Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Steering Wheel + Cell Phone = Danger Zone!

You might live in a state or district (New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, and Washington DC) where driving and talking on your cell phone are forbidden. You might live a lot longer it ends up.

I took this "RealAge Test" thanks to a link I found on Doc's blog post called Getting Younger a few weeks back, and I scored high in the fitness, vitamins, social networks of friends and family areas -- all the things that help you live a long life -- but the question about whether you drive and talk on your cell phone at the same time really rattled me.

It's clear that "steering wheel + cell phone = danger zone!" Still, many of us do it. Can I say, most of us do it? I do it. And it's really dangerous. Here's a good blog post about it, mentioning the famous Mythbusters' episode where they tested the theory that driving and talking on a cell is as dangerous or more dangerous than driving drunk. (It's Episode 33 here on the official Mythbusters site.)

The fact really stuck with me. I can't get it out of my head. I'm breaking the habit. I've taken to hiding my cellphone in my bag, putting my bag in a far back seat area of the car, reachable only with great effort. It's a hard habit to break. Not only is it convenient to have my cell right near me when I drive, it's "fun" to chat while driving. Fun like Russian Roulette, unfortunately.

You know what I'm talking about. Stop a minute and recall that Chatty Gal or Chatty Guy you saw heading for you on the road the other day -- driving at a fast clip, talking at an even faster rate AND COMPLETELY OBLIVIOUS TO THEIR SURROUNDINGS OR TO YOU IN THE OPPOSITE LANE. You've seen the glazed over expression. It sure strikes fear in my heart. We really have to quit the dangerous bad habit, so give it a try next month in February. It's a short month, that might just help you live a long life. Start hiding that phone now. New protocol, buckle up your seat belt, toss your cell into the back seat. Live long and prosper!