Since there seems to be support groups for every conceivable thing under the sun, there may as well be one for distracted drivers.
I’ll convene a meeting now.
Hi everyone, welcome to the DDSG – Distracted Drivers Support Group where we can help each other work through our specific distraction. Who wants to go first?
“Um, hi, my name is Mary and, like, um, I don’t see why people are all here, if all we do is an occasional text.”
Hmmm, somehow I think it goes beyond that.
“No way, dude, do you think us texters are getting a bad rap?”
Good question Mary. But guys who text while driving down the Kennedy stand out like a sore thumb – they slow down, speed up, switch lanes.
“Excuse me, my name is Darrell and I don’t text. I spend a lot of time adjusting my iPod that’s hooked into to my car radio. I mean, like, it’s so cool to have a remote that I can use while I drive.”
So how do you know what song or album you are playing?
“Easy, man, I just look at the screen.”
While you’re driving?
“Pardon me, my name is Garfield Heathcliff IV and my car has all of the latest electronics, including interior monitors that I can look at the check my car’s performance.”
While you’re driving?
“Oh, but of course.”
OK, we’re off to a great start, let’s call it a night and meet next week.
“Cool, I’ll enter it in my calendar in the car. Oh, by the way, can I have the address again so I can enter it in my GPS?”
So while lawmakers want to clamp down on texting-while-driving, something which make sense, they need to not only clamp down on all forms of distractions that impede safe driving, they need to look at the automotive industry and the accessory market. Some items are just as, if not more than distracting than texting.
For example, many car radios now have the capability to print out information from radio stations – I’m not talking the station name or song title – but – and this is my classic example – traffic reports.
Right. You can read the traffic report while you’re driving. Which means instead of watching the road for a traffic jam, you’re looking at where the traffic jam will be.
Texting while driving is definitely a problem. But marketing more distractions is just as big of a potential hazard.