Many people think they’re really good at multi-tasking — even behind the wheel.
So people distract themselves as they are driving. All too often this involves a cell phone in some way, whether they are holding it up to their ear as they steer with one hand, or they’re texting — look! No hands!
Some drivers have even been known to watch videos on their phones while they manoeuvre through traffic.
The best course of action is to just put the cell phone away when in the driver’s seat.
We bet some people tried using it once while driving, for what they thought was a good reason, and, when nothing bad happened, attributed their good fortune to their own skills rather than the dumb luck it was.
Because every time you get away with it that’s what it is, blind luck.
All it takes is a second of inattention for something irreversible to happen.
Just ask the Citizen’s own Robert Barron who last week took the challenge of the Distracted Driving Course set up at the Island Savings Centre by the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP and community policing, along with other partner agencies.
The course doesn’t require you to do anything so complicated as drive while you use your phone. All you have to do is walk. That should be automatic, right?
Our reporter found that he ended up inadvertently breaking three traffic laws (on top of the prohibition against using cell phones while driving).
Among the things he missed while looking at his phone screen were a dog and a playground zone.
Yikes. We’d bet that many of the motorists who believe they’ve perfectly safely used their cell phones while driving don’t even know what they’ve missed. They are blissfully ignorant of the hazard they are creating on the road.
Because distracted driving isn’t just a danger to the driver who’s not paying attention.
The distracted driver is putting everyone else in their vicinity in danger along with them.
That includes the kids in the playground zone, the beloved pets that come in front of their wheels, and the senior trying to use the crosswalk.
Then there are the people in the other vehicles, also going at speed.
The truth of the matter is that one in four of all vehicle fatalities in this province are caused by distracted driving.
Will that text really seem important to you or the person you’re sending it to after you die? If not, you should put the phone down.
It’s also a good idea to put aside the other distractions too, from the make-up brush to your lunch. There’s a better time to do it and that’s when you’re not behind the wheel.