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.


Blogger Kathy said...

Hi Darlene

You are right! making smoking illegal while driving is going too far. Are they going to take away radio next? What they should (or i wish they would) make illegal is side of the road ads and billboards. not only are they ugly but they are distracting...but maybe I pay more attention to them than I should. It's hard for me not to look.

6/16/2007 9:35 PM  
Blogger Rauf said...

Hi Darlene,
glad to see an update, been looking for one for quite sometime, you and Mark must be very busy. So how you've been Darlene ?

In india mobile phones have spread like wild fire and the drivers don't even bother to stop while receiving a call while driving, it has been made illegal though. Our traffic is very chaotic anyway. And we have very distracting bill boards too.

Hope you and Mark are doing fine
warm regards

6/17/2007 5:37 AM  
Blogger Darlene said...

So good to hear from both of you! Mark and I are fine; thanks so much for asking. I absolutely apologize for being away from the blogging world for so long, and for not visiting any of my friends' sites, but I've become overwhelmed with obligations and have hadd to make them a priority. (If I only had more time!)

And yes, we've been quite busy, too. But I don't want to lose all my blogging friends; I value you more than you'll ever know, even when I don't keep in contact.

6/18/2007 4:35 PM  
Blogger "Angeldust" said...

Glad you dropped in for a visit, thank you for leaving word

I believe that one's car is one's "property" and one does as one wants inside it, I definitely don't feel anywhere near as strongly about them as I feel about the use of cell phones while driving, as a matter of fact it never even came onto my radar.

We cannot legislate common sense...
All the best to you and yours

I see you friends with dear Rauf

6/18/2007 7:55 PM  
Blogger Kathy said...

Its nice to see you back Darlene!

6/19/2007 8:53 AM  
Blogger Zareba said...

You are still missing. I hope that you will find your way back here soon.

Missing you ...Z

11/02/2007 11:15 AM  
Blogger goatman said...

I assume that Minnesota has already banned texting and phone use while driving?
State-imposed responsibility seems to be the last straw. What next, imposed life-insurance policies and ethical behaviour?

May you have a very happy Christmas with your family and friends.

(I was digging in past posts and comments and saw yours. Hence this re-acquaintance)

12/24/2009 12:03 PM  
Blogger goatman said...

Thanks for your definition of Art on my Post. I think we agree that the senses and emotion must be involved in reacting to a rendition of art.
And our expansion of Art beyond just the presented works by humans is in keeping with my feelings as well.
Have a nice new year.

12/31/2009 3:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


1/15/2010 4:10 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home