Sunday, January 31, 2010

Deadly Distractions

I throw my backpack into the backseat, announce to FD:
I'm doing something radical. I'm just leaving my phone in the backseat of the car.
He goes into a rant:
You, on a bad day, checking email while driving, texting, answering calls, making calls, talking on the phone. . . you're still a better driver than most people.

I think it's about skill, attention, coordination, . . .
blah, blah, blah.
And that is so about denial, I tell him.

It is radical, and delicious, I learn, driving without the extra stress, without having to attend to one more thing, the phone. Throwing off the yoke of the volunteered slavery, I find myself changing channels on the radio, figuring out how to do this without ever taking my eyes off the road.

And would you believe? As I'm thinking about this, about how scary it is, knowing that the guy in the car behind me, the woman in the car in front, is tempted to distract, that song comes on, Your Song. Rod Stewart is singing it, not Elton John, and Rod sings it even better, something else FD would disagree with me about.

How wonderful life is, while you're in the world.

They all have people, probably, most of them, that they value, that they don't want to lose, who don't want to lose them, not for the sake of a lousy text.

Makes you kind of wonder, doesn't it, what we're doing?

therapydoc

27 comments:

Ella said...

I am so subversive that I may even drive some place IN SILENCE just pondering great thoughts in my head.

therapydoc said...

Crazy.

Wonderingsoul said...

Um...
I have GUILTY written all over my face right now.
You're so right, of course.
Thanks for the reminder.

Gila said...

Last week, Oprah started a campaign for just this - stopping the texting and phone usage entirely because it is causing too many accidents and pple think they can multi-tesk when they really can't.

I've also put the phone in the back seat !

Lily said...

The only time my phone is EVER in my hand while I'm in the car is when I'm stopped at a red light. I agree, the response to a text is not worth the car being wrapped around a tree or the pedestrian you just did not see. I keep my phone on silent almost all the time, that way unless I take it out for a reason while at a light, I won't ever know I'm missing anything ;)

TechnoBabe said...

I don't understand the pressure some people feel or the pull or what it is that they have to be in contact with someone almost anyone all the time.

Patty said...

Great reminder. I have satellite radio and it is usually cranked, so I rarely hear the phone anyway. LOL.

Dreaming again said...

I don't own a cell phone.
I don't own a lap top.
We have one computer in the house
(5 people live here, all 18 and over ...3 of them 18 to 20) and it's in the kitchen.

I don't even own an answering machine.
(I do have caller ID so if I know someone is trying to reach me, I can tell they've called ... well, that and screening calls)

I check my email when I check my email.

It's amazing when you tell people that you're living life like this, how accomodating they can be.

In the 2 years that I've been without a cell phone, nothing has happened that we've needed one.

It's amazing that we can live so technologically handicapped ..and yet ...we have a FULL life ... hmmmm

Jack said...

I think that my biggest mistake is using the Cuisinart while I drive. It once popped open and splattered me and the car with all sorts of stuff.

I always worry about the other drivers. I am usually conscious of my actions and how they may impact others.

But I won't say that I am perfect because that would be a guaranteed jinx.

Zan said...

It's illegal here in Ireland to use your phone while driving, it caused too many accidents. If the cops see you, you get a nice big fine.
And apparently it's illegal to even eat in the car while driving in the UK! You've got to have both hands on the wheel!

shaya g said...

why is driving with children or really anyone in the car not a distraction as well? If I start a phone call - hands-free, before i start driving, then drive while talking, how is that worse than arguing with FD while driving? just b/c the other person is next to you doesn't make it less distracting! In fact, we have a tendency to look at people when we talk, so at least on the phone we are not constantly turning our head off the road! Let's just make driving a solo act, with no radio, gps, eating, or any possible distractions. No kids, friends, carpools, etc...

I personally find this whole distraction issue overkill and knee-jerk like everything wlse we attempt initially.

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Anonymous said...

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Isle Dance said...

Well said.

My problem: I'd get all panicky that if my sweetie felt so differently on this issue that it would mean he wasn't concerned about safety and therefore what could I and could I not trust?

(Seeing how you handle this helps me realize what I might need to work on. :o)

Sandy at God Speaks Today said...

One of the best weeks of my life was the time we had a city-wide power outage following a terrible and unexpected windstorm. No phone. No computer. No television.

The second best week was the other time we had a city-wide power outage following an ice storm. No phone. No computer. No television.

Oh, and I got to eat out every night because we had no stove. No refrigerator. No microwave. That always helps.

Blessings,
Sandy

blognut said...

All right, all right! I heard you.

I am horrible about this multi-tasking behind the wheel thing. And I have a 15 accident driving record to prove it.

It's not just the phone, but the phone is a very big part of it. I need to hire a driver, I think. Meanwhile, I'll put the phone out of reach and try not to have an accident trying to reach for it anyway. :)

therapydoc said...

Thanks, nut especially

Shaya, seriously, I get it, but I think that reaching back to seat belt the kid while you're moving is a little over the top.

Syd said...

My car answers the phone for me. That is a big bonus to me.

Shattered said...

Oh... my favorite thing to do is drive in silence.




While reading emails.... ;)

kirsten said...

Read one of the articles about someone who has killed another person while texting, and what it's like to live with that, and how the dead person's family feels, and that can sober you up real good even if you don't live in a state where it's illegal.

http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/technology/series/driven_to_distraction/index.html?scp=2&sq=driving%20cell%20phone&st=cse#

Linda Freedman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
therapydoc said...

The Times article should be required reading at driving schools.

Anonymous said...

My friend and I were recently talking about technology, and how integrated it has become to our daily lives. Reading this post makes me think back to that debate we had, and just how inseparable from electronics we have all become.


I don't mean this in a bad way, of course! Societal concerns aside... I just hope that as technology further innovates, the possibility of transferring our brains onto a digital medium becomes a true reality. It's one of the things I really wish I could see in my lifetime.


(Posted on Nintendo DS running [url=http://quizilla.teennick.com/stories/16129580/does-the-r4-or-r4i-work-with-the-new-ds]R4[/url] DS SKu2)

Anonymous said...
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GG said...

I've been hearing so much about how people who drive and talk on cell phones and/or text are equivalent to people who drive while drunk that I began to realize my acceptance of calls where people are driving while talking is equivalent to enabling. I quit driving while phoning almost a year ago, now I'm asking people who call while driving to call later, when they're not driving....

Anonymous said...
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Kellen said...

Bravo! Once less menace to society, lol. If only everyone understood this. I totally agree with the poster who likened texting/chatting and driving with drunk driving.