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John Hopkins

Do we need a study to tell us…

» Written by // October 16, 2009 //


Do we need to do a study that driving after drinking is a really bad idea? Clearly, we know that drinking and driving do not mix.

Do we need to do a study that texting while driving is a bad idea? I would hope that it is not an enormous leap in logic that texting and driving, likewise, do not mix.

If we need studies, though, to reach those conclusions, I am all for it if that provides us with some laws that discourage those among us who cannot make the above mentioned leap of logic.

To drive home my point, last Wednesday, David Mercer, a Rhode Island resident, was driving his car, while happily texting along. Possibly, just possibly, the act of driving together with the act of texting caused him to run directly into a parked police car. Apparently an Idaho man did the exact same thing last year. In Mr. Mercer’s case it is fortunate that no one was in the police car and no one was injured; except perhaps Mr. Mercer’s pride.

Labs at Berkley University concluded (6) years ago that the following actions while driving might cause you to rear end a police car:

  • Adjusting the radio, cassette or CD player
  • Other occupants in the vehicle
  • Moving objects in the vehicle
  • Using/dialing a wireless Cell phone
  • Eating and drinking while driving
  • Personal grooming
  • Adjusting the vehicle’s temperature controls
  • Smoking while driving
  • Outside distractions, including:
  • Accidents
  • Vehicles stopped by police
  • Friends in other vehicles
  • Roadside advertising
  • New construction (shops, restaurants, etc.)

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So, after considering Mr. Mercer’s less than stellar judgment and reading the publications wondering about whether a study is needed, I think I can say the following:

To the lady I was following during rush hour this morning down I-95:

Miss, you are a very attractive young woman and I think that applying makeup at 65 mph is really unnecessary from two perspectives. First, my glances in the rear view mirror lead me to the conclusion you are one of those women who really do not need makeup. Second, I was exceedingly stressed out about the several times I thought you were going to choose between dropping your makeup or slamming your brakes on before you installed your VW Bug under my SUV.

Besides, it would have been a shame if you had slid your bagel off the dash or spilled the coffee in your other hand. Oh, yeah, please go hands free with your phone, too.


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