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             21 July, 2019
 

    
Category:  Articles » Computers » Mobile Computing

 

Text Messaging - Worse Than Drunk Driving?

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2007-09-16 10:44:26     
Article by Aidan Maconachy

Would you rather ride in a vehicle driven by someone who has downed 6 beers and 3 scotches, or someone who is a compulsive text messaging addict? I think I would prefer to take my chances with the bar fly, at least you know that he will keep his eyes on the road - more or less.

Recently I watched a guy driving at high speed along an Ontario highway who appeared to be dead. His head was slumped off to one side and his eyes looked to be trained on the floor of the car. However despite some minor weaving, his vehicle managed to stay on a more or less straight trajectory which implied that he was alive and navigating, presumably by squinting off to one side as he busily text messaged the boss or possibly a prospective date.

A lot of American and Canadian drivers engage in this risky behavior. According to a poll on the topic 91% of Americans believe text messaging while driving is as dangerous as driving after a few drinks. However 57% confess that they do it on a regular basis.

It's bad enough to frenetically tap out messages with your thumb while trying to navigate your way through rush hour traffic, but people also routinely read emails and even surf porn while behind the wheel. I wouldn't want to be the back seat passenger in a vehicle when the driver spots a hot Jenna Jameson pic and becomes momentarily fixated as a careening tractor trailer is coming around the bend.

Gadgets of any sort that divide the attention are not a good idea while driving. Male drivers who shave behind the wheel while using the rear-view mirror as a visual aid are also a hazard. Worse perhaps than the shaving and messaging types, are those female drivers who apply make-up behind the wheel.

I watched a woman in Toronto tucking into a burger while applying mascara. She had take-out burger and fries sitting on the dash, and between bites of cheese burger she would lean close to the vanity mirror and squint as she applied mascara. At one point she managed to steer with an elbow while performing some complicated food and make-up bag switch around. When her vehicle cut too close to mine as we were approaching the Gardner Expressway, I leaned hard on the horn. Rather than acknowledge that she was in danger of losing control of her vehicle while operating her boudoir-on-wheels, she gave me the finger.

Text messaging while driving is most popular with a younger demographic. Roughly 65% of those who admitted sending messages were aged 18 to 34, while only 6% were 55 or older.

No matter how old or young - how hungry, horny or cosmetically challenged - don't do it. Follow the advice in Seven Little Girls, a one-time hit by Paul Evans and the Curls ...

Keep your mind on your driving
Keep your hands on the wheel
Keep your snoopy eyes on the road ahead

Aidan Maconachy resides in Ontario, Canada. He has a BA Hons and a BEd. He taught in the UK and Canada, and has been a contributor to a variety of magazines and newspapers over the years. You can visit his blog at http://aidanmaconachyblog.blogspot.com/

Specialized in: Text Messaging
URL: http://aidanmaconachyblog.blogspot.com
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