6/21/12 - Texting While Motorcycling

I was on I-85 going toward Charlotte a few weeks ago.  It was sunny and a blue sky day, not a ton of traffic.  Heading to a baseball tournament for my 16 year old son.  It was about 6pm on a Friday night.

Ahead of us we saw a driver weaving all over the right hand lane.  He'd weave left, overcompensate and jerk back to the right, nearly run off the road, then repeat.  Even from a little distance you could see him look down for a good 5 or 6 seconds, which made him weave all over, then he'd glance up and try to straighten out.  But he kept on what he was doing.

"That cat is texting," I said to my wife.

"Wow, he sure is," she said.

The kicker is this guy was driving a Harley Davidson motorcycle.  We came up next to him and both took a quick look, and he was busy with his head down, using one thumb to type, focused on sending a text.  It was clear he meant to finish sending whatever note he'd set out to send.  I sped up, so we wouldn't get caught up in his crazy driving, and he disappeared in my rear view mirror.

Is it worse to text while driving a motorcycle versus a car?  Does it matter if you smoke low tar cigarettes if you're still a smoker?  Except for worn out scenes in movies, do real people actually play "Russian Roulette"?

Is anything really that important?

It's interesting that I was particularly appalled by the motorcyclist texting while driving.  That says something about me and it's probably not positive.  It stands to reason it's an idiotic thing to do, no matter what you're driving, but the fact that you need two hands on the handlebars to (theoretically) steer a motorcycle correctly means you ought to pay some attention.  Doesn't it?

Does it really all come down to keeping both hands on the wheel -- or the handlebars, whatever the case may be?  Is texting while driving a healthcare issue?  Is this an issue that only ties back to teenagers?

In a survey done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 58% of teenagers admitted to texting while driving.  The survey questioned more than 15,000 public and private high school students across the country.  However, the CDC survey didn't ask whether the texting or emailing was done while the vehicle was moving or stopped.

But the biker was not a teenager, and I'm wondering where he is right now, and if he thinks luck plays any role in his life.

Posted by Jack Williams at 05:00


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