ITS A CAR, NOT A PHONEBOOTH!

Cell phones have ruined it for all of us! Oh wait, maybe its idiots driving while texting and talking on cell phones that have ruined it for all of us. Either way, say goodbye to multitasking in your car.

So long to eating a dripping fast food burger while steering with one knee on our way to pick up the kids; or putting on our makeup as we glance back and forth from the road ahead to the mirror on the visor as we speed along to get to a meeting we are late for, or even reading the newspaper, turning the channel on the radio or screaming at the kids in the back seat.

And before cell phones, if we did have an accident, it was just that, an accident! But not anymore, cell phones and texting have changed the game. I could blame it on the teenagers, but really it’s all ages that are to blame for this one. Teenagers are just more dangerous at it because their skills aren’t honed enough to drive with one hand while balancing breakfast in their lap.

I see just as many adults with eyes affixed to their smart phone screens, and one day while following an old lady down a 65 mile an hour interstate she stopped her vehicle in the fast lane until she was finished typing her text message. Well, I guess she was trying to be cautious, but really. So, now they have officially labeled what we are doing: Distracted Driving. And they will issue a big, fat ticket if they see you even glance at that phone while your car is in drive!

I have to say, it’s not really a bad thing. Texting, dialing, looking at Facebook is really dangerous, and putting us all at risk. We all pay taxes to the build and maintain the roads. So when I’m on them, I have to share them with the thousands of others who are also on them at any given time; that means I am responsible for your safety as well as mine, and visa versa.

So, if you want to go text and drive in some cornfield or off a cliff somewhere, so be it. But when you do so on the roads you are putting us all in jeopardy. It’s a choice, not an accident. So, cut it out! The fact is that our cars are 4,000-pound lethal weapons; and our eyes belong straight ahead with our minds on the task at hand. Our vehicles are not phone booths, they are not an office, they are not our makeup mirrors, and they are not a restaurant.

So drivers would do well to pay attention to their own ability to multitask while in their cars. If they find their attention wandering, whether from a Bluetooth-enabled call, a rambunctious dog, eating a juicy Big Mac, an in-car conversation or their dictation of an update to their Facebook page, it might be time to follow the bumper sticker advice from the early days of cell phones in cars: Hang up and drive.

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