According to the Ontario Provincial Police, distracted driving causes more road deaths than drinking and driving and speeding combined.
Let’s face it – we all live busy lifestyles and struggle to salvage a few minutes to spare.
But driving is a serious and sometimes deadly task.
It only takes one slight mistake to end your life and many others. Would you, for example, start texting your cousin about how drunk you were at the wedding if someone pulled out a gun and started shooting at you? Or, would you call your girlfriend to ask what’s for dinner if you were walking in a field filled with land mines?
So why do we do such stupid things behind the wheel when we all know better? Is it because we don’t care? Is it because we don’t know the consequences? Or is it simply because we just all want to be bad asses and rebels? Whatever the answer is, I’d like to share some of the best examples of drivers who take the word “multi-tasking” to a whole new level. Rest assured, these are the same clever human beings you, your kids, and their kids will be sharing the road with some day. But don’t worry – someday soon we’ll have cars that drive on their own.
Eating While Driving (Taking it to go)
Let’s make this clear.
Taking a bite out of a granola bar or having a sip of coffee while holding the wheel with your other hand is one thing. But carving a rotisserie chicken into small pieces at 100 kilometers per hour is no easy task and is best left for the kitchen. I have witnessed numerous drivers pull off the “no hander” – a task that involves a driver to straddle a greasy big mac in one hand while sipping a “biggie sized” cup of soda in the other. Just recently a Canada Post driver was caught performing this very act. Currently eating while driving is not a chargeable offense in the province of Ontario (unless it causes an accident – at which time it’s too late) but people caught performing these brilliant acts are probably better off with less involved forms of transportation.
So do yourself and other drivers a big favor and make it “for here”.
Reading a Book/Newspaper While Driving (Practically Blindfolded)
In case you thought people don’t read books (and actual newspapers) anymore, you’re wrong.
They’ve just found more creative places to read them – like behind the wheel of a five thousand pound automobile. Take Toronto’s (now former) Mayor Rob Ford for example, who was recently caught reading behind the wheel of his massive Cadillac Escade at 70 kilometers an hour on one of the busiest highways in North America, the Gardiner Expressway. Seriously, what better way to enjoy a romance or fill out the daily Sudoku then behind the wheel of a dull commute to work?
Make up While Driving (The beauty of driving)
Girls – you try so hard to look beautiful but sometimes you just don’t get it right. I’m not talking about the colors you choose or the amount you use, I’m talking about the time you decide to put it on. Those mirrors in your visor – they’re meant to pick boogers out of your nose and food out of teeth and yes, to put make up on if you so wish to. But I seriously doubt the designers and engineers that put them there intended them to be used while the vehicle is rolling down the highway at 100+ kilometers per hour.
Take for example the TTC driver who recently got caught applying make-up while driving a streetcar filled with hundreds of people. If you’re going to do such an idiotic activity behind the wheel then at the very least, do it without anyone else in the vehicle.
Shaving While Driving (Shaving Time off the drive)
For all the guys that thought they were off the hook after reading the last one, rest assured, some of you are just as stupid.
That’s right, on numerous occasions I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing men tackle the five o’clock shadow (ironically often during the 5 o’clock rush) while rolling down busy city roads. I get that you spend a lot of your time behind the wheel, we all do in some form, but a razor blade and a moving vehicle just don’t seem to mix if you know what I mean.
But it’s not just guys!
Not too long ago a Florida woman drove into the back of a pick –up truck and caused a two vehicle wreck while shaving her bikini area behind the wheel. Her excuse was that she was headed on a date and wanted to look her absolute best.
Now that’s what you call setting your priorities straight.
Driving while holding a baby (The New Driver)
Now we all know the back is the safest place for children, but some still believe a new born behind the wheel of Mom’s SUV is just flat out awesome. You heard it right – for those who have not witnessed these acts by such intelligent human beings – do not worry; they are out there and coming to a road near you. If you’re lucky enough you might even witness a mother holding a baby on her lap, texting, and driving all at the same time.
This is exactly what one mother in San Diego was caught doing on the 405 freeway.
Now there’s a moment your camera phone would come in handy.
I mean really, who cares if the airbag sits inches away from your babies face ready to deploy at any minute. That’s what it’s there for, right? Get with the time folks; it’s called being responsible parents.
Cleaning While Driving (Clean driving record)
Why waste your time at the car wash when you can do it during your morning commute? A full detail would cost you over a hundred dollars. But lucky for you it can all be done for free while weaving in and out of traffic.
Dropped a bunch of French fries under the seat? No problem, just bend on over and get them to where they belong – your mouth. Birds drop a bomb on your side mirrors again? Just get your hand out there while the cars rolling and give it a good ole scrubbing till you get it nice and clean.
This is mobile car cleaning of the future people.
Using your Cell Phone While Driving (The Mobile Phone)
So you’ve got a wireless device hooked up to your phone to answer calls hands free. If you don’t you probably put it on speaker phone every time someone calls. I’ve got news for you.
IT MAKES NO FREAKING DIFFERENCE.
You’re still actively engaged in a conversation so this means you’re still not 100% focused on the road. Same thing goes with texting. Despite the fact that you can probably send a text in under five milliseconds (some phones now even allow you to text by voice), you’re still taking your attention away from the road for a brief moment – which is all it takes for an accident to happen. Seriously, I doubt you’re so important that you need to be connected every single second of the day. But hey, who the hell am I to say what you can and cannot do behind the wheel? It’s not like it’s against the law or something.
Oh wait a second, it is.
Now chances are many (if not all) of you do some of these things on a daily basis and I’d be the first one to tell you that I do too. But maybe, just maybe, if we all gave driving the respect it deserves and stopped doing so many other things at the same time we could get places faster, safer, and more efficiently.
Wouldn’t it, for example, be awesome if our highways had no speed limits like the ones in Germany? That won’t happen anytime soon if we keep doing the things we do. If I have any last bit of advice to give to you – it’s to go home, get in your car, and just drive!