Have you ever sat in your car at the traffic lights, just watching the people who drive past? Or wondered what’s going on in their lives? Have you watched couples as they argue whilst they wait for the lights to turn green? Or seen the child excitedly tell their parents what happened that day as they drive away from school? Take a moment and observe. Now count the number of people talking on their phones, texting, smoking, eating or reading (I kid you not). I count about half of the drivers I see, completely distracted.
I don’t do these things, but I have also on occasion driven whilst distracted. I’ve driven tired, my mind occupied with the events of the day. I’ve had the kids shouting at me from the back. I would say I’m a good driver. I’ve never had a speeding ticket or accident (touch wood) – but I have been distracted at times.
What worries me on the road is not my own driving, but rather having to anticipate what every other driver is doing whilst they should be watching the wheel. I worry about what’s happening in their lives, what they are doing, which is distracting them whilst they should be focusing on the road. Bad driving doesn’t discriminate between age, race, gender or vehicle type. I have observed all types of drivers failing to follow the rules of the road, jump a red light, and not buckle up their kids.
It’s for this reason I insist my children are always strapped in their car seats. Yes, it is a legal requirement and I enjoy the fact that I can lawfully restrain my children, if only whilst in the car. It’s the actions of every other driver that reminds me that I cannot guarantee we won’t have an accident. But I can ensure that my family has the best chance of walking away from it.
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