Driving while chowing down a donut, alternating the snack with a cup of hot coffee, is a time-honored example of dangerous, distracted driving. Even though driving safety researchers preached that drinking a beverage while driving, could lead to car crashes due to distraction, human nature dictated that eating and drinking while driving, was never going to stop. The ante was raised with the invention of the cell phone. It is simply impossible to maintain complete road awareness while talking on a cell phone. Dialing the phone while driving, is practically begging for a serious car crash to happen.
Cell phone technology is still in its infancy, and the devices have more road perils in store. The latest, a serious menace, is text messaging. Roadway accidents have already occurred while drivers have been looking down at their cell phones, typing a text message on the tiny keyboards. Virginia Beach Injury Board partner, Rick Shapiro, tells of a study that found that cell phone use while driving can be more dangerous than driving while intoxicated. There is no easy solution to the dangers posed by distracted drivers. New legislation will not create the manpower necessary for enforcement. It is more difficult for law enforcement officials, to spot a driver talking on a cell phone, or tapping out a text message, than it is to spot a car driving 90 miles per hour. I fear that it may take a spectacular and well-publicized crash caused by cell phone use while driving, involving death or paralysis, before people remember that driving, without more, requires 100% of the driver’s attention.