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Jewish World Review
Feb. 2, 2007
/ 14 Shevat 5767
Stupid While Driving
A new survey has come out. Seems new surveys are always coming out on one thing or another. If there's anything we all can depend on in this world, besides death and taxes, it's that new surveys will come out. But I digress. So anyway this "new survey" has come out, according to Reuters, which shows that people driving their cars are doing other things while they're driving. Why is this news? I guess the folks at Reuters don't get out much.
According to the survey, 81 percent of Americans do more than drive when they're behind the wheel. Gee, I would have guessed the percentage to be more like 99.99. In other words, everybody but me. But you know me, so old-fashioned that when I get behind the wheel of a car, all I do is drive the thing. Driving without doing anything else at the same time is so yesterday, isn't it? I'm such a fuddy duddy that I not only don't multitask, I don't even like to use the word. But I digress again.
The survey conducted by Nationwide Mutual Insurance shows that more than eight out of 10 people said they adjust the radio or music while they drive, while 73 percent talk on the phone, 68 percent eat, 19 percent send text messages and 5 percent checked their e-mail. And many more it seems use their cars as bathrooms on wheels with 19 percent fixing their hair, 12 percent putting on makeup and 2 percent shaving while at the controls of a car. But wait you aint' heard nothin' yet. It gets better.
Drivers in the survey also admitted to changing seats with passengers, watching a movie, painting their toenails, nursing a baby and putting in contact lenses while driving. This is what these geniuses ADMITTED to doing. Can you imagine what other stuff they WOULDN'T admit to? I can and I don't even want to go there in this column.
Let's analyze this a minute. Painting your toenails while driving a car? Forget about safety issues how do you even physically do that? I guess it's not always easy out there for an imbecile. Then we have the mommies nursing their babies while driving. That's brilliant. Oh, I know, I know I must be some kind of a woman-hating, male chauvinist to find fault with a woman's right to nurse anywhere she wants even while zipping along the San Diego Freeway at 75 MPH. How insensitive of me.
Younger drivers multitask the most, the survey found, with 35 percent of 18-to-27-year-olds saying they always multitask in the car, compared to 21 percent of baby boomers. Interestingly, car accidents are the number one cause of death for Americans aged 18 to 27. Gee, what a coincidence. I wonder why. Could it be that putting on makeup while text messaging your boyfriend on your cell, while sipping your mocha latte, while making an illegal U-turn on a busy street is perhaps DANGEROUS? Hmmm.
In all fairness, I must say that the problem is not only with younger drivers. I have seen older drivers doing things other than simply driving their cars too. Driving while drinking Metamucil is just not safe at any speed. The same could be said for using a blood pressure cuff in cross town traffic. And afternoon catnaps should definitely be done only in the privacy of one's home, not behind the wheel of an automobile.
Of the 1,200 drivers between the ages of 18 and 60 that were surveyed, 83 percent believe they are safe drivers, while at the same time, 38 percent admitted they have driven a certain distance without any recollection of doing so. Which only goes to prove how well these people can "multitask" they can be stupid, narcissistic, and completely delusional all at the same time.
Here's a question. If these geniuses can do so many things while driving, if they can talk on the phone and drive, if they can eat and drive, if they can paint their toenails and drive, how come they find it so difficult to use their turn signals and drive at the same time? Answer that one and you may just have the key to all the mysteries of the universe.
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JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. A freelance writer in Southern California, you may contact him by clicking here.
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