Thursday, November 22, 2007


Yesterday I saw another article about texting while driving. That one solicited feedback and for the most part the feedback was either: "People who text while driving are STUPID" (the correct answer) or "I am not STUPID I am some kind of super human who can do both and don't you be telling me I can't " (the wrong answer). One "stuper-man" said all it took was "distributed attention". That is as i understand it the ability to split your attention between two activities. Nice to know there is a term for driving with half a brain.

Driving especially in a major urban center in winter in Canada is a full time job. It takes all your attention because the knuckle head in the other car might very well be texting, reloading his iPod, having breakfast, surfing the net, or reading the paper behind the wheel. "Distributing" their attention. Sorry but doing anything else while navigating traffic is STUPID. But if you are 25 and immortal you can do it. Guess again. If you are not paying attention to your driving you will be paying your insurance man. Sooner or later those habits will catch up with you.

We have all seen the doofus with the cell phone and the coffee careening down the road in and out of lanes expecting everyone to watch out for them. I say hit 'em. Hit 'em hard enough to jam that cell phone in their ear and dump that double double all over their designer suit and all over the leather interior of that leased gas guzzler with all the toys and whistles. I heard of a bumper sticker once that read "Maybe you would drive better if I crammed that cell phone up your ass!" I agree with the sentiment (and want one for my car).

It should be a law that if the police see you texting, chatting on the cell, reading a book, bobbing up and down tweaking the stereo, or any one of a hundred stupid things while driving, they should be able to stop you and take you off the road right then and there. Being stupid is not criminal. Getting behind the wheel and being stupid is. What did you do before text messaging and cell phones. People survived being out of touch for more than 10 minutes. The world will not end if someone cannot get you while you are in traffic. We did without that for years and some of us still do. They don't call them "crack berries" for nothing. You are addicted if you can't go for the duration of you commute with out your wireless device. And feeding your habit putting everyone else at risk is STUPID.

One last point, the car makers are enablers for these junkies too. They are installing technology in the vehicles that facilitate people being STUPID. GM is prviding an option to allow you to download music to your iPod while driving. And an option on my van (that I don't have, want or need) is a hands free phone that you can plug your cell into. It will turn your cell into a hands free phone with, (get this) call waiting! There is about 30 pages on how to use that phone in the user manual and only 3 pages on how to use the transmission. Think they might have their priorities all screwed up? Me too.

Sitting here watching the world go to hell in a hand basket...


1 comment:

The Phantom Hack said...

I still use transit to commute to work. More than once I have looked out the window and seen the vehicle next to the bus being knee-driven while the operator is texting away.
Distributed attention is rubbish, there is no such thing. Our privative monkey brains were never designed for that kind of operation, and don't actually do it very well.
Besides, it's nearly 2008, shouldn't we have flying cars and 10 hours workweeks by now? Seriously, the Jetson's lied to us all, and I'm right cranky about that. No flying car. No robot maid. No 10 hour work week. Mostly, though, I'm really upset about not being able to buy those futuristic clothes with the rings around the ankles and wrists. Damn lack of ankle rings....