Don't Cell Yourself Short
I don’t like people telling me what to do.
We already have enough of it in this country, and the trend seems to be growing.
The “blame-someone-else” masses call up the powers-that-be with complaints about what somebody else is doing—and prod them to pass some intrusive laws. To over-regulate. To tell us what is best for us in our own offices, in our own cars, and even in our own bedrooms.
This kind of legislation drives me crazy. Particularly when it comes to my precious cell phone.
Politicians all over America are requiring hands-free headsets for cell phone users ... or trying to ban cell phones in cars altogether. Sometimes it’s to reduce the supposed risk of tumors from cell phones use; sometimes it’s to prevent the purported greatest risk to road safety—the distraction caused by talking on cell phones while driving.
On both points, the cellphobes are wrong.
According to the recently released, largest-ever study to examine the hypothetical health dangers from cell phone use, there is no link between frequent cell phone use and the most common brain tumors.
When it comes to the dangers of unfocused driving, researchers have found that many things are more distracting than talking on a cell phone. One study found that foods like chocolate and jelly-filled doughnuts topped the list of driving distractions. Don’t forget drinks, too—coffee, for example, often spills, spurring drivers to jump in skin-scalding pain or look down to clean up the mess.
No matter how you slice (or gulp) it, research shows that eating and driving puts others in harm’s way more than talking on a cell phone.
An earlier, AAA-funded study found all the following activities outranked cell phone use as causes of serious automobile accidents: eating and drinking, adjusting climate controls, changing radio stations, adding/removing CDs, and talking to passengers. Not to mention distractions outside the vehicle, which were nearly 20 times more likely than cell phone use to cause serious accidents.
Strike three. Cellphobes are OUT.
Please don’t misunderstand me—I’m not a fan of drivers who swerve across three lanes while turning because one hand is holding a cell phone. In fact, facing this very situation today, I performed my duty as a citizen—I rolled down my window and hurled expletives at the careless jackass.
But the problem is the driver, not the cell phone.
If someone causes an accident due to any distraction—be it changing radio stations, eating fast food, or trying to pick up a toy that their baby dropped—we should hold the driver responsible. Don’t outlaw the radio, the burger, or the pacifier, even though doing so would apparently save lives.
And leave my cell phone alone.
I need it to call my representatives and bitch about the burger-eating, coffee-drinking, CD-changing asshole who just cut me off.