Human Nature Nuggets

Unlike sheer instinct, human nature involves individual thought as to how we should handle or improve various situations. As homo sapiens, we never know what will happen as a result, but each of us tries by doing what we think is the best solution. Here are some examples…

My Photo
Location: St. Paul, Minnesota, United States

I am a writer at heart, a proofreader by trade, but without a soul if it were not for the nuthatches crawling down my trees, the robins, chickadees, cardinals, and yes, the much-maligned jibbering starlings that create their own unique concerts. I have wildflowers and perennials squeezed into my front and back yards and along the curb of my house in the city. My greatest job: I was a reporter for a locally-based newspaper, where I wrote human interest and news articles, but now I am a freelance writer, both online and in print. See MY ONLINE ARTICLES on how to ATTRACT BIRDS and BUTTERFLIES, and the HEALTHIEST NATURAL FOODS at my contributor page

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Why Smoking While Driving Shouldn’t Become Illegal in Minnesota

Lately there have been several proposals to make it illegal for anyone to smoke while driving a motorized vehicle in my state. The justification is that when people smoke while driving, they take their eyes off the road to light a cigarette, put one out, or use the ashtray. Admittedly, any of the above actions are a distraction, but many smokers have taught themselves to perform these tasks without looking away.

What concerns me is that merely targeting those who smoke while driving is being shortsighted. What about all the drivers who sip while they’re driving? Whether it involves knocking back a swig of water from a bottle, pop from a can, or revolving a tall cup to find the little hole in order to guzzle coffee, don’t these actions require taking one’s eyes off the road, too?

Some drivers munch on a burger, or even open a packet of ketchup and pour it on their fries while they’re operating a vehicle, and have you ever seen anyone put on lipstick without looking in their rearview mirror? Almost everyone leans over to find a button on the radio. Isn’t that just as distracting? Then there’s looking away to find the wiper blades, watching the electric window to see how far you’ve lowered it, jotting a note on a notepad, or trying to find directions on a map, and I needn’t mention the use of cell phones.

Face it, we’ve become a multi-tasking society, and we’re twitchy. It’s become our human nature not just to drive, but to accomplish some unrelated task at the same time. By doing so, we feel we are saving time, or using our time judiciously.

I know we drivers are supposed to keep our hands on the steering wheel in the 10 and 2 o’clock positions, but I’ve learned to be wary of drivers who steadfastly clutch the wheel with both hands. Usually they’re the ones who are so under the influence, they have to in order to control their cars, or they’re so leery of being in traffic, they drive 20 miles an hour—even on the freeway.

I guess the only way we’re going to make drivers keep their hands on the wheel at all times is to affix Velcro straps on the steering wheel and make it a law that these straps must be wrapped around our wrists whenever we’re driving. Auto makers will have to install a device that will stop our cars from running if we’re not wearing them. As for our straying eyes, well…

Before we single out those who smoke while driving, and make them a scapegoat, we must peer deep within ourselves, at our own driving habits. It’s so easy to judge others and ignore our own human nature.