Commentary by H.G. Listiak
DUI Of Cell Phones
Welcome to my world, where the other day I was driving in an upscale part of our valley. I pulled up to a red light, stopping behind a monster machine - a giant SUV. The light changed, and the vehicle didn't move. I tenderly touched my horn. The vehicle still didn't move. I hit the horn again, and much to my surprise, the door to the SUV swings open and out pops a thin, young lady in designer work-out wear who began shrieking at me using decidedly un-lady like language. It was "blank blank can't you see I'm on the blank blank phone??" Yes, she was growing a cell phone just above her right earring. She popped back into her SUV and barely caught the end of the yellow light, leaving me seeing red in more than a few ways. Had she had too much to drink that day?? Probably not, but if she had, instead of being on her cell phone, she may have been at less risk of getting in an accident. Researchers at the University of Utah have now concluded that talking on a cell phone behind the wheel is more dangerous than driving drunk, and it makes no difference whether its hands free or not. They say cell phone conversations draw attention away from the processing of the visual environment by at least fifty percent. On one side, their test subjects were pretty well boozed up, and on the other they were packing cell phones. It took the cell phone users 18 percent longer to avoid a rear end collision than it did the drunks! The national highway traffic safety people say that as many as 30 percent of our accidents here in the U.S. could come from cell phones, and they estimate 2,600 car crash deaths can be pinned on cell phones every year. Now I've never been a big fan of cell phones. I think they make people rude enough when they're on their own two feet, but when you're driving?? Let me try to paraphrase one of my favorite bumper stickers: "you would drive a lot better with that cell phone up your…" Well, you know what I mean, as I see it ... I'm H.G. Listiak.