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Friday, June 21, 2013

Embracing the Obvious: Teaching Texting Thru Driver’s Ed

I’m dumbfounded and contrite that it took me so long to finally realize what this country needs to dramatically increase safety on our roads and really make this a better living world for all of us … It was so simple!

Driver’s Ed classes, driving courses, and Motor Vehicle Departments at large need to focus on teaching new—and especially experienced—drivers how to text message efficiently while they’re on the road.

You see, the problem is that people are not fully equipped to text and drive at the same time. Their brains haven’t evolved far enough, nor have they been properly instructed in how to combine the two seemingly disparate acts into one.

You must notice it as often as I do. You’re innocently heading down the road when the oncoming car suddenly starts veering into your lane, looking like they’re going to hit you head on. Then, usually after you’ve had a strong, sour dose of adrenaline internally injected into your nervous system, the oncoming car regains control and jerks back across the yellow line. Needless to say, as the car passes you see that the poor driver is struggling to efficiently text message on their phone-computer-device thing while worrying over bringing their car to the next destination as soon as possible.

While some people will make a fatuous argument that this is a negative result of people combining too many activities into one moment, I say otherwise. This, to me, is really a winning example of American resourcefulness and industry. There are places to go and things to be communicated, and if God has given us the means to do both simultaneously, then it’s our responsibility to get it done.

Yet being such an independent lot, we Americans sometimes fail to seek out the guidance and instruction necessary to take it to the next level. That’s why I believe it should become mandatory for people to receive several hours of practical instruction on how to text message efficiently while driving.

For instance, there are eye coordination practices that make it much less likely to smash your car into an oncoming vehicle. There are numerous abbreviations that could be used to consolidate the content of your message. There are certain sections of roads—certain highway patterns—that just don’t need to be observed as closely as others, such as straightaways and two-lane roads. And, of course—once we’ve massaged the proper dual capabilities into our still-evolving brains—there are mental means by which you can absolutely be concentrating on two things at once, and it just becomes a matter of holding the phone-computer-messaging device a little higher so that it is properly taking up half your line of sight, along with the windscreen.

Of course car companies, computer tracking companies and the government at large have already done such a great service for humanity by installing these large, blue-screen GPS devices atop dashboards. This is great because it gives drivers something else to look at beside the road. This is already a clever opportunity for people to begin learning that they needn’t—heck, they shouldn’t—be wasting all that attention on one thing, like the road around them. Instead, they’re beginning to grasp that part of their attention can be used to watch this little television-like screen, and, of course, another part can certainly be well-spent sending off the myriad messages that have become so vitally important to the betterment of humanity. (For instance, “Hi, how RU?” and “LOL,” to name just a couple.)

Again, the real crime here is that I—a self-centered, somewhat abrasive complainer with new hairs appearing in his ears on a regular basis—should fail you faithful Blah-ugh! readers by not seeing—and fervently advocating for—such an obvious boon to us all much sooner ... and much more fervently. I’m contrite (not to mention gaseous).

I think it’s important to note that new, young drivers will probably need much less instruction on this topic, for their brains are already being bred for this new kind of split-level thinking. It’s the older neurological holdouts, such as myself, who will really need to be retrained. (Fortunately some of us have gained valuable related experiences with writing notes and reading elegant passages in books while we’ve been driving, but we all know it becomes an added skill when bright blue light is added in.)

Please help spread the word about this. Forget everything else I might have told you in the past—I don’t even remember what that might have been, but that’s good—and let’s focus on getting some real tidy legislation passed toward this objective instead.

We need safer roads out there and I’m absolutely convinced this is the only way to get them. It’s a modest proposal, really, if you think about it, and there’s not much else that’s so wrong with the world at this time that we can’t give this some serious attention.

1 comment:

  1. Here, here! Bravo. I couldn't have said it better myself.