Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Then Take the McNuggets, the Electric Razors and the Mascara

And the children.

According to the article, "Hands Free Phones are Lifesavers"

Jed Kolko, a fellow at the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of
California, estimated that 300 fewer people will die each year in traffic
accidents as a result of a pending hand-held cell-phone ban for California

This happens to be a pet peeve of mine. Everyone is so concerned about how cell phones affect the ability to drive that they are going to force people to spend money so that they can talk without using their hands. This is going to make the highways safer for humanity, right? Fine, but if I have to give up my cell phone while driving,* then I want every other possible distraction removed also.

First thing to go? Drive-thru windows at fast food places. There is no way that you can eat a burger and fries without it distracting you from your driving. And chicken? With the dipping sauce? Can you imagine how long it takes for a person to look AWAY from the road while trying to find the dipping sauce? No more eating in the car!

Second? Kids. All kids. Infants, toddlers, pre-schoolers. Kids are the MOST distracting thing ever in a moving vehicle. Ok, I will give you that some little ones ONLY sleep in the car, but what about all that yelling before they go to sleep? How distracting is that?

My son was a nightmare in the car. Even after he started actually sleeping at home, he would yell like he was being beaten in the car. I drove from NW Florida to Homestead, FL when that child was 13 months old. It was probably a 9-10 hour drive. It took us 13 hours. At the end of the trip (of which he slept for approximately 30 minutes), I had had to dig in the trash for my car keys and wallet, I had an enormous bruise on my lower jaw and he had a black eye (no, I didn't give it to him!). We were in too many close calls to count when I was trying to find something, anything to make him stop yelling. Get the kids out of the car!

I am really not even going to address those who get dressed, shave, do their hair or put on makeup in the car. It is embarrassing to me when the culprits are women and it is annoying when they are men. No one should be doing any of these things and driving. Period.

The funny part of the article to me is when Kolko stated:

“They (the laws) don’t seem to have an effect on fatalities in good driving

WHAT? How is that the fault of the cell phone user? Maybe it is the fault of the poor driving conditions. Maybe we should just outlaw driving in rain, snow, sleet, hail, wind and certain times of the day when the sun may be in your eyes.

At least it would cut down on the country's oil dependency.

*I bought a new car last October and a new cell phone last month. Both are BlueTooth enabled. I drive 98% hands free. But I never had a wreck when I was talking, driving, shifting, smoking and sipping soda, now did I?


Uncommon Hussein Sense said...

I love my hands-free Bluetooth integration. I would never drive a car without it.

And, boy, can I ever relate to your adventures with a screaming child in a car. When my six-year-old was a baby, he was usually okay in the car... as long as it was moving. Anytime it stopped, he would scream like he was on fire. I never thought green lights would ever mean that much to me.

My three-month-old is much better. He falls asleep almost the second you put him in the car seat, and usually doesn't wake up until you get him out of the vehicle.

fallenmonk said...

I'm a big fan of bluetooth as well. I use mine through the GPS and I for one agree that talking on the phone is distracting while driving. That is especially true of trying to look up a number and if you need reading glasses like me you have to take off your glassed to read the numbers on the phone. I agree that hands free should be required.

Shel said...

Hilarious. My favorite one I saw was a woman putting on mascara during rush hour. I figure if you're that dumb, you deserve to get your eye poked out by the mascara wand.

BadTux said...

Well, here's my take on it. I ride a motorcycle. Every day someone tries to kill me by diving across multiple lanes to hit an exit, swerving over into my lane, or otherwise driving in an unsafe manner. Every time this happens, I look at the driver and they have a cell phone stuck to their ear. *EVERY SINGLE TIME!!!!*. I've *NOT* had people with screaming babies try to kill me. I've *NOT* had people eating in their cars try to kill me. It's *ALWAYS* the self-important legends in their own mind who must, MUST I say, hold conversations while driving or else OMG they might have to wait until they're home or at the office to return their calls OMG that'd be the end of the world, right?

I don't see that the hands-free law is going to help too much. These legends in their own mind are still going to be veering all over the g**d**** freeway waving their hands in the air at an invisible other party while gibbering excitedly to whoever is on the other end who, like, has the Bestest Bizness Deal Ever that has to, HAS to, I say, be discussed while veering all over the g**d*** freeway like some berzerk loon.

Oh, usually these folks are driving expensive European cars, but hey, I don't want to stereotype Beemer drivers. I'm sure they're not *ALL* legends in their own mind who think that because they can afford a $50K car, they don't have to obey the laws of physics...

-- Badtux the Targeted Penguin

Pete Bogs said...

did you see this idiot who wouldn't stop using his cell phone on a Southwest flight? lol

BlueTooth is good for driving... just don't wear it all over the place or you'll look pretensious...

LeftLeaningLady said...

You guys are funny.

UCS: I am glad that the youngest sleeps better. I only had the one and he didn't sleep at all for months. He has been making up for it for the last 16 years.

FM: I love my bluetooth, but I have never found it necessary to drive hands free. Maybe I am more coordinated than most. Maybe I pay better attention. Maybe I am just lucky.

Shel: My concern is with the people who put on mascara and who else is going to be harmed because of it.

Badtux: I have seen plenty of people driving in a reckless manner who didn't have cell phones stuck to their ears. Even as a car driver, nothing makes me more angry than some idiot swerving across 3 lanes of traffic to make a turn. We have a lot of places that go from 3 lanes down to 2 and some people will swerve from the far left to the far right to zoom ahead in the merging lane.

Of course, motorcycles who ignore the rules and swerve in and out of traffic piss me off also!

Pete: My CAR is Bluetooth, it is an awesome system where I talk through the microphone in the car and hear through the radio speakers. I don't have an ear piece. When I get out of the car, I have a phone in my hand. :-)

Pete Bogs said...

LLL - Italian-Americans couldn't talk without using your hands if you paid them! LOL

PS: come check out my new "camera test" on my blog...