Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Toss the Telephone/Texting/Tasking Tendency Tuesday

Blah... blah... blah.... BOOM!!!!!
It’s fairly simple, and the bumper sticker I saw says it all:  STOP TALKING AND DRIVE!

Look, I’m as guilty as the next wild woman of multi-tasking while driving.  I admit that I have done the rushed morning commute while putting on make-up, talking on the speaker phone and drinking my tea, almost simultaneous, if truth be told.  And yes, I do say that with some pride, but let’s remember that pride goeth before a fall (or an accident).  It is stupid, and I am in recovery.  Hello, I’m Linda, and I’m a commuting eating-drinking-phoning-audiobook-reading multi-tasking fool.

While I like to think that I can do a gabillion things at once, all with magnificent dexterity and perfection, mind you... sigh... I can’t.  But I’m learning how not to hang my head in shame when I say that, as I realize that focusing on one thing whenever possible is always optimal to accomplishing that task.  Think about it.  Don’t you hate it when you’re trying to talk to someone and they’re looking around, texting or answering a cell phone, performing another task, watching TV, etc.?  It’s the society we are becoming – and it’s not good.  I’ve written before that giving someone your FULL ATTENTION when speaking with them is a gift, a very valuable gift that tells them they are special and you are completely interested in what they have to say to you right now, at that moment in time. 

Translate that into your everyday driving experience.  Do you have a passenger in the car?  Don’t you want to give them the gift of safety by focusing on the road?  Obviously I’m not saying you don’t speak with them, or turn and give them your full attention then and there, but you know what I’m saying here.  Don’t jeopardize your safety, their safety and the safety of the person you won’t clobber head on!  Seriously, ladies, is that phone call truly necessary?  Can it wait 10 minutes?  If not, pull your busy booty off the road and talk then.  This phenomenon of the compulsive obsession with car phones is only a few decades old at best.  There are actually those of us who remember when a phone in the car wasn’t even an option!  (Yup, I’m THAT old.)  Every wild woman should have a mandatory cell phone (and Triple AAA) for her travels.  But use it for emergencies only (just like Triple AAA), not for the random call about your day, your investments, dinner that night, plans for the weekend, how the boyfriend or hubs and/or kids are working your last nerve, etc.  Tell your family/friends that you won’t be picking up the phone while driving, but will get back to them as soon as you pull into wherever it is you’re going. Don’t talk, don’t text, just drive.  You can ALWAYS pull over and talk. 

I want you to check out this article – the stats are a real eye-opener for those of us who are addicted to multi-tasking in the car.  It’s called “Distracted Driving… Why the Devices That Are Supposed to Make Us Safer Do Just the Opposite” by David Ropeik on the www.bigthink.com website.  Look at this table to see how distracted driving hampers your safety! Here is the link:

I just love his astute pickup that Jim Morrison sang about safe driving:  “Keep your eyes on the road, your hands upon the wheel.”  Could NOT resist taking that line!  Too funny!  I know, it will be an ear worm all day and you know you’re gonna be singing it at some point today when you get behind the wheel!

Seriously, though, as part of your physical fitness routine, please consider eliminating cell phone usage while you’re spinning your wheels… at least your auto wheels.  Exercise restraint while you focus on safe driving.  It could save your life, and the lives of others.


1 comment:

  1. I learned and lived all this and more when I worked for Highway Traffic Safety. If the public could see some of the photos and videos we were privy to, regarding the consequences/results of choosing to talk/text/eat/read newspapers/apply makeup, etc., they would be horrified and no doubt, more than happy to JUST DRIVE.

    There are some free phone apps out there that you can download that will, when you set them up, send an outgoing message to someone texting you while you're driving, saying you are driving and will get back to them later. However, some don't always work with certain phones. It's kind of hit and miss. But worth checking into.

    Some great reminders/warnings here!