Letters: Cell phones not the only distraction

Maybe it is time to drive like it was 30 years ago before all that stuff, letter writer says.

  • Jun. 9, 2016 11:00 a.m.

Distracted driving.

Cell phones are not the only problem when it comes to distracted driving.

Description of distracted: adjective 1. having the attention diverted, 2. rendered incapable of behaving, reacting, etc., in a normal manner.

Let’s start with the oh too common GPS unit in cars these days. There it is. A distracting display and located where the driver has to look away from the normal field of driving view. Sure, once you have programmed it you can hear the voice. But programming a new destination is a distraction. And it is tempting to look at the screen. And the voice could be a distraction.

Next, British Columbia allows radar detection units while driving. So, that’s another distraction up on the dashboard. Making beeps and buzzes and lights flashing. A distraction.

Here is a new one that is for sale recently at one of the local electronic stores. A Babycam! Another screen somewhere in front of the driver. And every time junior makes a noise of any type or for any prolonged time of silence the driver will be visually checking the Babycam and looking away from the road. At city speeds you travel more than 50 feet per second. If junior starts screaming, how long will you look away from the road to the Babycam?

Next, let’s be sure you can’t just drive, you need music. So let’s fiddle around with the MP3 player and select a set of songs and albums. A distraction.

But, of course we need the music loud. The car sound system was not enough. Let’s add in a 1400 watt Bluetooth boom box into the back window. Loud music… another distraction.

But how can we handle traffic without a coffee and muffin? So let’s get out of bed late and go through the drive-through. Not arrive early, park the car and enjoy a sit down breakfast snack. Let’s eat and drink coffee while driving. Another distraction.

Aside from the obvious pollution of hundreds of cars lined up in drive-through lanes. Drive-throughs indirectly contribute to distracted driving.

So have electronic technologies contributed to safe non-distracted driving? Have drive-throughs?

Maybe it is time to drive like it was 30 years ago before all that stuff. Shut off all the so-called aids.


Bruce Smith