Texting while driving

texting while diriving


I adore my mobile devices, but I like to think I’m reasonable about using them. I do not walk blindly down the sidewalk like a zombie while texting, my eyes fixed on my screen. (An acquaintance recently had her phone stolen from her in the open street; she was walking down the street in a quiet neighborhood, texting all the while, and a kid ran up and snatched it out of her hand. She was very indignant about this, because she didn’t think she’d done anything out of the ordinary.)

But it still amazes me (as an older person) how people drop into trances while using their phones and their tablets. Three-quarters of the people I see on the bus are texting or using their phones. At least half of the people I pass on the sidewalk are deep in contemplation of their devices, completely unaware of their surroundings.

Not to mention people driving cars.

I hate to think about it. I’m a pedestrian – I don’t drive a car – so I’m largely at the mercy of people driving big ugly dangerous vehicles, and I continually hope and pray that they look up often enough to stop at intersections and yield at crosswalks. Because, you know, sometimes they don’t. (Once, a couple of years ago in downtown Providence, I was in a crosswalk with a couple of other people when a driver actually speeded up toward us. I ran like hell toward the sidewalk; another guy, braver than me, stood his ground and yelled obscenities at the driver.)

But it’s the entranced drivers – the ones who are talking and texting – who worry me.

Follow this link to find an interactive test posted by the New York Times a few years ago. It’s very simple: you have to drive and text at the same time.

I failed it within seconds.

Try it, and see how you do.

You’ll be horrified.


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About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to futureworld@cox.net.

6 Responses to Texting while driving

  1. I say, I don’t drive a car either, and it is unusual to find someone else who does not, and always gives me great pleasure to feel less alone in that!

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