On Monday, October 4th, 2010, The Globe and Mail published an article with the results of a new poll. According to the results of this poll, it seems to matter little to 3 out of 4 drivers that driving while distracted is dangerous and specifically, talking or texting while driving is also illegal.
“The poll, commissioned by insurer Allstate Canada, defines distracted driving as visual, manual or cognitive distractions — everything from texting on a cellphone or changing a CD to eating, using a GPS, applying makeup or being pre-occupied with other passengers.”
There seems to be a universal difference of opinion about what defines Distracted Driving. Is it as simple as anything taking a driver’s attention away from the task at hand or are there reasonable distractions? Is the distraction reasonable so long as it doesn’t result in an accident? Does it become an unacceptable distraction only if or when the outcome is tragic? There are enough necessary distractions while driving such as shoulder checking before changing lanes…yes, we’re supposed to do that…and frequent checking of the rear view mirror…yes, that is a recommended driving practice too…is it really necessary to introduce other distractions?
Driving is not just about the few feet in front of your vehicle; it’s about what’s happening way in front, in behind and on either side. As much as some drivers seem to like to think they should have the right to do whatever they want in their vehicle; what they do in their vehicle affects everyone else around them…your vehicle is not a universe unto itself.
It’s not just bad people or criminals who partake in various distracting activities while driving; it’s every day normal, nice, law-abiding people who can find their lives changed in an instant with just one poor choice. I guess it’s not so much the ‘official’ or legal definition of distracted driving that matters; it’s whether the distraction is worth the potential outcome.