Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Impaired Driving

When I am behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, I try to be considerate of my fellow travelers. I check my mirrors often, I always use my turn indicators, and I even try to stay awake and concentrate on what I am doing. I know this sounds incredible, but I feel that these are all important and necessary actions to best ensure my personal safety, as well as the safety of those around me. From time to time you will hear a story of a roadway accident caused by a driver acting in a careless and irresponsible manner. Their hijinks are enough to make you just shake your head at the stupidity and gall involved. (These people remind me of the young man who had just completed his IQ test and was bragging that he just received a B. Why an 85 is a great test score he was saying, beaming at how this test had just proved that he was as brilliant as he thought he was). Anyhow, with nutbags like these out there on America's highways and byways, it seems a wonder to me that there are not more accidents. Personally I have witnessed the following incidents with my own eyes:
  • A man driving while eating a bowl of cereal. He was holding the bowl in his palm and using his fingers to steer the car. Of course his other hand was free to operate the spoon and turn the knobs on the radio.
  • I have seen countless folks reading a book or a newspaper while driving.
  • I have seen salesmen working on their computers while driving.
  • Too many incidents of folks holding their cell phones with one hand and jabbering away. Their other hand was used, of course, for wild gesturing. I can only presume that they steer with their knees and use their tongues to operate the wiper and headlight controls.
Perhaps the best story was related to me by my good friend Keith from Indiana. One night he and his wife were enjoying a typical evening at home, sitting in the living room watching T.V. and quietly chatting after having a nice brisket for dinner. Suddenly there was a horrendous crash just outside of their window. Keith rushed outside to investigate and saw a car that had overturned. It was resting on its roof, the tires still spinning. As he was the first on the scene, he ran out to help the motorists, to lend whatever assistance he could in their time of need. As he approached the passenger side door, a female voice called out to him. She said "We're O.K., but please give my husband and me a moment to get dressed, I'm sure you understand.". Don't make me draw you a picture here dear reader. It is obvious what they were doing while (or besides) driving that lead to the accident. Perhaps now we need to get some highly overpaid celebrity to do some PSA (that's Public Service Announcement) spots to highlight the dangers of driving while impaired. I hear that Slim Whitman is available, and better yet, he is still alive (despite the persistent rumors).