Yesterday I was driving to work behind a man that was simultaneously smoking a cigarette and texting while he drove. I know this for sure because he kept holding the phone up to text one-handed. I'm still not sure how he was steering (?his knees?) but I do know that he drove ten miles under the speed limit down a long road that had double yellow lines. (Double yellow lines mean that you cannot pass another car).
It seems like everyone is texting all the time. The other day I was driving home from the store. A young guy on a bicycle was on the road ahead, weaving on and off the road. When I was young, the only time you saw an adult male on a bike was when they'd lost their driving privileges because of drunk driving. Although that isn't true today, I was wondering if that was the reason this guy was bicycling. When I pulled next to him I could see that he was texting while he cycled.
People I work with all seem to carry their phones and in random moments pull them out and text. It's against all the rules, but who's going to tell? In the cafeteria at work, nearly every solitary diner sits and texts throughout their meal. (I like to read a book.)
Let me be clear, I text. It's not my primary source of social interaction. I can understand that it's a handy way to communicate. I would much prefer that people text than to have to listen to their one-sided phone calls everywhere I go. But this constant constant texting every spare moment. What can they possibly have to say that is so important?
Recently, Dr. Frank Ryan (a plastic surgeon in California) crashed his car and died while tweeting a photo of his dog in the car with him. I'm sure he thought it was a cute moment to share. Apparantly the concept of pulling over to take the picture, or waiting to send the picture was too much trouble. It cost him his life. Of course there are accidents every day caused by people texting and tweeting when they should be paying attention to other things. Now they are talking about passing laws against texting while driving. I'm not sure how easy it would be to enforce them. The scarier part to me is that they have to make a law to enforce what should be common sense.
As the saying goes, 'common sense' isn't common enough.