web analytics
September 23, 2014 / 28 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Driving While Distracted

At this moment, in cities, towns and neighborhoods across the country, someone’s mother,
child, friend, or spouse glances impatiently at the clock, only to have flashes of mild annoyance chill into icy pricks of worry and fear. An eventual knock on the door results in a welcome surge of relief, only to cruelly dissipate as grimed faced police officers present themselves and utter words that forever annihilate the listener’s peace of mind.

Another life has been snuffed out or been seriously damaged by the self-indulgent actions of a
stranger. A beloved person has been prematurely torn away because of another person’s irresponsibility behind the wheel.

In the past, most of the avoidable carnage on the roads was caused by drunk driving. While that is still a big factor in vehicular manslaughter, an increasing danger comes from seemingly innocuous activities.

These activities include eating while driving, putting on makeup, reading newspapers or office
reports, doing homework, changing radio stations or CDs, looking at the passenger beside you or in the back seat, and speaking on a cell phone.

In my view, people who yak away while driving are just about as impaired as drunk drivers. When I say yakking – I am referring to those individuals who chat almost non-stop from the time they get into the car. Although hand held phones have been outlawed in some states, many do not have this safeguard in place. And furthermore, since when has the threat of a
ticket or fine stopped people from doing what they felt like doing? “Serial chatterers,” with cell phone in hand, heedlessly go their merry chirpy way.

I understand that sometimes people answer the phone – they do not initiate the call, and once
ascertaining that the conversation can wait – put the phone down. I also concede that sometimes there is no place to safely pull over when receiving or making an important call. These drivers’ concentration is usually interrupted for a brief moment or two, and they
quickly get back on track.

It is very disturbing to see car pool mothers, their vans full of small children, trying to negotiate
left-turns while their heads are angled and tilted as they balance the phone on their shoulder. It is distressing to see drivers who excitedly talk with their hands, intent on the sound coming from the other end of their phones, with stock market quotes or juicy gossip filling their ears. Instead of being focused on the road, their attention is absorbed by the conversation.

Their ability to drive alertly is severely compromised, and this impaired ability is self afflicted and totally preventable. One can only come to the conclusion that they do indeed have a serious “impairment,” albeit an emotional one, not physical one - a pathological selfishness that translates into a blatant disregard for the public well-being.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Driving While Distracted”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Drone Intercept Along Syrian Border 1
Israel Shoots Down Syrian Sukhoi-24 Fighter Plane Infiltrating Israeli Airspace
Latest Sections Stories
Calmer Times. Breslov chassidim on erev Rosh Hashanah in 2012 at the grave of Rav Nachman in Uman.

As optimistic as Menachem Rosenberg is – and he said he is going to Uman – he’s sure that this year, most of the travelers will not tour other religious sites or places in Ukraine.

Three sets of three-day Yomim Tovim can seem overwhelming – especially when we are trying to stay healthy.

Plotkin-092614

Is a missed opportunity to do a mitzvah considered a sin?

Teens-Twenties-logo

The sounds and scents of the kitchen are cozy, familiar, but loud in the silence.

Everyone has a weakness. For some people it is the inability to walk past a sales rack without dropping a few hundred dollars. For others, it’s the inability to keep their house organized.

Not enjoying saying no, I often succumbed to requests viewing them as demands I couldn’t refuse.

His entire life was dedicated to Torah and he became a pivotal figure in the transmittal of the Oral Torah to the next generation.

When you don’t have anyone else to turn to… that’s when you’re tied to Hashem the closest.

While we all go to restaurants for a good meal, it is dessert, that final taste that lingers in your mouth, that is the crown jewel of any dining experience and Six Thirteen’s offerings did not disappoint.

Today, fifty years and six million (!) people later, Israel is truly a different world.

There will always be items that don’t freeze well – salads and some rice- or potato-based dishes – so you need to leave time to prepare or cook them closer to Yom Tov and ensure there is enough room in the refrigerator to store them.

In Uzbekistan, in the early twentieth century, it was the women who wore the pants.

This is an important one in raising a mentsch (and maybe even in marrying off a mentsch! listening skills are on the top of the list when I do shidduch coaching).

More Articles from Cheryl Kupfer
Kupfer-080114

Unpleasant happenings are quickly discarded if they do not affect us directly.

Kupfer-071814

I have always insisted that everything that happens to anyone or anything is min Shamayim.

It is so hurtful to heighten people’s sense of inadequacy and guilt in a matzav that is already horrendous and difficult to bear.

Make no mistake: in the wrong hands cars are weapons of mass destruction.

Where once divorce in heimische communities was relatively uncommon, nowadays every family has a son, daughter, sibling cousin who is divorced – sometimes twice or even three times!

Many go about the business of living frum, observant lives, but they are only going through the motions.

Lately I have been hearing quiet grumblings from people who admit that they regret not encouraging their sons to get a post-high school education after a year or two of learning.

While it would seem from his question that he is being chuzpadik and dismissive, I wonder if its possible, if just maybe, he is a struggling, confused neshama who actually wants to come back to the fold.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/driving-while-distracted/2004/01/14/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: