Thursday, July 02, 2015

Typing While Driving

I figured out why people text and drive.  I think it was pretty hard to understand at first because the blinding rage I have over it is hard to see past, but after a few years of pure wonderment over how we could have lowered the bar to the point where we don't even look where we're going anymore, I feel like it came clear to me all at once.  The pivotal moment was when I saw a guy last week behind the wheel looking at down at his phone and giving the road the occasional glance.  Instead of the usual outrage and disgust, I felt a strange sense of calm as the simplicity of the problem dawned on me; he had it exactly backwards.  He was studying his phone and giving the road the occasional check.  Yes, this is colossal and inexcusable stupidity, but I think I know what's going through people's heads.

1) The phone is more interesting than driving.

There's a new generation of people out there who aren't all that interested in cars. It's not their thing. The reasons might have something to do with the environment, but it also can't be completely discounted that the act of driving requires you to forget about your phone for awhile.  That's a hard sell.

2) For the most part, taking your eyes off the road (or hands off the wheel) doesn't stop your car from moving.  You look at the road, you look at the phone, and most times things just keep going along.  You end up convincing yourself that a certain aspect of the driving happens on autopilot, and you get lulled into the familiar sensation of riding public transportation.

I think any other contributing factors still stem from these two main points.

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