Imagine if in the past few years, someone had invented a thingy that allowed you to attach a book, newspaper or magazine to your dashboard so you could read while you drove. Imagine if it had gained popularity so that now most of the people on the road drove and read at the same time. You wouldn’t use it, right? Too dangerous! But what about reading texts? What about fumbling around in your handbag to answer a call? What about just quickly checking your Facebook page or texting your mate to wish him happy birthday? Done any of those things while in control of heavy machinery ie: driving? How did all of this become so commonplace? So acceptable?
And you don’t even have to take your eyes off the road to put yourself, your passengers and other people in danger.
It’s official: talking on the phone while driving, even on a hands-free set, is the equivalent of driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 per cent. The legal limit for driving is 0.05.
That’s why transport ministers from around Australia are seriously considering banning hands free kits in cars. It’s not quite the same as having somebody in the car with you (though undoubtedly having a wayward foot strike you mid gear-change is distracting) because the concentration required of the human brain to interpret a disembodied voice while focussing on the road and other distractions is phenomenal. That study showed it was more dangerous to talk and drive then it was to drink and drive. And the penalty for that is losing your license and even jail time for repeat offenders.
Australia is one of the heaviest per capita users of mobile phones in the world, with more than 21 million phones in use. Yes, that’s more than one phone for every person in this country. Even kids. Even babies.
It seems like a lot, so clearly some people have more than one. Hopefully they don’t use them both while driving. Then they would have to steer with their knees although I’m sure some already do.