Pay Attention…

I

got my first drivers license when I was sixteen years old. That would be about seven cat-years ago. Cat years in relation to humans vary year to year: one-year old cat is similar to a 16-year old teenager and an eight-year old cat would about my age. But that’s neither here nor there. the point is I got my first license back in 1972 and the standards for driving were a bit stricter.

For one thing, you had to parallel park. If you couldn’t do it in two shots, you couldn’t get a license. And virtually all driving tests required you to go up or down a hilly road and park. Which way to you point the front tires when you park? Do you let the car roll before putting on the parking breaks? How far? When M got her VA license last year, all she did was go around the block a couple of times. And I’m thinking, “What the heck?”

But I guess parking isn’t that important. Indeed, it isn’t compared to other safety issues, such as something as simple as paying attention to the road. This is such an obvious thing matter, but I am shocked–SHOCKED mind you–when I see people driving with one hand while the other hand is holding a cell phone. How often have I seen wreckless driving by people with their attention on their cell phone as opposed to on the road. Just the other day, a car comes veering into my lane and I had to slam on the break to avoid hitting this stupid lady. She saw me too, but of course she saw me too late. She was too busy talking on the phone. Had I not been paying attention she would have hit my front right fender. She obviously didn’t realize that talking on the phone reduces reaction time, not because she’s slow, but because her attention was diverted. Tests have shown that young people drive like old people when they are on the phone. Their attention is not on the road and they react slowly, often too late.

So do you drive like your grandpa or grandma? Please don’t tell me you talk on the phone while you drive. If you think you’re special and can handle it, well then, God bless you, and God help those driving around you.

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