driving / humor / hypermiler / Life / random / road rage / road trip

Hang Up and Drive!

ImageChef.com - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more I have a lot to say about driving and talking on the cell phone at the same time.  First off, I think that anyone that does so should be arrested and thrown in jail for the rest of their life with only bread and water rations.

Ok.  Maybe that’s a tiny bit harsh, but I’m serious here folks.  I drive 50 miles round-trip for work every day on one of the most awful Interstates in the U.S. in one of the top worst cities in the U.S. for traffic.  It is a scourge on our society and it needs to stop!

What’s that, you say? You just have to make an appointment with your hairdresser while weaving in and out of traffic at 70 mph?  You must yell at your kid to do his/her homework while ignoring new traffic patterns because of construction?  I mean, seriously, what the hell did you do before the cell phone.  Oh, wait I know, you paid attention to traffic, drove more carefully, and waited until you got home so you could scream at your kid.

There is an intersection that I stop at every day before getting on the Interstate.  About a year ago, I started keeping track of cell phone drivers as they pass through the light past me.  The light lasts about 3 minutes, and on average 25 cars pass through the intersection on the green light.  Out of those 25 cars, the average is 18 cell phone talkers vs. 7 drivers paying attention and not chatting on the phone while they drive.  Ok.  Out of those 18 talkers .. the breakdown was as multi-cultural as a United Nations High-School Soccer Mom AARP Convention .  My favorite was a little old lady with curly white hair driving her big-ass Town Car .. she could hardly see over the steering wheel, but she could drive that 3-ton weapon of mass destruction while chatting to someone on her cellphone.

A few weeks ago, I was driving my regular route to work.  The little red car in front of me was going about 15 miles under the speed limit, and it was weaving from side to side outside of its lane to the left and onto the shoulder on the right.  I pulled over to pass it when I could, and as I went past, I looked over at the driver.  A young woman about 22, with the cell phone to her ear held in place by her head and shoulder, talking on the phone while she ate a McDonald’s salad — with the salad in her left hand and the fork in her right.  Now, I ask you, “What the Hell?”  If that girl got to her destination without an accident, I would be very surprised.

My next favorite is pulling up to a light at a major intersection next to a car with the advertising on top and the sides indicating it was a car being used by a driving school.  I look over to see a young man about 16 or 17 in the driver’s seat looking extremely uncomfortable.  I got a good view of the instructor who chatted away on his cellphone completely ignoring the young cellphone driver in training.

When did driving the car become secondary to talking on the phone while driving?

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5 thoughts on “Hang Up and Drive!

  1. My daughter is in driving school. She will do the driving part next week. One of the first things the instructor told the parents at our meeting was that he will never be on the cell phone while he’s teaching our kids. I see people on their phones while driving all the time – they are usually the ones that drive like they are drunk!

    Ottermom – I couldn’t agree with you more .. they do look like they’re driving drunk! I hope Otter enjoys her driving classes. I remember having a great time when I did driver’s education (you know, way back when it was horse & buggies).

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  2. You have some pretty frightening examples there.

    It drives me crazy to see people on their phones while driving.
    Especially when they have license plates indicating that they are town or state officials. Guess they feel above the law.

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  3. I saw a girl once driving her car while talking with her cell phone smushed between her cheek and shoulder as you describe. I was like, “That doesn’t count as hands-free!”

    I am surprised that more people don’t see this as a major problem. I have seen people on the road that I thought were driving drunk, only to see them talking on their cell phones.

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  4. I seriously have a pet peeve with this also. On my 4002 mile journey over the summer , I was so bored I started counting people on cell phones while talking. OMG i lost count. If, by some freaky chance I get a call on cell phone or have to make one, I pull over to a parking lot and then make a call, and then if its only an emergency. They did pass the law in Florida , no talking on cell phone in school zone, HAHAHAHA you would not know this at all. THIS HAS GOT TO BE ONE OF MY WORST PET PEEVES. Have other pet peeves too, but don’t want to vent to much :)

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  5. Enjoyed and appreciated this rant a lot!

    Thanks June! I just stopped by your CC posting, and that is one cute puppy you have there! Thanks for stopping by.

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