What has become of the driving style of yesteryear? In a recent study it was discovered that multitasking is just not one of the human bodies strong-suites. Our brains do better processing one task at a time rather than a slue of tasks all at once. This effects many things, including our driving style.
With the advent of incorporating as much technology as possible into the automobile, many have argued that this only impairs the users concentration and attention to the road. I will be the first to agree to this statement. While I agree that a hands-free device may help you keep your hands at "10 and 2", the conversation itself is still interference of concentration. I speak first-hand from experience.
A handful of years back I was a commercial accounts manager responsible for a territory spanning from Salinas to Ventura on the coast and from Merced to Bakersfield on the valley side of California. This rather larger area consisted of hundreds of miles of monotonous driving. The cell phone made for a good companion on such a drive. The problem is I found myself missing a freeway interchange or exit more than once due to this phenomenal device for communication.
Such an experience makes one realize it may be time to just hangup and drive.
What will it take to get us back to basics? The old days when the only interface in a car besides pedals, transmission and column controls was a poor quality radio. If we breakdown the attention-grabbing options in the modern automobile one could go crazy. You have everything from real-time Facebook connectivity, to DVD players for the kids, navigation for the grown ups and countless songs to shuffle through via MP3 devices. All of these items are excuses for you to take your eye off the road.
One of the best bits of advice I got was during my years working with AAA Roadside. A savvy CHP officer told me (while helping a stranded motorist on highway 101), "never take your eyes off the road, the minute you do could be your last". From then on I faced traffic and kept an eye up while servicing vehicles on the side of any road. And while that advice applies on curb-side, likewise it goes for actions behind the wheel too.
Remember; nothing is more important that your life. Phone calls can wait, texting can wait, a different song or social media status can too wait. Stay focused and stay alive. Practice and preach this to the next generation of drivers as well.