I never would have predicted that a parent magazine would have been fodder for a risk management post but there it was on the coffee table begging to be read it like an infant crying for attention.
It’s not surprising that states and provinces passed laws that ban talking and/or texting for drivers when, as the article notes, “Talking on the phone makes people four times as likely to crash, but texting makes a crash 23 times more likely”. I no longer talk in the car except on the rare occasion when I cannot find my douche bag Bluetooth ear piece: I feel shame if another driver witnesses a phone up to my ear. It’s like my BlackBerry is a scarlet letter on my face.
But after the phone risk is addressed, I think parents are still equally distracted by crying babies, infant siblings fighting in the back seats and the dreaded right-arm-reach-around to retrieve a juice box that recently fell that drips its red punch all over the beige floor mats when you squeeze it too hard.
While these risks can also be mitigated by giving babies soothers, separating brothers from sister and banning food in the car, there is still one other distraction which in the past nearly caused me to drive off the road: Howard Stern.
I haven’t listen to the King of all Media in a few years but there was a two year period when I could listen on my drive to work and laugh so hard that the tears in my eyes actually impaired my vision. The point is, while technology has created new driving risks, driving a motor vehicle has always been a risky endeavor and continues to require our undivided attention.