Dangerous Distractions: Cells and Holes
We all have our opinions about cell phone use by the driver of a car. Personally, I believe it is a very dangerous distraction and a contributing factor to road rage. Many people see the cell as a big convenience, which it can be at the appropriate time and place. However, I know of drivers who use their cells - while driving - to enter contests!
Fortunately, I'm not skilled enough to text, driving or not, but I'm apparently in the minority. It amazes me that people actually believe that texting while driving is not a deterrent to their driving skills. I’ve observed vehicles weaving in their lanes, traveling left of the center line, or going off the right side of the road. I think that most of these drivers are probably texting. If I end up next to one of these vehicles, say stopped at a red light, I'll look over at the driver, and usually he or she will not look back!
I’d like to share with you a true story about two sisters who were texting each other. One of the sisters was at home, the other was driving. The sister driving sent a text to her sister that stopped in mid-sentence. The sister at home waited for the remainder of the sentence. It never came. The sister in the car was in a fatal accident. That left the sister at home holding the cell phone that had her sister's “last words" on it.
The bottom line: Don't use a cell phone while driving. Time, money and family can all suffer from unforeseen and unintentional consequences. If you need to appear in court for using a cell phone while driving, you might be in court all day. There's a day wasted. And then there's the fine and court costs! We're not talking nickels and dimes here! But most important, the use of the cell phone while driving could create an empty chair at the family table.
Those !x!*! Potholes
I'm sure many of you have used unprintable descriptive words to describe the potholes that have accumulated throughout Cleveland this winter. However, one word that we might keep in mind and practice using is patience!
Potholes can be very costly; they can damage your car and cause an accident. It takes total driving attention, good driving skills, and common sense to avoid them. For example, you're driving down the street and spot a pothole filled with water in your lane. You have no idea how deep the potentially car-sucking hole is! You think: Do I hit it or go around it? A split-second decision has to be made.
A couple of things to remember. First, given either choice, slow down! If you decide to go around the hole, try to stay in your own lane. If a lane change is needed, use what I teach my students, SMOG, which means use your Signal, check your Mirrors, look Over your shoulder and Go. Be very cautious because everyone else is also trying to dodge those potholes!
Until next time, keep both hands on the steering wheel and your eyes on the road!
Please submit your quetions and observations to Dale through our website. Click on Submit a new story and choose the Category, Daily Driver.
Dale Drottar is retired from the Avon Lake Police Department. He is currently an instructor at a driving school located in Rocky River.