I can remember the elation I felt just over 24 years ago when I passed my test. Sitting across from me, the examiner asked the final few questions and I nervously answered them thinking I must have done well so far. A few minutes later he smiled at me and said “Congratulations, you have passed the driving test.”
So 24 years later am I a better driver than when first starting out on the road? That is the good question. I would probably answer ‘Yes’. I am by no means perfect and would not claim to be however my awareness of the potential dangers on the road has developed over the years through my own experiences.
I have had 3 accidents in my lifetime to date and the last one was a good ten years ago. My first accident was as a passenger when our car hit black ice and spun out of control. All who were in the car were lucky to escape with cuts and bruises. My second accident was as a nervous new driver who got stuck in a car park and due to panic hit accelerator instead of the brake whilst going backwards smashing into a brick wall. My third accident was due to distraction within my car causing me to take my eyes off the road for a split second!!!! Luckily in all 3 accidents no one was seriously hurt (Unfortunately 4 cars were harmed).
As I said accident number 3 was a distraction within my car, (child talking to me), causing me to remove my eyes from the road for a split second and therefore have a delayed reaction to braking, ending with bonnet meets rear bumper.
Why tell you all this?
Recently a video, which in all fairness is a good example of signed song duet, has been circulating Facebook. The said couple have a good chemistry singing the famous song from ‘Grease’ and look like they are enjoying signing ‘You’re the one that I want’ to each other. So what has this got to do with my driving history? The said couple are driving whilst sign singing to each other, the man often having to take his hands off the wheel and use his knees to steer.
And this is not their only video of hands free driving.
Another new craze is people taking selfies whilst driving! 33% of Britain’s have admitted to taking selfies whilst driving in a recent survey. Add these two problems to conversations, talking on mobile phones while driving, dinking, DRUID (Driving under the influence of drugs) and you have a cocktail for potential disaster resulting in serious injuries or death.
These dangers are all contributing factors causing delayed reactions. Another report contributes the figure of 68% accidents are a result of delayed reactions. 35% was down to failure to look properly. Whereas you could argue that some were ignorant to signs, signals and other causes, surely these newer dangers hold a high contributing factor.
So my message is signed songs and selfies are great fun, however doing them whilst driving, I feel is sending out the wrong message to people and urge you to think about the hazards involved. A life is far more valid than a couple of minutes fun that could end up being your last.