My pulse is racing again as I write this post and re-live what happened to me a few weeks ago.
We all should know by now that distracted driving is a no-no. If you are driving and get distracted and have an accident, it is not an “oopsy daisy” – it is an entirely preventable mess that you got yourself (and probably someone else) into.
I recently was walking and came up to an intersection. I waited until the walk sign flashed, then looked both ways and started to cross. To my left I heard some tires chirping, and here came this asshole turning left and coming right at me. I was about a third of the way across the crosswalk, and I stopped dead in my tracks and looked right at the driver. He did not make eye contact with me as he hurtled by me, so I did the very foolish thing and kicked his car in the back panel as hard as I could. I think I got his attention, because he braked and then made an immediate left into a parking lot, and he and his friend came to pay me a little visit. I stood waiting for him on the other side of the crosswalk. He was obviously livid; I could tell he was looking for a confrontation. However when he got up to me he was a good deal shorter and skinnier than I, so he thought better of a physical confrontation. Very impolite words were exchanged between the two of us, and in the end I turned and walked away.
Not my proudest moment of course, but I wondered what I would have happened to me if he had hit me with his car. he probably would have felt pretty bad about running the red light and hitting a pedo, and he probably would have been charged. But who would have had the shittier end of the stick? I enjoy eating turkey dinner as much as the next person, but I sure as hell don’t want to be eating stuffing and gravy through an IV.
My point is simply about how blasé we are in Western society about distracted driving (and using phones when driving in particular).
If you like research, below is an excellent pub put out by the National Safety Council. It’s a bit dated (2010), but the research is solid, and speaks specifically not just to cell phone use, but also why hands-free is no better.
As the National Safety Council states on their site, an estimated 1 in 4 car crashes involves cell phone use. What an abhorrent waste for something that is so easily avoided. Calls kill.
Below is the NSC research paper on the perils of hands-free driving. Even if you only read the first summary page in the document below, you will be enlightened. Please wake up and smell the coffee.
National Safety Council on distracted driving.