In my home state, it’s against the law to text and drive. If you can steer a vehicle while tapping your phone, you have an excellent chance of destroying a car or pedestrian. People have died from such technical tragedy!
We can spot texting behavior from the vehicle in front of us:
- The driver’s head dips up and down like an oil derrick.
- Half a football field stands between the car and the vehicle ahead.
- The car seems to hover on the dashed line as it changes lanes.
- The driver fails to move at a green light after five Mississippi’s.
- Velocity comes down to a lazy roll reserved for tortoises.
Am I a vehicular safety expert? Nope. I’m a regular commuter who’s afraid for my life. Let’s face it, the six words you need to type into your Blackberry aren’t worth the grief of a fender-bender or major collision. On the road, the Wife hands me her iPhone so I can send a message to one of her friends. I like to use Siri on my own phone to send texts by voice. Siri can even read back my newest messages. (The AI darling isn’t perfect, of course. Sometimes she argues with me, but I’m content to use the old thumbs when I get to the gas station.)
Safety isn’t just about the development of a smarter car or a road-wise phone: it’s about the common sense needed to drive a car. Given time and respect, we’ll all learn to get it right.