Denise Goldberg's blog

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Driver's distraction

Early morning, rolling down the road on a bike... I stopped as commanded by a red light, and looked over at the car that was stopped next to me. The driver's lap held a small dog who was intently gazing out of the side window. The driver had a cell phone in one hand, and was adjusting her glasses with her other hand. Her car was completely stopped, so I suppose her level of inattention to her surroundings wasn't causing a problem.

The red light turned to green and I took a quick glance at the car before I started riding again. As I was gazing into the car, I saw it start moving forward, obeying the command of the green light. The driver's hands? They were no where near the steering wheel. If the dog had been facing forward instead of to the side I might have guessed that he was driving.

The behavior of drivers in this area really shouldn't surprise me anymore, but yes, I'm still surprised. What do you suppose she was thinking as her car rolled forward into traffic without any human control over direction?

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