Cause of Death: Reading
It was storming. I don’t drive in storms and had a doctor’s visit, so Hubby and I went. While we were out, we had lunch and then headed home. The rain was pretty heavy and so was the traffic, so imagine my surprise when the car in right lane beside us started weaving and I saw this:
My initial reaction was: Are you kidding me? It’s bad enough to be reading while driving—and yes, that is a book and not a mobile phone—but in the rain? In heavy traffic?
I warned Hubby to back off and give her room because she sure wasn’t paying attention to where she was going. She hit the shoulder turning the page, and straddled or crossed the line a multiple times.
Now, I’m just grouchy enough to say that it’s arrogant to read and drive and risk others’ lives as well as your own.
And I’m honest enough to admit that the writer in me wonders What the heck is she reading?
Of course both are trumped by the common sense side of me that says Whatever it is, I hope she lives long enough to finish it—without killing anyone.
I seriously doubt even the best book in the world would be worth dying for or having to live with killing someone else for.
Years ago, I was driving from Jacksonville home on Interstate 10 and passed a woman reading a book. I thought it was bad then—and it was good weather. She was also eating something from a cup with a spoon. So driving and eating and reading. I got away from her as fast as I could—and I hoped she wouldn’t end up mangled around some twisted pine lining the road. Or rear-end me or anyone else. Or run off a bridge because she wasn’t paying attention and kill herself or another.
Then, traffic was pretty slow and the road was straight and flat for miles. Not that that’s a license to read while driving. It isn’t. Nothing is. I thought she was pushing it.
Today, I know the woman driver was pushing it. Heavy traffic, heavy rain, and reading while driving? In a town where people are still figuring out how to drive in roundabouts? (Yield to those in the circle, people.)
And have you not heard? There are audio books for listening to while your gaze needs to be on the road. Can you try those instead of putting yourself and others at risk?
Something to think about. We’re all someone’s son or daughter, someone’s mother or father, aunt or uncle, cousin or grandchild. We’re all someone’s friend, neighbor, or caretaker. Please don’t be so cavalier with any life. Everyone matters to someone–including you.
There used to be the warning: Don’t drink and drive. Then, Don’t text and drive. Do we honestly need a Don’t read and drive warning to have the wherewithal not to do it?
I don’t know. I’ve read some good books, but is any book that good? Really? Seriously?
I can’t think of one worth the headline, “Cause of Death: Reading.”
© 2014, Vicki Hinze. Hinze is the award-winning, USA Today bestselling author of nearly thirty novels in a variety of genres including, suspense, mystery, thriller, and romantic or faith-affirming thrillers. Her latest release is The Marked Bride, Shadow Watchers, Book 1. She holds a MFA in Creative Writing and a Ph.D. in Philosophy, Theocentric Business and Ethics. Hinze’s online community: Facebook. Books. Twitter. Contact.www.vickihinze.com.
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