Dear Drifters and Dreamers and Text Message Streamers: Get Off The Road, You Self-Deluded Multi-Taskers!

December 8, 2009

Multi-tasking: A nice way to say that you’re doing many different things at the same time. And since no one can divide by zero, that means you’re doing many different things half-a__ed.
• UrbanDictionary.com

I am a tolerant person. I am relatively patient, probably scoring at least a seven on the patience scale with one being a two-year-old and ten being Mother Teresa. I am generally kind and caring. I do not believe that I have the answers to life’s questions. I try to understand the perspectives of others. But I hate these people: the distracted drivers whose attention is fragmented on the road. You know who you are. You are the folks who think you can multi-task as you hurtle down the freeway in a big hunk of metal and drift from side to side in your lane and sometimes even into mine.

I watch you from behind as I travel the interstate to work and I’m pretty sure I know what you’re doing. I’m often a passenger, so I have many opportunities to check you out. As we pass, hoping to leave you and your distractions behind, I can see that you are not looking steadily at the road, but are instead glancing at it occasionally, fascinated by other things to the side or down below that must be incredibly important. Sometimes I can even see you texting as you hold your phone up in front of you so that you can pretend to watch two things at once.

I’m afraid of you. You seem to be oblivious to the rest of us. The road is yours and I guess it must seem as though a jerk of your wheel there means no more than if you were playing a video game. But last week one of you ran my husband and I off the interstate doing sixty-five miles an hour. You whipped back into your lane and kept right on going as we left the highway and slid into the gravel and I can’t think of a single good reason why you should be allowed to keep driving.

I can live with the reality of tech distraction in the classroom. I can deal with it. But I can’t control the thoughtless actions of those who believe that they are the exception to the rule that requires that drivers give their full attention to the road and whose selfish and utterly irresponsible behavior endangers all of us.

A question for you or for someone you know who drives with distraction: What are you doing that would be worth causing an accident? Write the text message that would be worth someone else’s life.

To do two things at once is to do neither.
• Publilius

P.S. What does this have to do with my alleged blogtopic, student success? Well, if you don’t stay alive and I don’t stay alive, who will be in the classroom?



  1. When did multi-tasking become chic? I always thought that my ability to do many things at the same time, was just…well…part of my personality. I cannot just watch TV. I need to watch TV, grade papers, sew, search the internet, read….I kind of did not want it known that I could not focus on just one thing…..

  2. I was optimistic when the law changes regarding phone usage while driving went into effect…that optimism did not last long. I see people, both young and “older” using their phones on the road daily. What will it take to stop them? I personally found it difficult enough to dial my phone or try to find it while driving, I certainly would not attempt to text.

  3. I was happy to see the law change in Oregon. I don’t have a cell phone, but I did just recently get a phone for my wife. It doesn’t just take a phone to distract a person from the wheel either, but with today’s technology it is the most common. I have been fortunate, but I don remember a car accident I was involved in when I live in Reno with my sister when I was about 13. She was switching lanes and put her left hand signal on, and then we almost got plowed by an 18 wheeled diesel truck. We veered to the other side quickly, did some spinning, crossed a couple of lanes and were turned looking the other way on the highway. We were fortunate that no one was hurt.
    Life is way to precious to short to put your own and other’s lives at risk Please put your phones down and wait until you stop to talk! It only takes a millisecond for your eyes to be taken off the road and an accident to occur. Of the many factors that cause accidents this is definitely one that we have absolute control over.

  4. Although I do not text while I’m driving, I find myself being distracted all the time by the passengers in my backseat.

    Three boys talking, asking questions, arguing, fighting, barking requests.

    “I need a drink, pass the gum, turn this song up, turn the music down, turn the DVD on, are we there yet, how much longer, have you seen my…, I don’t feel good, he’s touching me”, and the list goes on and on.

    I am glad that laws are being passed to keep distractions with cell phones to a minimum, but when will we see a law that will keep our children from distracting us? 🙂

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