As we prepare for a Week Without the Web at Hofstra, we can also celebrate how connected we are. But when the Internet becomes deadly, we need to re-think the times and places we are too connected.
I’m referring to distracted driving. A Consumer Reports study finds that 63 percent of drivers under 30 and 41 percent over 30 have used a handheld phone while driving in the previous month; one-third of the younger drivers texted while behind the wheel. “Sixteen percent of all teenage drivers involved in a fatal crash have reported to have been distracted while driving,” notes the article in CR’s April issue. More than half of us, the study says, have witnessed a dangerous situation related to a driver using a hand-held device. I know that when I’ve passed and looked at a driver who’s traveling too slow in the left lane or drifting into my lane, it’s almost always because they’re texting or talking or surfing the Internet.
OK, I’ll admit that in the past I’ve texted while driving maybe half a dozen times. As I found myself drifting into another lane or braking at the last second, I realized how stupid and careless this was. So I’ve committed to putting the cell phone down for good when I’m behind the wheel. It’s against the law and very dangerous to text while driving but it’s not stopping a lot of drivers from doing it. Wrecking your car and your life–and maybe someone else’s–is really not worth using the web for something that can wait.
When it comes to enjoying the web while we’re driving, it seems to me that we’re far too connected. The Internet has to take a back seat during our Week Without the Web — and EVERY time we get behind the wheel. Your thoughts?