Striking a dubious blow for public health safety everywhere, the National Transportation Safety Board released a controversial statement on December 13, 2011, wherein it recommended banning all cell phone use by automobile drivers. This call comes in spite of evidence showing that these sorts of bans may not reduce the numbers of accidents on our highways. DrRich, in a posting on this topic, noted in his tongue-in-cheek fashion that the NTSB should propose even more bans on behaviors that accompany driving. This was also noted in a posting on the Hot Air blog as well. One of the points they all seem to be making is that distracted drivers have always been on our highways and will continue to be so, despite the banning of any particular behavior. In this vein, I would like to propose to the NTSB some driving behaviors for their banning consideration:
- Singing loudly (and harmonizing) to Air Supply while driving. Granted, this behavior was more in vogue 30 years or so ago, but was and probably could still be a hazard on the road in that over-50 crowd.
- Necking and petting while driving. I realize the antiquated verbiage used here, but many an accident may have been caused by distracted teenagers well on their first forays into this behavioral distraction. Besides, it would cut down on the possibility of these folks reproducing and begetting the next generation of distracted drivers.
- Letting your miniature Chihuahua sit on your shoulder while you drive. (Though this does provide the opportunity for this sort of yappy dog to accidentally fly out the window…) On second thought, this ban might be a wash.
- Fathers yelling at their kids on a long vacation trip. Said dad reaching behind him to the kids in the back seat: “DON’T MAKE ME GO BACK THERE AND TELL YOU WHERE YOU CAN HEAR!!!” Ah, good times. But distracting nonetheless.
I’m sure there are more behaviors we can all think of to ban in addition to cell phones. It just remains to be seen what will be the next villain in the government’s quest for perfect, distraction free driving. Thinking? Breathing?