A good month to prevent distracted driving

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“It wasn’t my fault the car in front of me hit me. I glanced at my text message for only a second when our bumpers collided.”

“How could the car in front of you hit you?”

“The idiot stopped to let a deer cross the street — and dented my front bumper with his rear bumper. Yet the cops wrote me up for texting while driving!”

“It’s because of people like you that April has become National Distracted Driving Awareness Month! Safety advocates are urging drivers like you to avoid texting or watching streaming video on their phones, while behind the wheel of their cars!”

“A whole month to make people aware of the risks of distracted driving?”

“That’s right. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says 3,522 people were killed in traffic crashes involving a distracted driver in 2021, and an estimated 362,415 people were injured.”

“Look, I’m in sales and on the road a lot. I’ve gotten pretty good at talking, eating, texting and driving. It wasn’t my fault some idiot front-ended me.”

“That’s simply not true. According to The New York Times, a Michigan professor found that when someone tries to multitask, important neural regions in the brain must switch back and forth. This opens up opportunities for serious mistakes behind the wheel.”

“But it’s not my fault my wife wants immediate answers when she texts me!”

“Look, our roadways have changed significantly over the years. For starters, many of our cars are so comfortable and quiet, people forget they’re operating a two-ton hunk of steel. They’re able to zone out to music or yap on the phone, oblivious to the millions of things that could go wrong.”

“But I invested a lot of dough in my sound system. It would be a waste not to blast the speakers!”

“To make matters more challenging, there are lots more cars on the road. According to Forbes, more than 97% of American households have one car and nearly 23% have three or more!”

“So we’re a rich country. What’s wrong with that?”

“It only means that there are lots more drivers on the road — drivers of every age and experience level. We know, for instance, that teen drivers are distracted more easily than older drivers — especially when their peers are in the car with them.”

“My wife and I solved that problem. We got our daughter a ’76 Pacer. She never leaves the house.”

“That’s funny. The point is, the more distracted drivers there are on the road, the greater the opportunity for accidents. And add to that challenge a mix of ever-changing technologies — smartphones, iPads, laptops and GPS devices — and you have a recipe for disaster.”

“You make some good points.”

“Look, many people are wary of the government intervening in our lives, but there is wide agreement that this is one area where the government needs to intervene. Many states have implemented distracted driving laws and with good reason.”

“OK, I agree with you and I’ll stop texting while driving. But please know that my driving skills are widely admired by other drivers. They even praise me when I cut them off!”

“They do?”

“Why else would they keep giving me the ‘You’re No. 1’ finger gesture?”

Copyright 2024 Tom Purcell, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

See Tom Purcell’s syndicated column, humor books and funny videos featuring his dog, Thurber, at TomPurcell.com. Email him at [email protected].

Find Tom Purcell’s syndicated column, humor books and funny videos of his dog, Thurber, at TomPurcell.com. Email him at [email protected].