Monday, October 03, 2005
Driving While iPod-ing
According to an article in from the New England Journal of Medicine, talking on a phone while driving quadruples the risk of an accident and was almost as dangerous as being drunk behind the wheel. I surfed around a little and found several gazillion websites, from DMVs to insurance companies that back that up: You increase your chances of having an accident 400% while talking on the phone and driving.
Baby, I'm calling it: Cellular phone distractions are NOTHING compared to those of tuning your iPod to your car radio while driving.
They should just start legislating iTrip laws this very minute.
I recently purchased a new iPod and the accompanying iTrip attachment that allows you to play your favorite music through your car stereo. I took off from my driveway, plugging that puppy in while I drove. I tuned my radio to the proper station, turned on the iPod on, hit "menu", scrolled the wheel around to find my music du trip, right-arrowed over, hit the play button...
...and then realized I was 1/2 mile down the road, and was either still alive thru the powers of superhuman peripheral vision or the grace of God.
I've talked to other friends who have admitted the same thing: scrolling their iPod wheels and looking up to find the car in front of them closer than they had realized.
If we can't practive mindfulness awareness anywhere else, we should at least commit ourselves to it behind the wheel. I'm guilty of talking on the cell phone while I drive, all the while knowing the statistics, but thinking that I'm more alert than those "other" drivers. I also know damned well that it's not true, when I lose track of whose turn it is at a 4-way stop.
I annoy even myself, and I get off the phone, and I try to stay off it.
And I have definitely, 100%, forbidden myself from ever tuning the iPod/iTrip while I'm operating a vehicle.