Some new laws go into effect this summer. One of the most overdue is the texting-while-driving law that reads: “Don’t text while driving.”
No one really needs to text while driving, though there are plenty of reasons why people text. After all, most texts start out “OMG!”
Truly, though, we are not meant to divert so much attention away from our driving skills since said driving skills are not too impressive to start with. We suck at common-sense driving so how could texting be anything but bad? As much as we try, we don’t multitask so well.
I’m the worst. Successful multitasking for me is being able to occasionally go number one in the shower. (Don’t act like you’ve never done that, then thought to yourself: “Wow, I just saved up to 25 seconds of my life!”)
As public information officer for Sandy Springs police, I regularly send press releases on breaking news. Some are short, others are not. But I don’t always have time to return to the office so I send them out on the Blackberry.
When the PIO sends a press release, the various media outlets’ assignment desks will often get it online or put it on TV in a short time. I tried sending one while driving but it didn’t work out. Making things worse, I’m farsighted. What I thought I was texting and what they got were to different things. Several media online news sources later reported: “Two men were arrested this afternoon ubah they were found to have petowah and zitbard camous flamasee, according to Lt. Rose.”
We don’t even need to be talking on the phone, much less texting when driving. You might remember how I commented on how horribly bad we are at four-way stops? Add the phone and you wonder how we made it this far up the food chain.
We’re hardly setting a good example for young drivers
In the evenings, millions of Americans leave the office, walk to the car and, before they can leave the parking lot, the cell phone is up to the ear and the brain is NOT focused on the left turn in rush-hour traffic that’s coming up.
Kids obsess in texting critical information like bad fashion and who broke up with whom. To their credit, they just don’t have the life experience to say, “Maybe this isn’t a good idea.” We aren’t exactly setting a good example for them.
We spend so much time in the car that it easily becomes boring. Drive-time radio generally sucks, CD’s and iPods get old after a while. And sooner or later you get tired of playing the same drum solo on the steering wheel. So why not communicate with the world via the Internet, like on Facebook — or check out breaking news about the 10-car pileup blamed on a texting driver — while you’re driving?
I’m lucky. On long drives I take along the radar gun and occasionally pop it up over the dash, squeeze off a nice round of radar and watch all the radar-detector people freak out. (Okay, not really — well, not lately.)
I can also entertain myself by listening to the police radio, but drive-time PD radio gets old, too: “Accident on 285. Accident on 400. Residual backup accident on 285 caused by multiple radar detectors activating.” Same old stuff.
It’s funny how we don’t really relate to something until it happens to us. Wrecks, crime, irritable bowel syndrome and adjusted tax assessments are just some examples of how things don’t matter too much to us until it’s our turn.
Put those phones down, folks, and get back to old-fashioned, in-car entertainment like talking to yourself or belting out the lead to “Bohemian Rhapsody” or just going total retro and picking your nose. (Yep, those windows aren’t that tinted, for your information.)
Remember, we weren’t made to drive, talk and text at the same time. Leave the multitasking in the shower!
- John Watson writes about Popular Eats for the AJC Dining Team. He also publishes his own blog, Live To Feast.