Texting and driving

“Danger? Hah! I walk on the wild side. I laugh in the face of danger. Ha ha ha ha!”

In totally un-new news, 98 per cent of respondents surveyed by the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) believe that texting behind the wheel of a car is a “serious” or “somewhat serious” danger.

The same 98 per cent are probably guilty of texting and driving themselves. The 2 per cent who don’t think texting and driving is dangerous are kidding themselves.

I would be among the 98 per cent who think it is one of the worst things drivers can do behind the wheel, along with reading a newspaper or map, putting on make-up and disciplining children in the backseat. These are all things that you see people do in their cars all the time.

Of course, I would also be guilty of texting, eating and tuning the radio and driving. I also often reach into the glove compartment regularly, take CDs in and out of the player and their cases and even stare at pedestrians and other drivers.

Who doesn’t?

There are so many things than can distract drivers and the fact the people are focusing so much on texting is a little ridiculous. The guy eating a meatball sub on the highway is a pretty big threat to road safety.

Yes, I text (and tweet) and drive, but I can steer with my knees and keep my eyes on the road. I guess I’m just a superhuman. The trick is reading the text you received at a red light, and replying when you’re driving. It helps if you know where the keys on your phone are, too, and, believe me, texting and driving is a lot easier and safer on a BlackBerry than an iPhone (RIM 1: Apple 3,219 – maybe that’s how RIM should be marketing their phones…)

But I’m kind of ridiculous, too. As if I need to be in constant touch with people. I told myself last year that I would start putting my phone in the trunk, which would make it impossible for me to text and drive. But then I thought, ‘What if I get a phone call, and it’s an emergency?’ and that was the end of that experiment.

I’m going to keep using my phone behind the wheel – and I’m going to keep getting the stink-eye from other drivers – everyone from the nose-picker who has his eyes off the road for 12 seconds at a time examining his latest nasal discovery to the mother juggling a cigarette and building her kid’s Happy Meal toy.

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