It’s so easy to do, and the need is so urgent. But it’s as dangerous as driving a car with your eyes closed. In fact, it’s nearly identical to driving with your eyes closed. Still, people do it. They text while driving. They don’t understand the danger.
Let me give you an example. My wife and I were at a social event last week. We were talking with a friend, who we’ll call Sarah. Sarah got to the event late and told us how she been driving all too fast to make up for being late, while texting a friend to report her progress. Sure enough, she got pulled over for doing 77 in a 55 m.p.h. zone.
“Sarah, tell me you weren’t texting while driving.”
“Oh, the cop didn’t see me texting.”
She didn’t get it. My jaw dropped. “Sarah, if you were doing 50, you probably covered about a hundred yards in a five second text.”
Actually, I was wrong. If you’re doing 50, you’ll cover 122 yards in five seconds, but Sarah was zipping along at 77, which means she covered 188 yards. Let’s be real clear here. Sarah traveled 188 yards without looking down the road. (Please tell me that causes you alarm.)
“Oh, but I had my cell phone at the top of the steering wheel,” Sarah reassured me, “So I wasn’t looking down.”
Gulp. As if that helps the situation. “Oh, good, so your focal point was less than two feet in front of your nose, instead of down the road. Sarah, you’re either going to kill yourself or someone else.”
The look of bewilderment—and from a very together and intelligent, professional young woman. Yet, for all her business and street smarts, Sarah didn’t get it. Maybe she does now.
Texting while driving is seductive—what’s so bad about taking your eyes off the road for just a few seconds? So too the Sirens in the Odyssey were seductive. The sweet sound of their voices lured sailors to their deaths on rocky shoals, but the Sirens were just Greek mythology. Dying on the highway is real.
What gives me the right to tell a young woman that what she’s doing is dangerous? We don’t let friends drive drunk, do we? What’s the difference?
Jack D’Aurora writes for considerthisbyjd.com
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