- Published on Wednesday, 13 November 2013 16:26
- Written by Super User
By Katie Altobellis
I digress this week in keeping with my usual themes but I witnessed something on Saturday and it prompted me to write this. It never ceases to amaze me how people cannot refrain from using their cell phones no matter where they are. People use phones in the grocery line, car, gym… no matter where… the phone’s glued to their ear.
I was driving Saturday and I noticed a man riding beside me. He sped ahead, winding in and out of traffic, changing lanes as often as he could. At some point, he ended up beside me again and I noticed he was texting. We rode side by side for a couple of miles and I swear to you his eyes never left the phone in his hand. I thought, How talented are you? You have one eye (maybe) on the road, the other is on your phone and your thumb is moving 50 miles an hour. Inexplicably, I dreamed about this incident last night and I could not get it off my mind. Of course, someone who is reading this might very well be thinking, Why weren’t your eyes where they should be? Okay— I hear you!
Though 46 states have a ban on texting and driving, the DOT estimates that approximately 660,000 people are using a cell phone or electronic device during daylight hours. Researchers in Wisconsin have coined a phrase—the “announcement effect.” That means while some drivers perceive a law enforcement threat at first, they will eventually return to their old behavior after they determine the threat to be ineffectual. (By the way, the leading cause for teen drivers’ deaths is no longer alcohol…it is texting and talking on the phone.)
We have all fallen prey to “distracting driving.” Who has not used a phone, groomed themselves or read a map while driving?
Remember the next time you are driving and you decide you just have to use that phone—it requires your visual, manual and cognitive attention and your eyes will be diverted from the road for an average of 5 seconds. 5 seconds is enough time to endanger many, many lives. So let’s all keep our eyes on the road!