same time. How do you get into an article? Don’t you lose your place and have to start over all the time? It can’t be easy to turn the page of a paper bigger than your steering wheel. I guess it’s easier when you’re once again, driving with your knee!  And when you get to the police reports filled with traffic violations and accidents reported, don’t you put two and two together?

Driving While Putting Make Up On

And how the hell do you handle mascara and eye shadow around your eyes when you’re batting them back and forth between the mirror and the road? Sure I get it. You’re running late for work. You’re just going to be sitting there driving anyway and you’re a great multitasker. Why not kill two birds with one stone?

Because on one hand we’re talking about saving time and in a worse case scenario the stone is the car and birds will be flying over two dead carcasses in the road. And you’re definitely going to be late for work. And while I don’t like to be overly morbid after I amuse you here’s the hard facts….

Early estimates are that over 38,000 people were killed and 4.4 million people were injured on the road in 2015.  That’s a big spike from previous years where automotive fatalities were trending down. Perhaps it’s time to put away the extra stuff and keep at least one hand on the wheel. Because you never know when you’ll run into somebody minding their business on a beautiful afternoon with the sun piercing through white fluffy clouds in a bright blue sky.

2 thoughts on “Distracted Driving Is a Shock and Awe Campaign

  1. Good post. Yes, I’ve seen it all too, and must admit I will put on lipstick at a stop light. But once I actually saw someone brush their teeth. I guess this really means that we need to slow our lives down, and get off the fast track.
    I enjoyed.


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