To NTSB cellphone ban list, add these worse habits

December 16th, 2011
By

Sure, it’s a given that cellphone use and related texting or tweeting are potential safety hazards.
But for the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to include no-hands Bluetooth technology to the proposed no-can-do list seems bizarre, compared to worse distractions I’ve witnessed — you, too, probably — on the road.
If the intent was to make drivers pay attention and drive, the law should say you can only drive, and do nothing else.
Enforcing the regulations would be tough, for sure. And there will always be folks who will cheat and regulators can’t possibly list every possible no-no.
Admittedly, I’ve taken or made a call while in transit while awaiting a green light or stopped in gridlock traffic. But I don’t text or tweet.
Clearly, there are numerous other worse habits happening on our highways and byways on any given day.
Here’s a starter list of obvious infractions that are distractions; perhaps you can add to it:

1. Putting on makeup. Lipstick, mascara, rouge, whatever. The sun visor mirror, or the rear-view mirror, are magnets for these actions.
2. Reading a map or GPS for directions. If you don’t know where the heck you’re going, you rely on an old-fashioned map in your glove compartment, or GPS in your vehicle or your cell.
3. Drinking soda or bottled water. It does get warm and you do get parched.
4. Reading a book. I mean, really, I wouldn’t believe it but I’ve seen it.
5. Reading a newspaper. Ditto, like above.
6. Holding a dog in your lap. Pets probably should be in the rear seat, not in the driver’s lap or hanging its head out the window.
7. Reaching in the back seat for a bag, purse, etc. The thing you need seldom is in easy reach.
8. Left foot hanging out of driver’s window. No comment necessary. Duh!
9. Combing or brushing hair. Looks may matter, but multitaskers will be multitaskers.
10. Brushing your teeth. Aaay, don’t laugh; I saw a woman do this; she rinsed with bottled water.

Any further comment? Anything to add?

4 Responses to “To NTSB cellphone ban list, add these worse habits”

  1. Don W.:

    Failing to use a turn signal when crossing ANY crosswalk. Drivers should SIGNAL at all times, regardless of the lane designation. Pedestrians look for signals to see where drivers are going in mulit-directional lanes and most cars just assume EVERYONE knows where they're going.


  2. Makiki:

    Shaving and eating could be added. You do have to consider how often you see a driving "anomaly" and look and see that the person is using a wireless device (even with bluetooth) vs all of the other distractions combined. I carry and use 2 different wireless devices and I would like to see a total ban or some sort of device to prevent their use while the vehicle is activated.

    The difference between a wireless conversation and an in-vehicle conversation is that with the in-vehicle conversation the participants are usually also part of the act of driving and are in-tune with what is going on with the operation of the vehicle. Just notice the difference with exchanges between the driver and adults vs children. A conversation with adults is usually influenced by the the act of driving and a conversation with childeren usually is not.

    The necessity of being connected has gone too far.


  3. Ken:

    Saw this on the mainland. Some lady had a dog hanging its head out the window of her car. Some guy tempted the dog with food and the dog jumped out. Man took off with dog. Woman panicked and frantically tried to park to go after the guy.

    Way too many of these dogs hanging out of car windows here in Hawaii. LEAVE THE DOG HOME!


  4. Ken:

    A big issue here is now drivers START THEIR LEFT TURN SIGNAL AFTER THE LIGHT GOES GREEN AND AFTER THEY START MOVING INTO THE INTERSECTION. I drive around all day for a living so I started a log. In one month I noticed 485 incidents of this. That's 22 per working day that I noticed. Imagine how rampant this uncaring act is in Hawaii.