Texting and Driving: Another story against the practice
Multitasking is a growing skill among younger generations; each one does it more than the one before with all the extra stimuli they receive. You see kids playing video games with music while they’re texting and talking to their friend next to them. It’s a sort of thing that you wouldn’t see in past generations. It’s an interesting phenomenon, but it almost definitely has its drawbacks. When multitasking, almost everything being done is half-assed and only part effort. Only once one of the different things being done starts faltering, do we actually devote 100% to it. When they start losing in the video game, the same guy that was doing 4 things at once is no longer talking to their friend, they don’t have a clue what music they’re playing, and they can’t even hear their phone blowing up, they’re all on the video game and trying to get back to winning at it. When the girl the guy is texting suddenly takes something the wrong way, and he needs to clarify, he’ll hit pause or ditch the game completely, he won’t know what’s playing or even answer his friend asking “what happened?” he needs to quickly find the right words to recover from the absolute bomb he sent in the previous text.
This sort of scenario translates almost perfectly when driving. We’re listening to music, talking to a friend next to us, and often checking our phone when it buzzes, all while operating a multi-ton vehicle that’s moving three times faster than Usain Bolt. When the song playing is our favorite, we shift our focus there, singing and (sort of?) dancing to it. When our friend is telling tales of their debauchery, we’re all ears, even looking at them frequently as they tell their story. Or you could be texting friends. First, you only do it at the red lights, then you start doing only short texts while you drive. Then you start texting but only on the really straight roads. Then suddenly someone will jump out in front of you, and you get startled, shift all your focus on driving and slam the brakes while you honk and curse until you’re out of breath.
According to the lawyers at Brunkenhoefer, P.C., the thing is about texting is that it occupies your most important and useful sense for driving, sight, all while taking up a hand to do it. When talking to a friend, if your eyes stay on the road and hands on the wheel, you’re usually more than okay. When listening to music, the same is true. Even talking on the phone with one hand is statistically safer than using a hand to text and having your eyes shifting between it and the road. I’ve seen and been in the car with so many goofy little fender benders simply because someone was texting while in the parking lot or heavy traffic. I really am hard-pressed to find a situation in which texting in those circumstances was worth the accident and all the time and money wasted. Overall, multitasking doesn’t really cost much when the main task at hand isn’t operating a 4,000+ pound machine that goes from 0 to 60 miles an hour in a matter of seconds. When it is, however, I’d say keeping a hand and your eyes busy with something else sounds like an awful idea.