What On Earth Were They Thinking!

by DavalosMcCormack on August 7, 2008

There are some stories that come along and just stop you in your tracks? This week’s edition is people who injure themselves because they are sending text messages, while they walk.

I know. That’s what I thought too. How dumb can you be? Let’s think. Walking along street, lots of traffic, lots of people, lots of dog poo lying around on ground, what shall I do? I know, I’ll stare at a very small screen and poke away at impossibly small keys with my beefy digits while I navigate my way through all this.

So, it’s no wonder that Emergency Rooms are seeing more and more people coming in with broken noses from walking into lampposts, injuries from stepping off curbs they didn’t know were there.

Exhibit A is Barack Obama aide Valerie Jarrett. She was walking down the street in Chicago a couple of weeks ago, texting, when she fell off a curb and twisted her ankle.
She got off easy. Doctors in California are attributing two deaths to what is being called “oblivious texting”.

In the first case a San Francisco woman was hit and killed by a pickup truck after she walked into its path, while texting. And a Bakersfield man died last year, hit by a car as he walked across the street while sending a text.

Incidents like those have led the American College of Emergency Physicians to warn of the dangers of “oblivious texting”. According to the ER docs it’s not just pedestrians who are doing this, it’s also bicyclists (how do they hold on to the bike?) rollerbladers, even motorists!

Ironically, a new California law explicitly bans motorists from driving and talking on a cell phone unless the phone is hands free. However, it does not prohibit the driver from texting while driving. Apparently when the law was drawn up and passed no one thought that anyone would be dumb enough to even try and text while they drive.

But think about it. How many times have you been in traffic and seen people putting on make-up while driving, reading the newspaper, even shaving (I swear, I saw that one time – and she was shaving her legs! OK, I made that bit up, it was actually a man with an electric razor shaving his chin.) Clearly people have an unrealistic sense of what they can do while driving.

Me. I like to keep both hands on the steering wheel and both eyes on the road. It’s not that I’m a bad driver. It’s just that no one else out there – except for you of course – seems to be paying the least bit of attention!

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