The traffic had come to a bit of a standstill and before I stopped I looked in my rear view mirror as normal. Unnervingly, my eyes were not met by the eyes of the driver behind me but by the crown of his head.
Instead of surveying the road he was glancing at his phone busy texting, or perhaps typing an email or surfing the internet – either way his attention was not where it should have been.
Of course I immediately became anxious and annoyed that the distracted driver would end up crashing into the back of my car. If we had to slam on our brakes in an emergency I doubt the texter’s reaction times would have been good enough.
In the end I couldn’t hold back from beeping my horn at him and telling him to get off of his phone – I was so infuriated.
The really shocking thing about all this though is that this case is not a rare occurrence and sadly I often see people texting instead of concentrating on driving. I have witnessed oncoming cars drifting over to my side of the road because the driver is texting, only correcting their position when they eventually remember to look up. It is scary, unnecessary and annoying.
Phones and driving do not mix and it makes me angry to see people weaving all over the road because they are much more concerned about constructing the perfect text message than they are about ploughing into a car, a wall or an innocent pedestrian.
It should not be an excuse, but part of the trouble is that our modern phones are now so advanced that there’s a whole wealth of temptation and distraction for drivers. People seem to be so addicted to their phones that they will even risk having a serious accident just to use one.
Will it take a crash to make some people realise that texting while driving is a very stupid thing to do? By which time it will be too late.
People must know the dangers of using a phone while driving, numerous studies have shown that it impairs the drivers’ abilities and lowers their reaction times. Some research has even shown that it is as bad as or even riskier than driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs – so why do people still do it?
Unlike drink driving people seem to understand less about the dangers of texting at the wheel and until they do I guess I will just have to continue getting annoyed, blowing my horn and shaking my fist.
By Gemma Senington