Thursday, August 17, 2006

Distracted driving... Without a cell phone


Two houses down from me lives a single mom of two little girls and the owner of two dogs that poop in my yard a lot... What? Let them poop in her back yard? Why? That's gross! What? Walk the dogs on a leash and pick the poop up like other sane residence of my neighborhood? Unheard of!

Anyway, her girls go to the school I work for. Being that I am working hard to be more calm, more loving, and really just trying not to get worked up about things, I really HATE it when she leaves to take her girls to school minutes after I leave. Why? Because all I can do it look in my rear-view mirror and be amazed that any woman would drive so wrecklessly.

This woman's driving habits CONSUME me. So I try to let her get ahead of me or just leave late for work.

Today, I timed how much time she looked a the road and how much time she was distracted.

This is NOT a revisit to the cell phone debate... Why? Because not once, during the 22 minute drive, did she use a cell phone.

Perhaps now you can see why I don't let her behind me; because I, too, don't watch the road... I watch and see who distracted she is...

announces checking her face in her mirror, turning around to tell her kids something, reaching over to the passenger side for God knows what, and just generally looking around in a daze this woman spent an average of (NO LIE):

17 seconds for every minute watching the road as she drove.

This with two kids in the car...

Amazing, no?

12 comments:

TheComputerLady said...

Jumping Jack Jamison...you're a gas.

That lady is scary. 17 out of 60 seconds is a lot of time not watching the road.

I will say this: kids in the car ARE distracting. If your passengers are normal adults, clearly you can expect a certain level of decorum. Children, at least my children, lose all social graces three minutes after the engine turns over. I dare say they become borderline schizophrenics. On any given car trip I might witness: people slugging each other, shrieks from wet willie recipients, someone taking off their pants because the button is pinching them, loud guttural noises so I'll look at the bubble they just blew, more loud guttural noises so I’ll look at the bubble that just popped in their hair, urgent demands I look at the cloud shaped like a butt, large containers of liquid accidentally tipping over and splashing the back of my hair, items blowing out the window because I forgot to put the window lock on and dire screams of “HELP! HELP! I have diarrhea” and these people don't understand the word INTERSTATE.

Honestly, if it weren’t for the marriage of our car DVD player, my audible.com audio book subscription and fast-acting liquid Imodium, I wouldn’t drive at all.

mullinz8 said...

That’s funny.

My boys are a distraction at times but I usually try and pack enough food and toys to keep them happy, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

In many cases Jules and I are traveling together which leaves one of us free to either field questions, supply food and toys, command attention or beat someone. It’s simple but it works for us.

I think one of you needs to leave earlier.

kellieja said...

You should leave before her so she can observe and take in your bumper sticker. That way she knows there may be a chance that you are using her front flower bed as your favorite pee spot.

Better yet,design a bumper sticker just for her to read while you are on your way to work.
Just spit-balling here but you could use:
"My Neighbor, please stop putting your makeup on, please stop reaching for your who knows what, and for goodness sake stop reading this and watch the freakin road!"
Just throwing that out.

Jamison said...

oh, of the 43 seconds she was distracted, maybe 10 of those seconds were spent looking back at the kids... she seems to be very concerned with her hair and makeup...

Yudelka said...

You know what I think you should do, Jamison? Huh, Do you?
By golly, I'll tell you!

For the sake of seeing her response, say something.

I'm not one of those I-MUST-tell-everyone-what-they're-doing-wrong-because-I-simply-know-it-all type, but I'd LOVE to know her reaction to the revelation that she is being watched during her extreme carelessness.

Of course, that's a toughie--I don't know that I would do it, but it's easy for me to say from way over here, so I'm saying it.

Reason I suggest such insanity--besides my curiosity--is because on one occasion, an acquaintance from church who lived on our road addressed my hubby about his speeding habit on our residential road. He pointed out that his kids play in the frontyard. Of course, that didn't handle the other speeders in the neighborhood, but it sort of 'ministered' to my husband's insensitivity regarding the issue.

So, if you can gather your guts, go for it...

bigsip said...

There should be a law against that :)

Jamison said...

she got behind me again this morning... I was so upset I almost just pulled over on my street and let her pass, but I decided to let her stay behind me and I would drive normally and not look in my rear view mirror...

We get on the main drag (25mph, LOADS of kids waiting for a school bus, where LOADS of kids ride bikes and play) and this woman PASSES ME!

Not in a "Hurry up you bastard!" sort of way, but in a casual "passing people in a child-infested neighborhood is normal for me" sort of way... she was sipping her morning beverage as she passed me...

I literally had to look away and count to 10... this woman drives me up the wall...

I rear ended a nice indonisian man yesterday.

Brewster said...

I find great pleasure in these comments. Jamison complains that lady behind him doesn't pay attention to the road while giving us a completely detailed description of what she did while driving (thus admitting he wasn't paying any attention either), complains that she is wreckless and then off handedly mentions he just had a wreck.

Jamison said...

i know... this is why i hate it when she is behind me because I am consumed at her foolish driving habits. She does it to me...

The best part about me rear ending that indonisian man is that i was so calm, cool and happy. After being called an "F-er" about 500 times during my last fender bender, and then this guy being so nice and almost scared, I was pretty happy. I mean, this IS what insurance is for, so, big deal, im an old pro.

Yudelka said...

Was she behind you when you rear-ended the poor guy? I take it she wasn't since it wasn't a workday, but wouldn't THAT be ironic!

This woman seems to ruin your whole day. Wow--you even had to count to ten! It just isn't right!

Be careful! You need to learn to ignore her, or this lady will be the death of you--LITERALLY!!!
Or you can always take my first advice (see above post).

mullinz8 said...

Let the air out of her tires. do a different tire each day, on Friday write her a note that says "Stop following me and watch the road, God bless."

Jamison said...

Fender bender and woman are unrelated... she will be the death of me, and i will be the death of her dogs if i step in their poop in my yard again...

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