(image from http://wheelwatcherpro.wordpress.com/safe-driving-blog/)
Experts say that technology has dramatically increased incidents of distracted driving. I propose a different theory. Come with me and I'll explain.
When I was a kid, "distracted driving" meant my Dad was straddled between the front and back seats trying to grab hold of one of us kids as we jumped around the back seat. All the while, he drove the car with three fingers and one foot. Now, THAT was distracted driving.
Of course, sometimes, food is involved with distracted driving. For example, the youngin' in the back sat wants his or her chicken nuggets, so the parent has to try to hand fries, drinks, and nuggets back to the child while keeping the car between lines. Spilling hot coffee? Yes, while trying to soothe the kids, the driver sneaks a drink only to have the lid pop off and spill molten hot liquid into the lap.
Often, drivers are distracted by objects flying around the vehicle. What kinds of objects? Papers, art projects, balls, yo-yos, action figures, siblings, shoes, used tissues... These often originate from the rear of the vehicle. Who is in the back? Usually, the children.
What about technology? Drivers often have to deal with shuffling DVDs, changing music stations, connecting iPods, etc to keep the kiddos entertained, all while driving down the road.What about talking and/or texting? How many times does that involve talking to/texting to/yelling at a child on the other end?
Do you see a common denominator here? Children are the root of distracted driving. It's a theory. I'm still ironing out the kinks.