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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Implements of Destruction

Driver + cell phone = mortal enemy.

Crossing Massachusetts Ave on my bike this evening on the way home from work, with the green light, a woman talking on a cellphone while trying to turn right on red makes eye contact with me, so I assume we're cool. But apparently it's cell phone zombie eye contact, because she proceeds to pull out in front of me (despite my bright blinking headlight), almost causing me to hit the driver's side door of her car and disturb her conversation.

A few minutes later, in the bike lane on 14th St, a different woman on a cell phone makes a righthand turn close enough in front of me that I have to hit the brakes. She didn't signal, either.

When talking on a cell phone, please remember that you are piloting a several thousand pound piece of equipment. Also, it's illegal in DC.


ReeD said...

The scariest part of being on a bike... a classmate of mine from high school was killed last year by a driver on a cellphone while he was riding his bike, a horrible, easily-avoidable tragedy.

Sometimes I wonder if the best remedy for this is to add random inanimate moving obstacles to the road so drivers are forced to pay attention when they drive. As long as drivers are given the false sense of security and seeming ease of maneuvering large metal objects around, which we seem to frequently design roads to in this country, we'll end up with people who think they can drive and do other tasks at the same time.

hannah said...

I'm amazed that every time in Minneapolis I'm on the freeway and I think, "Man, that person is really driving like an asshole," it turns out they're on a cell phone.

lj said...

I was going to say almost the same thing as Hannah, except that in my experience there are two cases:

1. If they are driving erratically and too fast, then they are on a cell phone.
2. If they are driving erratically and too slow, then they are at least 70 years old.

...plus the odd person driving like an asshole just because their car is fast and expensive (often also falls in #1) or because they are drunk. But cell phones cover 95% of it.

What really blows my mind is that I've seen people who appear to be texting or checking their email or something on their phones while driving. Ok, I can see how you might think you can talk and drive at the same time, although it usually turns out that you can't. But do people really think they can drive while *looking* at something else? Holy stupidhead, Batman!