Back in the Bad Old Days I used to be a commuter.
If you added up all the hours I have spent stuck in stationary traffic on the Stillorgan to Bray road it would probably come to several wasted months of my life.
Naturally, while I was waiting for the car in front of me to shift forward a few inches, I would indulge in some people spotting. Others would be doing the same, and occasionally I would catch a neighbour’s eye and we would exchange wry grins and use body language to indicate our frustrations with the wanker in front who was causing all the holdups.
I used to see some pretty strange stuff there in those traffic jams. The commonest sight was the woman [or the odd time, a man] putting on makeup, or the man [or the odd time, a woman] shaving in the rear view mirror. I have seen people eating cereal out of a bowl, reading the paper or a book, and on one occasion a woman breast-feeding a baby.
Now there has been some “research” into the non-driving habits of our motorists.
Hold on a second! Has this research examined accidents to see if the driver had been shaving or texting at the time of impact? No. It was a fucking survey. Even worse, it was a “what have you seen other people doing” kind of survey which means absolutely zilch. Were the cars stationary at the time or were they pelting down the N11 doing The Ton? We are not told, probably because the respondents weren’t asked.
Assuming they were going flat out on the motorway at the time then those people are obviously knuckle-draggers who shouldn’t be behind the wheel, as shaving, putting on makeup or texting require the participant to take their eye off the road, not for an instant but to stare fixedly at the mirror or screen. Fucking dangerous to put it mildly, but Darwin will eventually take care of them.
They include smoking for some strange reason. Presumably whenever people talk about danger, they have to include smoking as it must now be the law. When an engineer submits plans for a bridge or a dam he has to prove proof that it won’t cause people to smoke? If a landslide buries a village it must be because someone was smoking?
Anyhows, back to the article.
Now I confess to smoking and on the odd occasion poking my SatNav [though never while driving an unnecessary accident, whatever that means]. I can light my pipe without taking my eyes off the road ahead and will never poke my SatNav while negotiating sharp bends or junctions [it has voice recognition so I don’t do it often anyway], so I can’t see what the danger is supposed to be here? In fact, lighting my pipe is less of a distraction than looking at the speedometer to see how much I’m exceeding the limit by, so maybe I shouldn’t look at my instrument panel any more? Sorry, Your Honour, I had no idea I was going 168 at the time as checking my speed would have been a distraction and therefore dangerous?
These days I tend to get very suspicious when I see these “studies”. What are they up to? What are they trying to prove? What idiotic fucking law are they going to lobby for?
In the meantime I’m wondering if I will drive an unnecessary accident down to the pub tonight.