Wednesday, November 9, 2011

What Happened When the Driver Was Talking on a Cell Phone

The SUV ahead slowly drifted right towards the white line. It crossed over for a few seconds and then veered back into the lane. Then it slowly drifted to the left towards the double yellow center-line. It briefly rode the reflectors then veered back into the lane. This erratic driving pattern continued. Driver nodding off? Driver intoxicated? It was only one o'clock in the afternoon.

At the next intersection, my wife pulled up next to the vehicle. The answer was obvious. The driver had a cell phone to her ear. Apparently wheel noise from driving on the shoulder and from driving on the center reflectors alerted the driver to pay attention again. But it wasn't enough to stop her from continuing to talk on the cell phone.

She was one of "the crazies" I sometimes warn people to look out for. Not that we are perfect drivers ourselves. My bad driving habit is that I sometimes approach a stop too quickly; I begin braking late, scaring the hell out of my wife. Her bad driving habit is that she sometimes shifts her attention from the road to the sky when an interesting bird flies into her field of vision, scaring the hell out of me. We're both aware of these tendencies, and we're working on them.

But using a cell phone, whether talking or texting, is deadly. This isn't you is it? You don't do this, do you? I hope not. I once knew a guy who died with his wife when a car veered into their lane at the crest of a hill and hit them head on. Make your calls before or after driving. If you need to make a call en route, pull over.

Learn the real, scientific reason for doing this in this story about "the crazies"...

Post by Dennis E. Coates, Ph.D., Copyright 2011. Building Personal Strength .

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