Rule number 2 — Stop playing with your gadgets in the car.
April 3, 2009 § 2 Comments
This week’s rule to live by comes courtesy of my being an idiot and hitting a car this week in stand-still traffic: Put down the gadgets, and focus on the road.
Wednesday morning, traffic on the freeway was significantly heavier than ususal, and was even backed up to the onramp. I eased on the brakes, and prepared to sit. As I was fumbling around, trying to fish out my Blackberry to read whatever email or text message that just came in, I heard the somewhat terrifying sound of metal scraping against metal. As I looked up, my heart sank as I realized that my foot had not been fully on the brake and I had drifted ahead, pinning my driver’s side front bumper against the passenger side rear bumper of the car in front of me. Saying a few choice words, I peeled my car to the right (further scraping and ruining more paint), and pulled to the side of the road, just behind the lady I hit (who had already pulled over to the shoulder.)
Luckily, I got the worst of the damage, with a dent on my wheelwell and the ladies silver paint all over my car. She had some missing paint, but nothing that shouldn’t be able to be buffed out.
The moral of the story is, I don’t pay attention when I drive. Between text-driving, switching songs on the iPod, changing the temperature in the car, answering calls… I’m borderline dangerous on the road. And I know I’m not the only one, because other idiots like me swerve in and out of my lane, or almost hit me from behind. I know the signs, because I am a sufferer.
When I was in South Africa, I found out that it is illegal to talk on a cell phone, and the penalty is a HEFTY fine (couple hundred bucks.) People there have devices that run the phone through the car stero. I think this is a wonderful idea, and would totally support a move in this direction. I’m also on board with California’s ban on talking while driving.
So, my focus for the week is to leave the phone in my pocket at all times, and be satisfied with the assortment of tunes that the iPod gives me when set on shuffle.