|Person using cell phone while driving. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
A case in point is the news story that NBC4 in Washington was broadcasting this morning. They were reporting the results of a study that showed that if you sing while driving that it increases your risk of being involved in an accident. It prompted me to search for a link to the story on the internet and led me to send out the following on Twitter:
so what's next, a ban on car stereos?-Singing While Driving Can Lead To More Accidents Per Year, Study Finds http://t.co/nvQvyYsd
I am not trying to minimize the danger of distracted driving. Believe me, I have been frustrated at being stuck behind somebody traveling slower than the speed limit only to discover them holding a cell phone to their ear once I was finally able to get around them. My beef is that there are so many other things that can distract a driver and lead to accidents. Only one of those behaviors is being legislated against when a general distracted driver law would be sufficient.
It is bad enough that government has banned hand held cell phone use and texting while driving, but there are some legislators and bureaucrats that even want to ban the use of hands free devices. It's the nanny state run amok. So in addition to my sarcastic suggestion on Twitter to ban the use of car stereos, I would like to submit a number of other items that should be banned while driving. Some of these could be made easier by telling car manufacturers to eliminate features from automobiles.
- Applying makeup while driving-car manufacturers can assist in this by removing vanity mirrors from all visors in new vehicles.
- Eating or drinking while driving-just imagine spilling a cup of hot Starbucks coffee in your lap while driving or the insides of a Big Mac falling in your lap. Now that is a distraction. Laws could be made banning cup holders and drive through windows at fast food establishments.
- Kids arguing in the back seat-is there anything more distracting that your children arguing in the back seat? "Mom, Susie keeps touching me." Simple solution, no driving with kids in the car. Therefore no more back seats in the cars. Sure, it will be inconvenient to get things done, but what's more important, convenience or road safety?
- Other passengers-by logical extension, if having a conversation while on a cell phone is distracting, so would be having a conversation with another passenger in the car. Just try to convince me that you haven't had an argument with your significant other while driving. Therefore, all vehicles should be constructed to transport only the driver of the car. This will also allow those pesky HOV car pool lanes to be used by everybody.
- Maps and other items that can be read while driving-granted the use of GPS devices has rendered the old fold out maps almost out of existence, but I still remember seeing drivers with their maps, newspapers, or written direction in their hand, on the steering wheel while driving.
- GPS devices-much like car stereos, where you can push buttons or change a CD, GPS devices have their own share of distractions. There is entering an address on the screen and then there is glancing at the screen itself while driving.
There are just a handful of the things that I could come up with that could also be banned while driving. All of these are things that could potentially distract a driver and lead to a potential accident. Can you think of anything else to add to this list? On second thought, why don't we just ban driving altogether? There is no chance of getting distracted and having an accident if you can't get in the car in the first place.