Merge Wright: Talking Your Life Away Literally


Talking your life away literally

I drive too many miles. Fuel has been costing about $40 a week since the price went up. One of the benefits of driving more than the average driver is observing the quantity and quality of drivers I see each day yakking away and texting on their cell phones. Here are my favs from the past week.

Guy driving late model 4 door sedan that slows while approaching a busy intersection and then stops dead in front of a green light. It was amazing this guy was not rear ended and injured badly. (I’m guessing his boss called to talk about the Grimsley deal and he had to stop everything he was doing.)

I had the pole position at a red light and when the light turned green I quickly observed that it was safe to cross through the intersection and in half a second was on my way accelerating to a safe speed. I glanced in my rear view to notice the lady that had been sitting behind me was still parked arguing on her cell phone with her right arm flailing and unaware evidently where she was and what she was supposed to be doing…...driving!

I am at a 4 way stop and notice a vehicle on my left approaching at a high rate of speed. I think better wait this one out. Yup...she barreled right through the intersection talking on her cell as fast as she could go. One other vehicle and I were paying attention or there could have been a very serious accident.

My favorite and this happens more than it should. I’m waiting for the green left turn arrow, the one that only allows left turns when the arrow is on or you have to wait 3 minutes for the complete recycling of all the lights at a very busy intersection. Car number one driver is heavily involved in conversation when the green arrow turns on, I’m 8 cars back, we should all make it through right? Not today. Car number two afraid to honk at car number one so car number one doesn’t wake up until he sees the yellow arrow come on and then floors it to make his turn. (I better call my wife and let her know I’m stuck at one of those all day red lights.)

Next was a heavy set guy driving a compact car, steering with his knees, eating a Wendy’s Baconator and talking on his cell phone. Was I worried? Nope, not at all. We were in a 35 MPH zone and my injuries wouldn’t have been life threatening. I was more concerned about my cholesterol going up if that Baconator smacked me in the mouth.

And how about the folks that get e-mails on their cell phones while driving and can’t wait till they can pull over to read them. They’re dangerous. Texting while driving is the same habit that could end up sending you to jail for manslaughter. Ohio needs to enact cell phone laws like many other states have done to limit cell phone usage to hands free only with strong fines and license revocations for those that fail to comply. Remember the two most important gauges in your vehicle are your attention always.

Please be careful when driving, the aforementioned idiots are out there and they’re going to get you if you’re not paying attention. Ohio is working on a law to arrest people holding cell phones so maybe in the next year after the millions of Cicada families head back underground for 17 years we’ll have a law. I drive only, other business can wait.

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