By now everyone knows that talking on your cell phone and/or texting is considered distracted driving and it is against the law – prepare to be ticketed. But what if you aren’t texting or talking on the phone?
Let’s just say – hypothetically – a person get’s a ticket for distracted driving while they are neither distracted nor driving? How is that possible? Well, let’s say the person is stuck in construction traffic on the highway, not moving, and because of the traffic picks up their cell phone that they were listening to a book on – to pause it – specifically so they don’t get distracted. Is that distracted driving? Apparently so – because the key is in the ignition, the car is running and not in a driveway and the person picked up the cell phone…. Hypothetically of course…
Since that is a hypothetical situation I was curious just what the law views as distracted driving. Because my first thought was, what about those people who groom themselves while driving? Or eating – you know that illustrious fast food diet – while driving? And even using a hands free device – have you ever tried using one of them? It is far more distracting to fiddle with that device than to just press pause on my phone.
So here is the list I found – unbelievable. You can just about get stopped for distracted driving for breathing. Don’t get me wrong – I totally agree with the no texting and driving deal. But some of the other stuff is crazy.
Eating and drinking (not alcohol of course) is in fact, distracted driving. So hypothetically – if a person gets pulled over for distracted driving while neither distracted nor driving – if they take a sip of their diet coke while pulling over… Yup more distracted driving.
When your kids, partner, spouse, friend decides to strike up a conversation with you in the car – yup distracted driving. So no one can move or talk – or you may get distracted…
Brushing your hair? Yup… Shaving, putting on makeup, etc… Definitely – more distracted driving.
And no you can’t drive down the highway with your textbook on the steering wheel. You must do your homework at home.
Got a GPS? Forget it – even if it is hands free. Looking at a GPS is definitely a distraction and listening to one is just as bad. Forget it. Don’t leave home/work until you memorize your route. Because you can’t look at a map either – you will be guilty of distracted driving.
Sorry – you can no longer watch Big Bang Theory episodes while you are driving down the road. Besides all that laughing is definitely distracted driving.
And too bad the auto manufacturers include radios, CD players, and navigation systems into your car. They are neither to be looked at, listened to or even turned on. It is all Big Brothers’ grand plan to get you ticketed for distracted driving. And you singing along is a huge distraction anyway so why bother – there is nothing to enjoy…
Now to take this to the next logical conclusion…
Do not ever open your windows – bees, mosquitos, lady bugs – distractions.
Leave you kids at home – let them find their own way to school or daycare because that will absolutely be a distraction.
Make sure when you go to a shopping plaza you park at the farthest corner of the lot – trying to navigate around pedestrians, cars, bikes, motorcycles, wheelchairs – too much of a distraction.
Rip those rear view mirrors right off your car – they are nothing more than a distraction especially when some fool behind you decides to place their high beams directly into your mirror.
I am not opposed to certain laws and certain definitions but at what point does it become ridiculous. I make fun of some of the definitions above but I actually support some of them while others are just ridiculous. And just for the record – I could not find any research that hands free devices are any safer than activities that are not hands free. So those of you that think you are “safe” using those devices – think again…