By Rhiannon Waits
People in Glass houses shouldn’t – eat Big Mac’s while driving?
We have all listened to the arguments relating to driving while participating in cell phone usage. They are valid points and it does illustrate driving while talking as a dangerous activity.
I am not going to attempt to insult your intelligence by telling you that I have never used the cell phone while I was operating a vehicle. All of you that have never been guilty of this can now shout “Bad Rhia!” whilst shaking your heads in disappointment. However, before you, get boisterous doing this, read the rest and at the end, you will be given an additional opportunity if you choose to use it.
A few months back I had a rather difficult day of running errands, shopping and playing “Taxi” for the boys. I was driving along a four-lane when a familiar ring came from my purse. The tone that played informed me that my 80- plus mother (sorry mom!) was trying to reach me. I reached into my purse, pulled out my cell phone, and answered it without affecting my driving capabilities. However, in the lane next to me, heading in the same direction, a “gentleman” noticed I had put a cell phone to my ear. What occurred next has become a topic at numerous dinner parties we have attended. Many people have laughed over what occurred next, yet it is only because a serious mishap did not occur.
As I stated before, answering the phone did not cause any disturbance in my driving. Yet as soon as the man in the car next to me seen a cell phone to my ear, he started honking and screaming at me to hang the “*&^%” phone up as he face contorted into rage. However, as he did this, he dropped the large hamburger he had been holding into his lap. At this point, he started looking down, swerving into my lane and almost side swiped my car. I sped up while dodging his car as he reclaimed his burger from his lap.
After this, one would think he would have sheepishly driven off. However, the exact opposite occurred. This man managed to speed up and get side by side while yelling that I had almost caused an accident. As I turned onto the road that goes behind our house, I sat in utter amazement at the scenario that had taken place.
I am not pretending my cell phone use while driving was not wrong. We have had a lot of publicity over accidents caused while someone was using their cell. John and Jane Public will lean out of a car and screech at the top of their lungs if they catch you committing this offense. (While remaining in complete control of their vehicle and keeping their eyes on the road at all times). Yet, I must wonder why this contraption should just be a cell phone. I would think applying any object or task that takes away your total attention from driving your vehicle should apply.
This man lost total control of his vehicle because he was paying attention to what I was doing. He decided it was in the best interest of the world to reprimand me for using my cell phone. This act of chastisement was delivered while holding a sandwich and stirring wheel in the same hand and rolling down the window with the other hand. If this feat was not quit amazing enough, he has his eyes on me instead of the road ahead as he screams obscenities for answering my cell phone. (At least I still had one hand on the wheel)
People have gotten in the habit of not considering the peripherals around a certain topic of discussion. The blatant example I have shared with you should attest to the validity of this actuality. The message from these public alerts and news reports concerning cell phone use while operating a motor vehicle should be of a broader spectrum. Furthermore, in defense of individuals making these reports and laws, one would assume John and Jane Public would see beyond the tunnel vision of hypocrisy. Just for the record, let us dance beyond the obvious.
The cell phone is not the culprit it is the distraction. Any object, distraction, or disturbance that removes your total attention from the task of controlling a multi-ton vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed will be your culprit. Let us name a few events that would distract you more than a phone call.
1) Spilling hot coffee or dropping a cigarette in your lap would cause a distraction. (Do not drink hot coffee and drive)
2) An obvious distraction would be reaching into the back of the car to calm or correct a child or pet. (Pull over to handle this rather than remove your hands and eyes from the task of driving)
3) Empty bottles or cans rolling under your feet or brake pedal could cause a horrible accident. (How can you stop if a bottle is under your brake pedal?)
4) Leaning down to find the right CD to insert in your stereo should be done responsibly. Have your CD’s within visible reach so searching is not necessary.
5) Having a disagreement with your mate or child can cause you to drive reckless
(6) Finally yet importantly, one of my personal favorites is driving while eating – you do not have to drop it to be included in the list of reckless people. If you turn your vehicle into a dining room, you are endangering yourself and everyone around you.
In seeing the wrongs of any situation, we also have to see the “rights” in order to maintain balance. The man obviously cared enough about doing right and bettering the world or he would never react to the event he witnessed. To correct the balance of the world, we must all take a stand and try to become involved in things to better our world. However, in doing so we must not have tunnel vision. We must practice what we preach and do so in a respectable manner. Even though this act was carried out in a negative way, many people have been enlightened by it.
In closing, I would like to remind everyone to broaden your vision beyond the obvious and see all the angles to every story. I always tell you I do not expect you to be perfect, yet to work towards it each day. Avoid hypocrisy in daily life and if you find yourself standing in it – admit it and step out of it. There is no reason to bath in it. The worst you can do is sty standing in it because you refuse to admit you are being a hypocrite.
This little lesson on love and life is about broadening your vision. Many people in glass houses should not throw stones, or eat big Mac’s while driving cars. Maybe in time we will find out the statistic concerning accidents caused by eating while driving! “If and when” this report does come out, remember to view it with a broader spectrum rather than tunnel vision. In addition, I would ask that you not lean out a car window and make a boob of yourself regarding it.
Before God we are all equally wise - and equally foolish.
Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)
No man is so foolish but he may sometimes give another good counsel, and no man so wise that he may not easily err if he takes no other counsel than his own. He that is taught only by himself has a fool for a master.
Hunter S. Thompson (1939 - 2005)
It is human nature to think wisely and act foolishly.
There is nothing worse than aggressive stupidity.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 - 1832)
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