He inserted the key in his aging car’s ignition to start its engine. The car didn’t obey his command at first but incessant cranking made sure the four-wheeled machine woke up and lit the dark alley. Unlike last week, today, he was late for the meeting. He didn’t like being late, it made him cranky. A glimpse at the ticking watch on his right wrist made him change gears and press the accelerator. The passing cars could sense the urgency thanks to his sedan’s speed.
‘I can’t be late,’ he muttered while wiggling his left toe inside his worn-out shoe. A row of street lights had an off that night but the red signal shone profoundly, ordering him to stop his car. He was never the type to obey orders. Predictably, he jumped the signal and raced ahead, dodged the young biker, and moved towards the flyover. That’s when his phone pinged.
He removed his mobile from his pocket and glanced at the text message, it was from Tina. ‘The movie is abt to start, whr r u Sanjay?’ Sanjay knew Tina would get furious if her text wasn’t replied to at the earliest. They were going to watch the new thriller, A Killer on The Road. Sanjay got anxious as he wanted to reply at the earliest.
He continued to accelerate and moved his hand away from the steering to text her back. A few seconds later, Sanjay’s car had crashed into a young biker, killing him on the spot! Sanjay’s car was damaged but he was unhurt because of his seat belt. Obviously, Sanjay couldn’t make it for the movie on time, A Killer on The Road had started.
Are You A Killer?
In the above story, if Sanjay hadn’t resorted to texting back Tina while driving, chances are that he might have been more attentive behind the steering. He could’ve avoided the crash and saved the young rider’s life. Texting and driving can be dangerous to the vehicle’s driver, passenger, other vehicles on the road, as well as the pedestrians.
Side-effects of Texting and Driving
Texting while driving has an impact on the driver in the following ways:
When you look at your phone, you are not looking at the road ahead. How can you drive a moving vehicle safely without looking at the road? Constant notifications on the mobile phone tempt you to check them at the earliest. Doing so while the car is moving means that you are not in the right position to react to any sudden situation. Example, you will not be able to control your car if the bike on your right suddenly enters your lane.
Most people type out their text messages and do not use voice commands to do so. This means, if you are texting and driving, your hands are not on the car’s steering as you are holding the mobile phone. Even if you are using only one hand to type, it eats into your reaction time in case of an emergency. And even if you can keep an eye on the road from your peripheral vision, you cannot tilt the steering instantly as you are not holding it properly while texting.
A text from your boss triggers a different emotion, so does a text from your spouse. In either case, getting swayed by a particular emotion while driving can be counterproductive. Checking a text and pondering over it while driving can waver your focus. You shouldn’t be worrying about replying to a text when you are driving at 100 kmph, there is a huge truck behind you, a young couple on a bike on your left, and a car with a ‘baby on board’ sticker in your front of you!
Texting while driving falls under distracted driving. If drinking and driving is a crime, texting while driving is also equally damaging, if not more. Authorities do have a mechanism in place to check if you are drinking and driving but sadly, there is no foolproof mechanism in place to keep texting and driving in check. Ultimately, it is about self-regulation and respecting lives, human and otherwise.
DO NOT TEXT & DRIVE
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